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Agile Adoption: Should It Be Data-Centric At All Levels Of The Organization?

Introduction to Data-centric Agile TransformationsTeams and Organizations adopt Agile to bring in the changes- faster turnaround, better results, quick reviews, dynamic teams.The mindset change that is constantly talked about in Agile is still challenging to fathom because no one really knows how much of a change it is. Yet, the philosophy seems nice to look at- people over tools, working software over documentation- yes everyone needs it.While teams get structured, work is re-evaluated, Scrum masters trained and Agile coaches hired, everyone knows change is coming. 66 days is what it takes for any change to happen… and no matter what your role is, this is tough on everybody.Data, as it happens, is so underused in Agile transformations that it needs a book by itself. Data-centric approach to Agile methodology can be used to inspire, create gamification models to encourage team dynamics as well as create a monitoring mechanism to help convince stakeholders that things are moving.So, let’s look at these categories and see how data can be mapped.IntrospectData is neutral and yet has the ability to create an environment of positivity. Used correctly (both qualitative and quantitative) in the early stages, it can help us understand and build the environment. The following points can help you introspect as a team as well as individually.The Happiness Index- On a scale of 1-5, rate your team on how happy you are working with them and give a reason for it. Done anonymously in team retros or just randomly is stand-ups, this brings out anger, conflicts, and reasoning in a completely different way. However, beware this works only when this is conducted by a third party (like an Agile coach/facilitator). The score, of course, stays for further comparisons in the future (you can do it release wise, yearly etc). It makes everyone open up; however at the same time realize their opinions matter or someone is listening. You can find the points that get repeated and connect with the right person who can get it resolved.Find Your Team Mate- In this scenario, ask your team to anonymously write one quality about themselves that no one’s know about (not related to work). Now take those sticky notes and put it up on a wall. On the other column write the name of the team members- now ask the team to match the quality with the name. This is an amazing exercise for any team whether the dynamics are good or bad, new team or seasoned team, co-located or distributed.The reason it works so well is, in our everyday mad rush at work, we often forget to appreciate each other as humans and focus on the skills and getting the work done. We don’t even know who we work with anymore. This exercise is always eagerly participated and the results astonish team members themselves. It gives introverts and extroverts the same playing field and helps teammates understand how to motivate each other.MotivateMotivation is essential in any Agile team and yet this is an overlooked category in transformations. We know from Harvard Business Review that happy teams take up more complex challenges (https://hbr.org/2013/04/to-find-happiness-at-work-tap). So, what data can be looked at to ensure teams are intrinsically challenged?1) Publish Case Studies- Publishing case studies of successful teams with adequate data might be a wonderful information radiator of teams that truly motivate others.2) Team Reports- For retrospections, using the available team data can bring insights which are otherwise difficult to trace. Team reports can start at a basic level and track:1. User Story Committed vs Delivered2. Team velocity3. Sprint Burn DownUnderstanding what they have done and where things could have been improved under the guidance of an able manager, should inspire teams to perform better in the next sprint.3) Value Stream Mapping- Look at the entire cycle flow for a sprint with your team, take the waste out, make changes to your practice, keep tracking, talking and changing till you think the process is completely yours.4) Defect Reports- While looking at what went wrong or missed isn’t always motivating in the short run, seeing and ensuring a root-cause analysis is done and changing the strategy accordingly and reducing the account definitely is a mood booster for teams.5) Velocity Charts- Another way of looking at what has been delivered in terms of complexities over a period of time and if the chart differs way too much, the reasoning behind when and in what condition more complexity was delivered. The dips could be because of holidays or new joiners or attrition rates.CamaraderieA happy team is a productive team. Conflicts and egos are added complexities that are best resolved immediately.Retrospective- Seeing what the trend has been as a team and if the action items are being resolved should improve the team dynamics to continuously strive to improve. Track the action items to the positive changes made in the team and publish the data. Or alternatively, find the trend and see where usually the blockers are, this set of data while can be used fantastically by the team it can also be used by the manager or the coach, who when implementing for another team will use strategies to ensure the same trend doesn’t surface.Kudo Cards- Recognitions from team members would be a wonderful feeling for anyone, tracking them over releases or yearly on what someone is doing to help can create team appraisals and not individual ones.To summarize, data is always your ally, nudging and pushing you towards the right direction. Data isn’t just for management/stakeholder reports which it’s usually thought out to be, it should be embraced with equal inquisitiveness by teams and coaches and anyone who is remotely really trying to understand how transformation happens and how teams and individuals react to it.Data-centric Agile transformations shouldn’t just be e-mails sent out by management, it should be about thinking deeply about what it entails, what might change, the reality, and the expectations.
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Agile Adoption: Should It Be Data-Centric At All Levels Of The Organization?

