What do you do the rest of the sprint?

Many Scrum Masters are terrified in social situations involving strangers. Sooner or later they will be asked the dreaded question: “So.. what do you do?”. The temptation is to talk about the visible, the facilitation of meetings etc. And thus many people (and even Scrum Masters themselves), think that Scrum Masters facilitate meetings, fix problems and are the Scrum Secretary (ever updated Jira to stay in sync with a Kanban Board?).

But being a Scrum Master has very little to do with being a Master of Ceremonies and everything to do with coaching, mentoring and guiding both the team and the organization.

We will cover practical tips around the 5 most important things I do outside the ceremonies: “Foster Team Collaboration”, “One on One Conversations”, “Setup Team for Success”, “Build Inter-team Relationships” and “Being There”.

This talk is aimed at Scrum Masters who have just started their agile journey and want to grow in their role. Managers will understand who are the right people for the role and how to support Scrum Masters.


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Outline/structure of the Session

5 mins Intro & setting the scene. 

During this talk I will use examples from my journey as a Scrum Master for different teams and organizations in different countries, and make the practical tips stick:

7 mins: “Foster Team Collaboration”
* Team Values: why important & how to use them
* Don’t touch the stickies: whoever touches the stickies owns them

7 mins: “One on One Conversations”
  * Small talk: build relationships
  * Understanding team members

7 mins: “Set Team up for Success”
  * Managing dependencies with Product owners: how to support Product owners in identifying and managing dependencies
  * Releasing: support team and product owners by understanding the shipping process 

7 mins: “Build Inter-team Relationships”
  * Excursions: knowing who the users and dependent teams are
  * Celebrate the outcome: let customers show the outcomes to the team

7 mins: “Being There”
  * Active listening: when you are invited, attend and 'be there'

5 mins: Closing - answering  the question "So.. what do you do?


Learning Outcome

  • Practical tips on becoming a better Scrum Master;
  • How to ensure that you are effective and successful, especially when not facilitating
  • What to answer when someone asks you ‘So… What do you do?’

Target Audience

Scrum masters, manager of scrum masters, anyone who collaborates with a scrum master

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

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  • Rohit Arora
    By Rohit Arora  ~  1 year ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Wai,

    Interesting thoughts and I am sure there is lot to learn from the session.

    Could you please share some of your past presentation, videos, links, etc... so that we can consider your proposal?




    • Wai Ling Ko
      By Wai Ling Ko  ~  1 year ago
      reply Reply

      Hey Rohit, thanks for your feedback. I am really looking forward to this talk. Unfortunately I do not have any past presentations that are for public viewing. I hope you will still consider my proposal. Cheers, Wai Ling