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Scrum Masters: Practice What You Preach

Scrum Masters; it's super important to take time to reflect on your own sprints.

Sometimes, as a Scrum Master, it’s easy to facilitate and preach about the importance of retrospectives, planning, refinement, prioritisation etc, as well as things such as the importance of getting the team to be open and honest with themselves and each other, about ways of workingand agree on how they can move things forward...It’s easy to push your team to focus on the sprint backlog and say “NO” to JFDI’s from around the business, but how often do we stop and take time to look back and challenge ourselves on our Agile Mindset?

How often do you take time to reflect, review and prioritise your Scrum Master backlog?

After two months in my new team, I found myself with all these amazing thoughts and ideas about how to move the squad, the tribe, and the organisation to the next level.I knew what my high-level goals were. I had been in place enough time to notice where the quick fixes vs. bigger long term wins where, and I knew what I would tackle first.

In my head, I had worked through a vision for my scrum teams, but I also saw where their limit was... It wasn’t due to themselves, but due to things like policies, dependencies, and business metrics.This is where my ideas lay. All big bold ideas, pushing the boundaries, challenging the “norm” everything that would enable scrum teams to go from good to bloody amazing.

I didn’t see it straight away, but over a couple of weeks I started to feel a little overwhelmed. I had so much I wanted to do - I started conversations about all of them, bouncing ideas about to sense-check and validate my thinking.

Big picture, visionary stuff is what I am good at. Telling a story and selling a vision. The finer detail is something I struggle with - so moving my vision to reality is what started to get on top of me. It took me 3 weeks to realise I needed to practice what I was preaching.

I blocked out some time to do exactly that:

  1. Take a day out.
  2. Do a reflective retrospective.
  3. Create a Backlog.
  4. Do a little capacity-planning exercise.
  5. Do my own sprint planning.

Now my visions are EPICs, my Ideas are User Stories, and my plan is in a prioritised backlog - ready to be focused on & delivered in manageable pieces.If you're a Scrum Master, make sure you live and breath the tools and principles that you teach.Enjoyed this blog post? It is also available in our signature comic strip style for easy reading and sharing. View and download the pdf here.

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