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Agile Adoption: Should It Be Data-Centric At All Levels Of The Organization?

Introduction to Data-centric Agile Transformations

Teams and Organizations adopt Agile to bring in the changes- faster turnaround, better results, quick reviews, dynamic teams.

The mindset change that is constantly talked about in Agile is still challenging to fathom because no one really knows how much of a change it is. Yet, the philosophy seems nice to look at- people over tools, working software over documentation- yes everyone needs it.

While teams get structured, work is re-evaluated, Scrum masters trained and Agile coaches hired, everyone knows change is coming. 66 days is what it takes for any change to happen… and no matter what your role is, this is tough on everybody.

Data, as it happens, is so underused in Agile transformations that it needs a book by itself. Data-centric approach to Agile methodology can be used to inspire, create gamification models to encourage team dynamics as well as create a monitoring mechanism to help convince stakeholders that things are moving.

So, let’s look at these categories and see how data can be mapped.

Introspect

Data is neutral and yet has the ability to create an environment of positivity. Used correctly (both qualitative and quantitative) in the early stages, it can help us understand and build the environment. The following points can help you introspect as a team as well as individually.

The Happiness Index- On a scale of 1-5, rate your team on how happy you are working with them and give a reason for it. Done anonymously in team retros or just randomly is stand-ups, this brings out anger, conflicts, and reasoning in a completely different way. However, beware this works only when this is conducted by a third party (like an Agile coach/facilitator). The score, of course, stays for further comparisons in the future (you can do it release wise, yearly etc). It makes everyone open up; however at the same time realize their opinions matter or someone is listening. You can find the points that get repeated and connect with the right person who can get it resolved.

Find Your Team Mate- In this scenario, ask your team to anonymously write one quality about themselves that no one’s know about (not related to work). Now take those sticky notes and put it up on a wall. On the other column write the name of the team members- now ask the team to match the quality with the name. This is an amazing exercise for any team whether the dynamics are good or bad, new team or seasoned team, co-located or distributed.

The reason it works so well is, in our everyday mad rush at work, we often forget to appreciate each other as humans and focus on the skills and getting the work done. We don’t even know who we work with anymore. This exercise is always eagerly participated and the results astonish team members themselves. It gives introverts and extroverts the same playing field and helps teammates understand how to motivate each other.

Motivate

Motivation is essential in any Agile team and yet this is an overlooked category in transformations. We know from Harvard Business Review that happy teams take up more complex challenges (https://hbr.org/2013/04/to-find-happiness-at-work-tap). So, what data can be looked at to ensure teams are intrinsically challenged?
1) Publish Case Studies- Publishing case studies of successful teams with adequate data might be a wonderful information radiator of teams that truly motivate others.

2) Team Reports- For retrospections, using the available team data can bring insights which are otherwise difficult to trace. Team reports can start at a basic level and track:

1. User Story Committed vs Delivered
2. Team velocity
3. Sprint Burn Down

Understanding what they have done and where things could have been improved under the guidance of an able manager, should inspire teams to perform better in the next sprint.

3) Value Stream Mapping- Look at the entire cycle flow for a sprint with your team, take the waste out, make changes to your practice, keep tracking, talking and changing till you think the process is completely yours.

4) Defect Reports- While looking at what went wrong or missed isn’t always motivating in the short run, seeing and ensuring a root-cause analysis is done and changing the strategy accordingly and reducing the account definitely is a mood booster for teams.

