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Scrum Master Articles

Welcome to our Scrum Master articles library, check out our articles on Scrum & Agile to support you with your journey.

A member of the scrum team does not want to participate in planning. How do you deal with that?

A member of the scrum team does not want to participate in planning. How do you deal with that? Welc…

How do you help pick good user stories for the scrum team to include in sprint planning?

How do you help pick good user stories for the scrum team to include in sprint planning? Welcome to …

Should the scrum team be involved in the product discovery process. If so, why?

Should the scrum team be involved in the product discovery process. If so, why? Welcome to part 10 i…

How would you determine the success of agile within your organization?

How would you determine the success of agile within your organization? Welcome to part 9 in our scru…

A product owner assigns specific user stories to specific team members. How do you react?

A product owner assigns specific user stories to specific team members. How do you react? Welcome to…

How much capacity would you consider to refactor, fix important bugs, explore new technologies and ideas?

How much capacity would you consider to refactor, fix important bugs, explore new technologies and i…

Your product owner has pushed to include a user story in the upcoming sprint, but the design is not yet finalised. How do you react?

Your product owner has pushed to include a user story in the upcoming sprint, but the design is not …

What is a definition of ready?

What is a definition of ready? Welcome to part 5 of our scrum master interview questions series wher…

Is velocity a good proxy for productivity?

Is velocity a good proxy for productivity? Welcome to part 4 in our scrum master interview questions…

The product backlog has over 200 items. Is this acceptable?

The product backlog has over 200 items. Is this acceptable? Welcome to part 3 in our scrum master in…

What are the most common reasons for a scrum team failing to meet their commitments?

What are the most common reasons for a scrum team failing to meet their commitments? Welcome to part…

What do you consider to be the most important scrum event and why?

What do you consider to be the most important scrum event and why? Welcome to part 1 of our scrum ma…

What is a spike?

What is a spike? Welcome to part 18 in our Agile coach interview questions series where John McFadye…

What is sprint zero?

What is sprint zero? Welcome to part 17 in our agile coach interview questions series where John McF…

What is ScrumBan and why is it a popular option for agile teams?

What is ScrumBan and why is it a popular option for agile teams? Welcome to part 16 of our agile coa…

How does an Agile coach help create a highly motivated, self-organising team?

How does an Agile coach help create a highly motivated, self-organising team? Welcome to part 15 in …

What are the differences between coaching and mentoring?

What are the differences between coaching and mentoring? Welcome to part 14 of our agile coach inter…

What is Agile coaching?

What is Agile coaching? Welcome to part 13 in our Agile coach interview questions series where John …

Why do organizations and teams need an agile coach?

Why do organizations and teams need an agile coach? Welcome to part 12 of our agile coach interview …

What role does management play during the Agile transition?

What role does management play during the Agile transition? Welcome to part 11 in our agile coach in…

What types of strategies have worked well for Agile transformations?

What types of strategies have worked well for an Agile transformation? Welcome to part 10 of our Agi…

What are the top 5 challenges when transitioning to Agile?

What are the top 5 challenges when transitioning to Agile? Welcome to part 9 of our agile coach inte…

Why should an organization adopt an agile way of working?

Why should an organization adopt an agile way of working? Welcome to part 8 of our agile coach inter…

How would you, as an Agile coach, manage overlapping iterations?

How would you, as an Agile coach, manage overlapping iterations? Welcome to part 7 in our agile coac…

How would you assist a team member exposed to Agile for the first time?

How would you assist a team member exposed to Agile for the first time? Welcome to part 6 in our Agi…

How would you deal with a team that resist the Agile methodology?

How would you deal with a team that resist the Agile methodology? Welcome to part 5 in our agile coa…

What is the hardest part of managing an Agile transformation?

What is the hardest part of managing an Agile transformation? Welcome to part 4 of our agile coach i…

What do you do if your scrum team hate retrospectives and devolve into blaming one another?

What do you do if your scrum team hate retrospectives and devolve into blaming one another? Welcome …

How does an Agile coach manage changing requirements in the middle of product development?

How does an Agile coach manage changing requirements in the middle of product development? As part o…

Which agile processes have you used in the past and which ones do you find most effective?

Which agile processes have you used in the past and which ones do you find most effective? This is a…

How does an Agile coach go about choosing the length of a sprint?

How does an Agile coach go about choosing the length of a sprint? They don’t. It isn’t their job. Th…

What exercise do you recommend scrum teams to run in a sprint review?

What exercise do you recommend scrum teams to run in a sprint review? I don’t recommend that they ru…

How much of a role should an Agile coach play in a sprint review?

How much of a role should an Agile coach play in a sprint review? It depends. I would start by first…

What are the common mistakes you see in sprint reviews?

