Agile/Scrum blog

Onderwerp: Scrum Master

The Scrum Master as a Manager

Barry Overeem Door: Barry Overeem,  23-07-2015
Onderwerp: Scrum  Scrum Master  

The role of a Scrum Master is one of many stances and diversity. A great Scrum Master is aware of them and knows when and how to apply them, depending on situation and context. Everything with the purpose of helping people understand and apply the Scrum framework better.

In a series of blog posts I will share the different stances I consider to be relevant for the Scrum Master. This blog post is about the Scrum Master as a manager. I'll describe the different between management and the manager, horizontal and vertical management, and the responsibilities of the Scrum Master as a manager.

Characteristics of a Great Scrum Master

Barry Overeem Door: Barry Overeem,  19-06-2015
Onderwerp: Scrum  Scrum Master  

This week I wrote two articles about the characteristics of a great Product Owner and a great Development Team. This is the third article and it's about the Scrum Master. Similar to the previous two articles, I'll describe the characteristics, skills and conditions. I haven't ordered them on priority; it only follows the inconceivable logic of my mind...

The Scrum Master as a Teacher

Barry Overeem Door: Barry Overeem,  14-05-2015
Onderwerp: Scrum  agile  scrum master  

The role of a Scrum Master is one of many stances and diversity. A great Scrum Master is aware of them and knows when and how to apply them, depending on situation and context. Everything with the purpose of helping people understand and apply the Scrum framework better.

In a series of blog posts I will share the different stances I consider to be relevant for the Scrum Master. This blog post is about the Scrum Master as a teacher. I'll describe the definition of a teacher, the theoretical viewpoint and some practical examples of the Scrum Master as a teacher.

The Scrum Master as a Facilitator

Barry Overeem Door: Barry Overeem,  29-04-2015
Onderwerp: Scrum  Scrum Master  

The role of a Scrum Master is one of many stances and diversity. A great Scrum Master is aware of them and knows when and how to apply them, depending on situation and context. Everything with the purpose of helping people understand and apply the Scrum framework better.

In a series of blog posts I will share the different stances I consider to be relevant for the Scrum Master. This blog post is about the Scrum Master as a facilitator. The Scrum Master serves as a facilitator for both the Product Owner and the Development Team. In this blog post I'll describe the definition of a facilitator, the misunderstanding and the characteristics of a great facilitator.

The Scrum Master as a Coach

Barry Overeem Door: Barry Overeem,  29-04-2015
Onderwerp: Scrum  Scrum Master  

The role of a Scrum Master is one of many stances and diversity. A great Scrum Master is aware of them and knows when and how to apply them, depending on situation and context. Everything with the purpose of helping people understand and apply the Scrum framework better.

In a series of blog posts I will share the different stances I consider to be relevant for the Scrum Master. This blog post is about the Scrum Master as a coach. The Scrum Master is often considered a coach for the team, helping the team do the best work they can to reach the sprint goal.

Hoe word je een geweldige Scrum Master?

Barry Overeem Door: Barry Overeem,  12-11-2014
Onderwerp: Scrum Master  Scrum Master Advanced  training  

"Gefeliciteerd met het behalen van het Professional Scrum Master Assessment! U heeft gedemonstreerd te beschikken over de fundamentele kennis van de rol van Professional Scrum Master en de principes van het Scrum Framework te beheersen zoals deze beschreven worden in de Scrum Guide."


Elke dag verschijnt dit bericht in meerdere mailboxen om nieuwe Scrum Masters te feliciteren met hun behaalde certificaat. Zij hebben bewezen fundamentele kennis van het Scrum Framework te hebben. Het moeilijkste gedeelte moet echter nog komen; het toepassen van de verkregen kennis in echte projecten, gecombineerd met hun eigen dagelijkse problemen, hoge verwachtingen en ogenschijnlijk harde deadlines.

Start with Done

Jeroen van Menen Door: Jeroen van Menen,  27-05-2014
Onderwerp: Sprint board  scrum  agile  Scrum Master  sprint  Value   

I am a big fan of the “Start at the End” way of thinking. When I apply this way of thinking to a situation or problem, it most of the times gives me a completely different perspective on things. And with that comes a completely new way of thinking about what is needed to reach the envisioned end result.

This “Start at the End” way of looking at things is applied in many areas, for instance in Solution Focused coaching. Good examples are the “Miracle Question” and “Future Backwards” session. In the Netherlands Berthold Gunster is promoting this way of thinking. He even came up with a word for it “omdenken” which maybe translates into “turn your thoughts around”.

Transparency….makes it hard to lie

Stephan van Rooden Door: Stephan van Rooden,  14-10-2013
Onderwerp: agile  Product Owner  Scrum Master  

A few days ago, I had a great day where I did some ‘magic estimation’ with two teams. In 15 minutes they created an initial estimation of the entire product backlog. This was an exciting moment for the Product Owners. They already know they have a budget for 14 sprints. Is it possible to do everything they want in only 14 sprints, while the team already is in their fourth sprint?

How to Conduct a Large Retrospective

Rob van Lanen Door: Rob van Lanen,  02-11-2012
Onderwerp: Scrum Master  Scrum Teams  

A well-structured retrospective that generates change is vital to improve and grow as a team. When you facilitate a retrospective with multiple teams, you have a challenge to face. Do you have ineffective large meetings? Are these meetings slow, one-way, chaotic and not changing anything? Have you been thinking about conducting a large retrospective? After reading this blog, you will have a practical reference for facilitating effective retrospectives with a large crowd. You will have this post as a sample format to customize to the needs at hand in your situation.

