Scrum master? Iteration manager? Surely being a master or a manager implies telling people what to do or how to do it… doesn’t it?

This workshop is aimed at any scrum master or iteration manager who sometimes wonders what they should do for the good for their team(s).

We will consider what a scrum master’s responsibilities are – and equally importantly, what they are not.

We will look at the key skills a scrum master needs, and when and how those skills should be used.

Then we will apply what we have learned to consider how workshop participants could approach real-life problems they are facing right now.


Outline/Structure of the Workshop

Intro, icebreaker and team formation (5 minutes)


What are a scrum master’s responsibilities? (20 minutes)

Team activity using cards to choose which of a number of responsibilities belong to the Scrum Master.

Whole group discussion of outcomes.

Each team sums up a scrum master’s key responsibility in one sentence and then shares with the whole group.


What are the key skills for a scrum master? (10 minutes)

Team activity to list key skills, then share with the whole group and discuss.

When should we use each of the skills identified? Relate teaching, facilitating, mentoring and coaching to team and individual development through the Shuhari and unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence models.


Agile coaching competency framework (10 minutes)

Introduce Lyssa Adkins and Michael Spayd’s agile coaching competency framework

Review outputs of previous team exercise in light of the framework

Outline how this framework can be used as a self-assessment tool to identify development areas.


Skills development (10 minutes)

Facilitated discussion on how we could develop each of these skills


Lean coffee with process consulting (30 minutes)

 All participants write issues they struggle with as a scrum master on post-it notes

Cluster and prioritise to create a lean coffee agenda

5 minutes discussion per item – what could the individual do and how could they apply what we have learned about scrum master responsibilities and skills to this problem?

I will facilitate this discussion and also play a coaching role, helping the group reflect on how both the content of the discussion and the way they are interacting demonstrates (or does not demonstrate) the responsibilities and skills we discussed.


Wrap up (5 minutes)

If participants want to continue the conversation about developing as scrum masters I will suggest they can leave their names and email addresses so we can set up a group to share details of suggested reading/courses etc and possibly set up a mentoring group if enough people are interested.


Learning Outcome

Participants will learn:

  • What a scrum master's responsibilities are - and what they are not.
  • What the core skills a scrum master should have are, plus when and how they should be applied.
  • How to use the agile coaching competency framework to self-assess and identify development areas.
  • Possible approaches and resources for skills development.
  • How to apply what they have learned to real-life examples.


Target Audience

Scrum masters and iteration managers, or anyone considering taking on one of those roles

schedule Submitted 3 years ago