What are the common mistakes you see in sprint reviews? The sprint review is a great opportunity for…

How do you help your team improve their sprint review presentation?

How do you help your team improve their sprint review presentation? In my opinion, you should get ri…

What do you do when your sprint review has negative feedback from stakeholders?

What do you do when your sprint review has negative feedback from stakeholders? What do you mean by …

How does an Agile coach approach sprint review planning?

How does an Agile coach approach sprint review planning? Does the Agile coach need to be there? I wo…

What is your biggest regret as an agile coach?

What is your biggest regret as an agile coach? I’m not somebody that believes in regret. Professiona…

How do you earn trust from a new team when you are a contract agile coach?

How do you earn trust from a new team when you are a contract agile coach? So, the contract element …

What is the ‘go to’ exercise for a sprint retrospective?

What is the ‘go to’ exercise for a sprint retrospective? It used to be ‘Mad | Sad | Glad’. Many moon…

What are the 3 things that trip you up as an Agile coach?

What are the 3 things that generally trip you up as an Agile coach? This is an interesting one. Ther…

How do you sell a concept to a team and a client as an Agile coach?

How do you sell a concept to a team and a client as an Agile coach? Your first step is to stop think…

What is the one thing you must do before starting any engagement as an agile coach?

What is the one thing you must do before starting any engagement as an agile coach? It’s contract. I…

One thing I know now, as an Agile coach, that I wish I knew when I started out.

One thing I know now, as an Agile coach, that I wish I knew when I started out. That is a tricky one…

Agile coaching myth 5: You need an Agile coach.

Agile coaching myth 5: You need an Agile coach. I used to think this was true. Maybe that was my ego…

Agile coaching myth 4: It takes a long time to see results from agile coaching

Agile coaching myth 4: It takes a long time to see results from agile coaching This is an interestin…

Agile coaching myth 3: All teams are coachable.

Agile coaching myth 3: All teams are coachable. This is an interesting one. It’s something that I ha…

Agile Coaching myth 2: The Agile Coach needs to be an expert in all agile frameworks

Agile Coaching myth 2: The Agile Coach needs to be an expert in all agile frameworks This is one of …

The Definitive Guide to Scrum Training

Why take Scrum training? Scrum may appear simple at first, but it is deceptively difficult to do wel…

Agile Coaching Myth 1: Coaching is only for teams that have problems.

Agile Coaching Myth 1: Coaching is only for teams that have problems. All teams have problems and op…

What would an Agile coach consider as important metrics to measure?

What would an Agile coach consider as important metrics to measure? I’m going to put my consultant h…

How does an Agile coach gain buy in for a pilot project from leaders within the organization
How does an Agile coach gain buy in for a pilot project from leaders within the organization?

How does an Agile coach gain buy in for a pilot project from leaders within the organization? I’m go…

How does an agile coach facilitate sprint planning?

How does an agile coach facilitate sprint planning? This answer may be a bit different to how a scru…

How do I deal with sabotage from an individual in the scrum team?

How do I deal with sabotage from an individual in the scrum team? My first piece of advice to you is…

What is the most valuable communication tip you have for Scrum Masters?

What is the most valuable communication tip you have for Scrum Masters? In a nutshell, simply be cur…

I can’t get senior leadership to buy into a proposal. What am I doing wrong?

I can’t get senior leadership to buy into a proposal. What am I doing wrong? Possibly, you’re doing …

scrum project success
We have set up a scrum pilot project. How do I make sure it is a success?

We have set up a scrum pilot project. How do I make sure it’s a success? That is an interesting ques…

Not everyone on the team supports the decision to do scrum. How do I resolve that conflict?

Not everyone on the team supports the decision to do scrum. How do I resolve that conflict? That is …

Our scrum team are battling to self-organise . How do I help them?

Our scrum team are battling to self-organise. How do I help them? What you need to do is understand …

How do I help developers work closer with customers?

How do I help our developers work closer with customers? A part of me wants to say that scrum master…

I am a scrum master and we have just hired an agile coach. How do I help them?

I’m a scrum master and we’ve just hired an agile coach. How do I work with them? It depends. First a…

I’ve just qualified as a scrum master and our team are going to do scrum. What do I do?

I’ve just qualified as a scrum master and our team are going to do scrum. What do I do? Congra…

What does a scrum master do if the team simply can’t get the job done?

What does a scrum master do if the team simply can’t get the job done? It depends on what we m…

How does a scrum master create and nurture motivation in a scrum team?

How does a scrum master create and nurture motivation in a scrum team? I’m not sure if scrum masters…

What is your favourite scrum event and why?

What is your favourite scrum event and why? If you know me at all, it’s the sprint retrospective. I …

Can you walk us through the 2nd Agile principle and why it is so important?