It is wise to discuss the vision for such a session with your client beforehand. You could argue to organize several retrospectives when you have a big crowd. You could proceed by organizing a retrospective of retrospectives with a fraction of the crowd, however this would diminish the value of everybody’s participation in the retrospective. This post therefore describes how to do a retrospective with a large(r) crowd. With my client, we agreed on the following:

KPIs of a Scrum Master

Rob van Lanen Door: Rob van Lanen,  17-09-2012
Onderwerp: Scrum Master  

A question that people frequently ask me is: "How do I assess the performance of our Scrum Master? What makes her do well and how do I know?". In this post I will elaborate on this question. After reading this post, you will be aware of multiple KPIs you can use in evaluating the performance of (yourself as) a Scrum Master. You will have found ways to assess her performance in a broader way.

To me, a Scrum Master is there to make sure the effectiveness of software delivery in the organization is improved. She does so by switching between teaching, mentoring, coaching and consulting. She does so by interacting with the Development Team, the Product Owner and the stakeholders around them. Here are KPIs for evaluating her performance:

Daily standups en impediment afhandeling

Rob van Lanen Door: Rob van Lanen,  12-07-2012
Onderwerp: Scrum Master  

Scrum is heel simpel. Scrum is net zo simpel als…schaken!! De spelregels van schaken zijn makkelijk uit te leggen, echter het is zeer uitdagend om goed te leren schaken. Sterker nog, hoe beter je kunt schaken hoe moeilijker het spel wordt. Zo gaat dat ook met Scrum. Makkelijk uit te leggen, maar Scrum goed toe passen is niet eenvoudig. En hoe langer je er mee bezig bent hoe meer je je realiseert dat het niet eenvoudig is.

Iedere 2 weken een werkend product dat gebruiksklaar is

Henk Jan Huizer Door: Henk Jan Huizer,  07-05-2012
Onderwerp: Scrum Master  

Scrum Teams en Scrum Masters zijn soms zo druk met de spelregels van Scrum en met het optimaliseren van het spel, dat ze vergeten wat het eindresultaat moet zijn: Aan het einde van iedere iteratie een product dat klaar is.

Tips om een architectuur agile te maken

Kees Jan Bender Door: Kees Jan Bender,  30-11-2011
Onderwerp: Scrum Master  Tech  

Een veelgestelde vraag bij agile softwareontwikkeling is: Hoe maak je een architectuur agile? De noodzaak hiertoe is evident; als het ontwikkelproces zich kenmerkt door het snel kunnen inspelen op verandering, dan moet de architectuur dat kunnen faciliteren. De architectuur moet in staat zijn mee te bewegen met veranderende eisen aan het systeem. Er wordt in dat kader ook wel gesproken van een vloeibare of wendbare architectuur.

Agile proces
Maar hoe kom je tot zo'n wendbare architectuur? Het antwoord op deze vraag wordt deels gegeven door het volgen van een agile architectuurproces. Het agile proces laat je beginnen met een kleine (kandidaat)architectuur die gedurende het traject steeds verder gedetailleerd wordt. Door de architectuur zo geleidelijk te laten ontstaan, in plaats van vooraf helemaal uit te denken, is de eerste stap gezet om de architectuur wendbaar te houden.

De belangrijkste bijkomende principes zijn te 'ontwerpen voor verandering' en het zorgen voor 'eenvoud in ontwerp'. Een eenvoudig systeem is makkelijker aan te passen dan een complex systeem. Het is dus de kunst om de dingen zo simpel mogelijk te houden, ongeacht de functionele complexiteit. Eenvoudige, veranderbare architectuur wordt bereikt door de volgende punten te waarderen:

In-Sprint DONE Celebration

Rob van Lanen Door: Rob van Lanen,  24-11-2011
Onderwerp: Coaches  Scrum Master  

For variety purposes, we decided to do a Double the Fun retrospective a while ago. The top impediment was clear: we need more fun! Via sticky-dot voting we selected a top 3 of actions to improve the fun. Besides having 1) a team night out and 2) getting a foosball table, we also agreed to 3) celebrate stories that are done during a sprint.

The In-Sprint DONE Celebration was my brainfart, so the Team asked me to sign-up for working out the idea. My reasoning behind it: we want to avoid all-or-nothing crunches near the end of our sprint. If we get more stories DONE during the sprint, we get feedback earlier. We have more flexibility in delivery, more focus and better risk mitigation. I got inspired by reading about King-Servant pattern  [1].

The Real Scrum Master

Ronald de Leeuw van Weenen Door: Ronald de Leeuw van Weenen,  17-11-2011
Onderwerp: Scrum Master  

While visiting several Scrum teams lately, I noticed that most of the Scrum Masters have their focus on the team. Or as the Scrum Guide describes:  

“A Scrum Master ensure that the team adheres to the Scrum theory, practices and rules”


This in itself is not a problem, but it is only part of the job. What I miss in many Scrum Masters, is the second part described in the Scrum Guide:

“The Scrum Master helps those outside the Scrum Team understand which of their interactions
with the Scrum Team are helpful and which aren’t. The Scrum Master helps everyone change
these interactions to maximize the value created by the Scrum Team.”