Why Your Next Scrum Master should be a Peace Studies Major

schedule Oct 15th 04:15 - 05:00 PM place Room 6 people 15 Interested

As an undergrad, when I declared my self-designed major to be a combination of Peace Studies and Information Technology, I remember my friends asking me, "What are you going to do with that? Mediate conflict between computer nerds?" Now, as an Agile Coach and Scrum Master, I find myself regularly doing just that (and I love it)!

While it can certainly be helpful for a Scrum Master to understand your AWS architecture, it is far more important for your Scrum Master to understand your organization's people architecture. They need to know how things are supposed to get done and how things really get done. They need to know how to create psychological safety inside the team while protecting them from interactions outside the team that may undermine that safety. Most importantly, they need to understand how the people in the organization "fit" together and how to mediate the inevitable conflicts that will arise when these parties have opposing goals.

In this interactive session leveraging real stories from the trenches, I will show how the non-technical, liberal arts Scrum Master can help your teams thrive by understanding an organization's people architecture to effectively anticipate, uncover, and mediate conflict between opposing parties in a productive manner.

No matter what you studied in college, you are welcome and encouraged to attend this talk!

 
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Outline/Structure of the Experience Report

  • Introduction
  • "People architecture over AWS architecture": The case for a liberal arts Scrum Master.
  • A (Very) Brief Introduction to Conflict Resolution
    • By the book: "Five Steps to Conflict Resolution"
    • The Ugli Orange Case Study: Understanding Interests vs Positions
    • Reality
  • An Interactive, Real-life Example (aka "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth...")
    • Preparing for the Meeting
      • Understanding Incentives and Perceptions
      • Identifying Allies
      • Preparing Participants
      • Establishing and Communicating a Common Goal
    • Facilitating the Meeting
      • Knowing Your EQ
      • Defusing Initial Tension (aka 'What to do when the meeting starts with a lot of swearing.")
      • Leveraging Allies
      • Re-focusing on Shared Interests
      • Collaborating to Define a Plan
    • Meeting Follow-up
      • Communicating Agreements
      • Building the Non-adversarial Relationship
  • Discussion
    • How much time does this take to do it right?
    • How does this fit in your organization?
  • Additional Resources

Learning Outcome

By the end of this session, participants be able to better understand where the non-technical Scrum Master "fits" in their organization and why they are an important asset for helping to anticipate, uncover, and mediate conflict between opposing parties in a productive manner.

Target Audience

Scrum Masters who were liberal arts majors or anyone who is trying to make the business case for non-technical Scrum Masters in their organization

schedule Submitted 7 months ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • George Dinwiddie
    By George Dinwiddie  ~  7 months ago
    reply Reply

    Matthew,

    As an English major, Psychology minor, in my undergraduate degree, I don't argue with your conclusion. I'd like to know more about the contents of your presentation, though. Can you expand these bullet points to let us know the major arguments you'll be making, and the exercises you have planned?

    The outline/structure is the place where you sell your session to the reviewers. Help them recognize that you'll deliver on your abstract. Give them details about the content and the way that you'll present it to convince them that you'll do a good job.

    See also https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1028714041349263360.html for an independent description of submitting a successful proposal.

    - George, AgileDC Program Chair


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