Can you walk us through the 2nd Agile principle and why it is so important? Let’s start off by expla…

How does a Scrum Master heal a toxic team environment?

How does a Scrum Master heal a toxic team environment? The short answer is that they don’t. Yes, the…

Does a scrum master help identify what skills are needed and if so, how?

Does a scrum master help identify what skills are needed and if so, how? That’s a bit of a tricky qu…

What is an increment in Scrum and how do you measure its success?

What is an increment in Scrum and how do you measure its success? The increment is the thing you are…

Is the scrum master active during the sprint?

Is the scrum master active during the sprint? That’s put a smile on my face. I’ve got an image of a …

Why is there no project manager in Scrum?

Why is there no project manager in Scrum? The short answer is that it simply isn’t needed. Project m…

What soft skills does a Scrum Master need?

What soft skills does a Scrum Master need? Soft skills are an interesting one. I remember going thro…

What are good OKRs for a Scrum Master?

What are good OKRs for a Scrum Master? So, OKRs stands for Objectives and Key Results. It is a goal …

What is the difference between a sprint review and a sprint retrospective?

What is the difference between a sprint review and a sprint retrospective? In the scrum framework, a…

What are your top tips for facilitating a great sprint retrospective and why?

What are your top tips for facilitating a great sprint retrospective and why? A sprint retrospective…

Who does a scrum master usually report to or answer to?

Who does a scrum master usually report to or answer to? There is a big difference between where scru…

How does a Scrum Master help instil Agile values and principles in a Scrum Team?

How does a Scrum Master help instil Agile values and principles in a Scrum Team? That’s a huge quest…

What does a seasoned and experienced scrum master do differently to a newbie scrum master?

What does a seasoned and experienced scrum master do differently to a newbie scrum master? That’s an…

What are some of the most useful metrics for a scrum master to measure and why?

What are some of the most useful metrics for a scrum master to measure and why? When I’m asked this …

How does a scrum master help with continuous excellence in a scrum team?

How does a scrum master help with continuous excellence in a scrum team? Contributing to continuing …

What are the scrum values and why do they matter?

What are the scrum values and why do they matter? In addition to the Agile values and principles as …

What would be an example of a poorly performing team and why?

What would be an example of a poorly performing team and why? If you look at a lot of textbooks or a…

What was one of your most rewarding days as a scrum master and why?

I could speak to the teams I’ve worked with, the individuals I’ve worked with and the aspiring Agile…

What does a great team look like and what sets it apart from average teams?

If you’ve got homogenous teams where everybody looks the same, sounds the same, and thinks the same,…

Why is a product vision so important and how do you help a product owner craft one?

In a scrum team, a product owner is responsible for crafting a product vision that inspires the deve…

What 3 books would you recommend to help me understand product ownership?

As a scrum master, you work in service of the development team and the product owner. To do so effec…

How do I nurture and develop coaching skills?

In an agile environment such as a scrum team, a scrum master acts as both the glue that binds the te…

What are some of the challenges I will face when working with a project manager?

In most cases, adopting scrum or a large scale scrum framework involves an integration of the old wa…

How do I earn the development team’s trust?

In a scrum team, you have 3 roles. The scrum master, the product owner and the developers or develop…

What are some of the challenges I will face in facilitation and how do I overcome them?

There are many challenges that you will face when it comes to facilitating meetings and scrum events…

What are 3 things I should do on day one as a scrum master?

In my experience, there’s a great formula you can follow regardless of whether it’s your first day a…

Why is it so difficult to estimate time in product development?

In traditional waterfall style project management, a project manager will work with project stakehol…

Is it a good idea to swap scrum masters and teams occasionally?

Yes, it is a good idea. Responding to Change or Loss We don’t want to make those kinds of changes to…

What was your personal definition of success as a scrum master?

It’s something that evolved over time. In the beginning, my definition of success was that the team …

What are 3 great tools for a scrum master and why?

Any craftsman needs a great set of tools and resources to get the job done well. A scrum master is n…

How does a scrum master facilitate backlog refinement?

Ideally, a scrum master doesn’t need to be in a backlog refinement meeting at all. In a mature scrum…

What was your worst day as a Scrum Master and why?

I don’t generally have bad days, nor do I take things personally enough to consider certain days har…

What are 3 key responsibilities of a scrum master?

If you look at the scrum guide, it’s very clear. They are there to coach the organisation in the ado…

Who coaches and mentors the scrum master?

In my experience, most scrum masters don’t have coaches, agile coaches, or mentors. It’s a pity. It’…

On-demand Scrum Master Preparation Exams

For many, the Certified ScrumMaster® or Professional Scrum Master™ exam is the most nerve-wracking a…

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