5) Velocity Charts- Another way of looking at what has been delivered in terms of complexities over a period of time and if the chart differs way too much, the reasoning behind when and in what condition more complexity was delivered. The dips could be because of holidays or new joiners or attrition rates.

Camaraderie

A happy team is a productive team. Conflicts and egos are added complexities that are best resolved immediately.

Retrospective- Seeing what the trend has been as a team and if the action items are being resolved should improve the team dynamics to continuously strive to improve. Track the action items to the positive changes made in the team and publish the data. Or alternatively, find the trend and see where usually the blockers are, this set of data while can be used fantastically by the team it can also be used by the manager or the coach, who when implementing for another team will use strategies to ensure the same trend doesn’t surface.

Kudo Cards- Recognitions from team members would be a wonderful feeling for anyone, tracking them over releases or yearly on what someone is doing to help can create team appraisals and not individual ones.

To summarize, data is always your ally, nudging and pushing you towards the right direction. Data isn’t just for management/stakeholder reports which it’s usually thought out to be, it should be embraced with equal inquisitiveness by teams and coaches and anyone who is remotely really trying to understand how transformation happens and how teams and individuals react to it.

Data-centric Agile transformations shouldn’t just be e-mails sent out by management, it should be about thinking deeply about what it entails, what might change, the reality, and the expectations.

Soma

Soma Bhattacharya

Blog Author

Soma Bhattacharya is an Agile Coach working out of Hyderabad (India). When not at work, she can be found reading (non fiction), running her blog www.steppingintopm.com, planning her next big project and exploring life

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Agile and Scrum – What’s the Difference?

Agile & Scrum are two terms that have become very popular in recent years and with good reason. Together, they make project management and development more streamlined, faster, and more cost-effective. But what’s the difference between agile and scrum? What is Agile? Agile is a methodology for developing software and managing projects that focuses on small teams, iterative sprints, incremental successes, and empowerment. While many traditional project management methodologies focus on sequential development, agile promotes flexibility, acceptance of change, and frequent deliverables. Close team and customer contact is a requirement as is open communication, collaboration and an acceptance of change at any moment. Agile teams are typically self-organised. They’re empowered to achieve specific goals and are tasked with specific deliverables to achieve those goals. Those deliverables are provided through an iterative process called sprints. At the end of each sprint, the deliverables are evaluated and next steps are identified. This iterative process delivers incremental progress, and it leaves the door open for rapid response to changes throughout the entire development cycle. Unlike traditional project management and development processes, the agile methodology acknowledges that every requirement cannot be identified in detail at the beginning of a project and that changes will occur throughout the process. This more flexible process has been shown to deliver increased team member and customer satisfaction as well as faster delivery timeframes, higher quality outputs, and reduced costs. What is Scrum? Agile is a process for getting things done. It includes many methodologies under its umbrella, including Scrum, which is one of the simplest methodologies. Scrum provides a structure and rules to implement agile processes, define roles, manage meetings, and more. For example, scrum teams are made up of approximately seven full-time members and sprints last one to two weeks but never more than 30 days. There are three scrum team roles: 1.Product Owner – manages the product vision and return on investment 2.Scrum Master – manages the scrum process 3.Self-Managing Team – members complete the daily tasks required for each sprint There are five types of scrum meetings: 1.Sprint Planning Meeting – held at the beginning of each sprint 2.Daily Scrum and Sprint Execution Meeting – held at the same time and place every day for 15 minutes 3.Sprint Review Meeting – held after a sprint execution is completed to provide a working product demonstration to the product owner 4.Sprint Retrospective Meeting – held at the end of a sprint to evaluate the process and identify areas for improvement 5.Backlog Refinement Meeting – held prior to the next Sprint Planning Meeting to prepare the backlog for the next sprint For software developers, the goal is to have a shippable product ready at the end of every sprint when stakeholders view a demonstration. When a sprint is done, the next one begins. This real-time process enables scrum teams to make decisions based on real-world results rather than speculation. Are Agile and Scrum Right for You? Scrum is an appropriate methodology for projects with uncertain requirements or technology issues as well as for projects where change is likely. Its purpose is to make unmanageable work (because of the levels of uncertainty and constant changes) manageable through a set of defined processes that are structured to allow flexibility. Furthermore, if your project requires knowledge creation and collaboration and your team is committed to developing self-organized teams to get things done faster, then Scrum is a proven approach that is worth trying.
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Agile and Scrum – What’s the Difference?

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Who Is a Cspo? - Roles and Responsibilities

1.1 What is a Product Owner?A Product Owner is a role defined in Scrum. Scrum is a framework for complex product development (*). The Product Owner is responsible for maximising the value of the product resulting from the work performed the Development Team. The role exists in Scrum to have 1 person with a clear accountability of WHAT product or service will be built. The Product Owner role is also used as a title outside Scrum, in other frameworks, but if you want to understand the definition of the role and responsibilities of a Product Owner, you need to start to look and to understand it in the scope of a Scrum Team. (*) (“product”, to be defined in context, this is a generic term for the product or service being developed for the end-users)(*) (“development”, also to be defined in context, this is a generic term for all activities needed to create and deliver value to the end-users)1.2 What’s the job profile of a Product Owner?The Product Owner role is Scrum is a role, both with a tactical, strategical and operational aspect. The Product Owner role is critical as the role is kept by 1 person (and 1 person only) for a specific product. Having 1 person holding the role simplifies the accountability in terms of having 1 spokesperson for product ownership and accountability of maximising value. This doesn’t mean that all activities are to be done by the Product Owner; otherwise the Product Owner could become a bottleneck. The Product Owner does remain accountable at all times. To be able to do the job, the Product Owner has business (domain) knowledge, affinity with end-users, affinity with “development” (activities needed to deliver a piece of value), and knowledge of how to do agile product management. Product management is a multi-disciplinary job, and it involves to understand, empathise, quickly inspect & adapt, each time with the accountability to make the right choices in terms of what to built next, in order to continuously (incrementally) deliver value to end-users. In order to better understand what kind of profile is needed to fulfil the product owner role, it’s valuable to list skills required and activities performed.When looking for a Product Owner, you’re looking for a profile with generic product management skills and product-specific skills.  The generic skills are needed to be able make decisions on a strategic and tactical level.People skills a Product Owner must have:A Product Owner also needs people skills:To empathise with users of the productTo build connections with stakeholders and to create a healthy working relationship with the team building the product. These people skills include- to be able to listen (to stakeholders, end users, team members), to translate information (between people with a different background), to be able to make  informed decisions without undermining longer-term objectives, etc.The product-specific skills are defined by the product or service that’s being built. This includes all the activities to understand the market, the needs, the job the product or service will fulfil, user-journeys, also more technical product-specific knowledge, legislation (if applicable), financial implications and any other constraintIn his book Product Mastery “From Good to Great Product Ownership”, Geoff Watts describes the skills of Product Owners with the acronym “1.3 Product Owner role and responsibilitiesThe role of Product Owner can be quite challenging and high-demanding. When reading The Scrum Guide, it says that product backlog management is the main activity for a Product Owner. The product backlog is a tool to ensure it’s clear what’s needed in the product and what’s the most valuable thing to build next. Managing a backlog, and refining items on the product backlog is a continuous activity.  The Product Owner often serves as the spokesperson of the product. This means he/she needs to be able to answers questions appropriately, for example regarding product vision, roadmap, planning, why certain choices have been made, etc. This also includes NOT answering certain questions, because the Product Owner knows the development team is in a more appropriate position to answer the question more accurately, and as well to facilitate a conversation with the development team involved.Go through other roles and responsibilities of Product Owner here.1.4 How does a Product Owner manage various stakeholders desires for the product?The Product Owner has the challenging task to manage requirements and desires of stakeholders. Each stakeholders will certainly advocate his/her demands are the most important. Here are some recommendations on how a Product Owner can deal with this:Treat requirements & desires as “desirements”, meaning, until by learning or by end-user feedback has been proven that the “desirement” is valuable, treat it as a hypothesisKeep the product backlog and its ordening as transparent as possible to all stakeholdersDon’t be seduced to prioritising in categories such as high, medium, low priority. A product backlog is ordered, no two items can have the same priority.Use techniques to prioritise impacts (impact mapping), simulations to learn stakeholders to prioritise (e.g. buy a feature), techniques to slice for value (user story mapping) 1.5 CSPO vs PSPO CSPO is an abbreviation which stands for Certified Scrum Product Owner. This is a certification offered by the Scrum Alliance, specifically for the Product Owner role. PSPO is an abbreviation which stands for Profession Scrum Product Owner. This is a certification offered by scrum.org, specifically for the Product Owner role.In my opinion, both certifications are equivalent and define a high-quality standard. There’s a difference in the way of obtaining certifications and how to maintain this. Certifications issued by Scrum Alliance are obtained by taking an online exam after mandatory attending a 2-day training given by a Certified Scrum Trainer.Certifications issued by scrum.org are obtained by taking an online exam without the prerequisite of attending a training. Certifications issued by scrum.org do not expire. Of course, to test and validate your knowledge, having a decent understanding of the product owner role is mandatory, therefore preparation and study are key. Participating in a training to learn, and to experience what Scrum is about, is always highly recommended.1.6 Product owner in agile software development The manifesto of agile software development does not specify anything about the Product Owner role. Therefore, it’s perfectly possible to have an agile team without a Product Owner.The manifesto for agile software development does state a few principles which illustrate how we want to work regarding product and value delivery, for example:“Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software;”“Welcome changing requirements, even late in development;”“Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale;”“Business people and developers must work together daily; ““Working software is the primary measure of progress;”You can interpret these principles as following, in what you should NOT be doing…Waste time & effort creating long-term plans, long cycle times, etc without actually delivery usable product increments to the end-users, …Waste time & effort on unnecessary specifications; unfinished product (“inventory”); or unvalidated requirements (which are assumptions in disguise), …Waste time & effort on unnecessary handovers between business people and development teams, …Waste time & effort on assuming what’s valuable for the end-users, and not verifying this by letting end-users try out working software and based upon their feedback, inspect & adapt, improve the product together, …Wasting time & effort in demanding upfront detailed estimates for unreasonable long periods (e.g. all estimates for the next year…)Wasting time & effort on detailed long-term planning, fixing agreements, treating change as evil, …1.7 Product owner in Scaling AgileLets first make the statement that you need to consider it twice before blindly scaling up any development efforts. In general, we are trying to deliver value by keeping things simple, simplify working processes, and collaborate to maximise effectiveness and customer satisfaction. In case you need to align several development teams to work together on the same product, take the following into account:A product has 1 product owner, this means in case of several teams developing on the same product, there’s 1 product ownerA product is defined as something meaningful and valuable for a customer or end-user, not a technical componentA product has 1 product backlog, as long the product lives, the product backlog existsA product owner can delegate areas of the product to other product owners, but take care to not have “proxy” product owners, with a mandate to decide. The ‘chief’ product owner remains accountable for overall prioritisation. Some scaling frameworks make a distinction between “product management” and “product ownership”, in any case ensure there’s alignment regarding product management, no conflict in priorities, and no unnecessary handovers of information.1.8 Who is accountable for the business value delivered by a Scrum team?The Product Owner is responsible for maximising the value. A Scrum Team collaborates to deliver value together. The Product Owner remains  accountable.1.9 What exactly is the role of the Product Owner during the Daily Scrum?The Product Owner is not required to attend the Daily Scrum. The Daily Scrum is an inspect & adapt time-boxed event for the development and performed by the development. This is defined in this way because otherwise the Daily Scrum will quickly be run as a status meeting (and not a daily planning event). Of course, the Product Owner can be present during the Daily Scrum, as it’s a great moment to check-in with a team, listen how a team is synchronising, ask and answer questions - after the Daily Scrum. The Product Owner, nor the Scrum Master should be leading the Daily Scrum. They can be present, but the Daily Scrum is an activity (‘Scrum’ metaphor of Rugby), for and by the development team. The Product Owner defines a sprint goal (a sprint is a time-boxed iteration to deliver a potentially shippable product increment); the Development Team inspects its progress on a daily basis towards that sprint goal, using the sprint backlog.1.10 What are certain anti-patterns regarding Product Owner?Some example anti-patterns regarding Product Owners; this can be used in an exercise to coach Product Owners. Ask what should be done to be the WORSE Product OwnerIdentify what’s actually being done of that listIdentify what should be STOPPED doing, in order to improveSome anti-patterns of Product Ownership Becoming a bottleneck in communication, so that’s there’s a delay in the flow of value between the development team, end-users, and stakeholders, …Taking decisions in isolation, so that the reason why decisions are taken are not known, nor understood, …Specifying technical solutions, and not articulating the business value, … (technical solutions are the responsibility of a development team)Pressuring the speed of delivery, resulting in less quality and inability to validate if value is being delivered, …Not listening to the product development team’s recommendations, not engaging in any healthy dialogue, …Not articulating the product’s vision, and/or strategy, resulting in development teams functioning as “feature factory”, without investigating what’s valuable and what’s not, …Inadequate product backlog management, resulting in unready items to plan, long inventory, unclear prioritisation, …Not accepting or rejecting work according to the definition of done, resulting in unclear standards of what’s a done product increment, …Not thinking how to delivery slices of value, forcing development teams to deliver components, instead of ready-to-use product increments, …Not facilitating a sprint reviewNot participating in any retrospectiveNot updating any forecast after finishing a sprintNot engaging with end-users / customers to get feedback etc2 What is the process to get a CSPO certificate?You can also follow the below steps to understand clearly.Find a Certified Scrum Product Owner course on the Scrum Alliance websiteRead and understand the Scrum GuideRead and understand the manifesto for agile software developmentRead and understand the learning objectives of a CSPO courseAttend the 2-day CSPO courseComplete the online CSPO exam, the fee is included in the course price. After completing the course, your Scrum Trainer will upload your user information into the system of Scrum Alliance, next you’ll receive an invite to do the online exam. Recommended books and material to read and further prepare:Articles by Roman Pichler,Book Product Mastery, by Geoff Watts,  Path forward after CSPO at Scrum AllianceCertification gives you access to a renewable, two-year membership with Scrum Alliance. As a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO™), you can continue your educational development to become an:Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO™)Certified Scrum Professional - Product Owner (CSP-PO™)Certified Team Coach (CTC™)Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC™) Certified Scrum Trainer (CST™)Remember, if you’re starting as Product Owner, the CSPO certification is only the start of your journey!ConclusionBeing a product owner is a satisfying job! You are the main spokesperson for the product. You act as a catalyst between the Development Team and the outside world. You take decisions to maximise product value while taking into account various constraints.
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Who Is a Cspo? - Roles and Responsibilities

1.1 What is a Product Owner?A Product Owner is a r... Read More

Essential Qualities of Highly Successful Scrum Masters

Scrum masters are servant leaders and coaches for Agile teams. They help the team in educating and ensuring whether Agile processes are being followed. Scrum Master helps in structuring a high-performing team dynamics, continuous flow, and relentless improvement.Scrum Master role is mainly one of a unique, Agile team member who spends much of his time helping other team members communicate, coordinate, and cooperate, generally he assists the team in meeting their delivery goals.When we talk about Scrum Masters, the basic roles and responsibilities include - being a Scrum Guide and a facilitator. And most importantly, being someone who removes impediments and shields the team from external interferences. Basically, a go-to person if any problem arises during Scrum implementations.Why do we put a Scrum Master in our teams?Scrum Master  is a mentor or a coach who makes sure that all the values, principles and procedures are followed properly. They take care of the team and help in removing impediments. A Scrum Master’s work follows basically the principle of self-organization and he/she also plays a mediator role which results in a balance in the work.The mediator role of a Scrum Master benefits in two ways. On the one hand, they are able to protect the team from an aggressive product owner who might have unrealistic demands. As a result, the team doesn’t fully commit to the work.On the other hand, the Scrum Master protects the team from complacency. This means that he or she is constantly encouraging them to learn better and also produce better results.What’s the added value of a Scrum Master?Scrum Master adds value to the Scrum team in several ways. Beyond the coaching and leadership roles, the Scrum Master plays a significant role in handling the administrative role as well, to check through whether the team has proper equipment and environment to perform their tasks. The Scrum Master also checks if all the requirements are up to the mark for meetings, where the open questions are asked, and deadlines are discussed.A Scrum Master ensures an effective communication among the different members of the project. And the team members share the information and knowledge with the client and make sure to follow a healthy environment and a better workflow.However, what makes you a highly successful Scrum Master? Just performing these basic roles and responsibilities? Of course not!Or If you are an HR hiring a Scrum Master, what would you look for in a highly successful Scrum Master?Let’s have a look at 5 essential qualities of highly successful Scrum Masters:1. A Great CoachScrum Masters are the ones who are most knowledgeable when it comes to the understanding of implementing Scrum Framework. It is very important that this Scrum knowledge flows through all levels within the organization.For the team to implement Scrum successfully., Scrum Masters must have strong coaching skills. They should be able to coach team members and explain the “what” to do, “how” to do, “why” to do within the process implementation. They should always work on the team’s motivation and growth.2. Servant LeaderServant leadership means putting other people before yourself. As the name implies- “Servant Leader”, is about the one who would like to serve. It’s not just about being a positional leader (a leader who leads because of higher position). Rather, it’s about being a servant for the team, helping them grow and assisting them in meeting their goals.You can learn more about “Servant Leadership - How To Put Your People Before Yourself”  in one of the articles by Forbes.3. Great Communicator & CollaboratorA large part of a Scrum Master’s job involves facilitating events and meetings. In order to do that, it’s very important that a Scrum Master is a great communicator as well as a collaborator.The person-Has to be a very good listenerNeeds to understand the project detailsShould be able to collaborate with team membersMust be able to communicate everything with Product OwnerHas to communicate and collaborate with StakeholdersShould be able to summarize everything to upper management, andMust be able to handle communication as well as collaboration in many different aspects of the project.4. Resolves ConflictsWe know that our Scrum teams comprise of different people. It is a cross-functional and self-organizing team. When people from different cultures, ideas, and working styles start collaborating and start working together, it’s very common to have conflicts. That is when a Scrum Master needs to jump in and resolve the conflicts as early as possible to keep the project going and the team working towards a common goal.5. Problem SolverThe basic responsibility of Scrum Master is to remove impediments. However, if the Scrum Masters themselves are problem solvers, this saves a lot of time. Instead of escalating the problem, they are able to solve it themselves.This is one of the most essential quality, a Scrum Master must have.A few more skills to masterWith respect to the above qualities, the Scrum Master should also have the following skills such as:Daily scrum, sprint planning, sprint demo are the responsibilities of a scrum master.Scrum master should be friendly and communicative, because when the team is moving fast in the process, communication is the effective force which holds the team together.A scrum master needs to forecast the numbers of deliverables can be done in iteration.A scrum master should be expert in estimation and planningHelp individual or team to clarify goals and actions in order to achieve them.Ability to ensure the correct use of scrum process.Ability to shield team from outside distractions and interferences.Have a look at the following Infographic for other qualities of Scrum Master:See where you land yourself with these qualities!Over the years, Scrum has found wide applications in cross-sectoral domains. Scrum masters are in high demand, as companies are increasingly looking for ways to get their projects completed and their products launched in a bid to capture a outsize market.According to LinkedIn’s “Most promising jobs of 2017,” job openings (by year over year growth) for Scrum masters is up 104%, and the career advancement score is 8 out of 10.To conclude, a Scrum Master is expected to perform many roles at one time. They should always balance their leadership, management, and technical skills to achieve their goals.
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