At the beginning of each of the past three years, I have compiled a small list of resolutions for Scrum Masters to consider for their own personal development journey for the upcoming year. It’s hard to believe 3 years have gone by already – time is flying. You can read the resolutions from the past at these links:
The suggestions this year come from direct involvement or observations with agile teams I have worked with during 2014. So here they are, the 2015 resolutions for all of my amazing Scrum Masters friends out there. We are all works in progress!
Slow down (to speed up). By this, I mean you, dear Scrum Master. Far too often, I find Scrum Masters demoralized, burned-out, stressed or unappreciated. There are many reasons for this including typical organizational pressures to deliver results at any cost but for now, we can only start with you. Resolve to take a breath from time to time and allow things to just happen. Allow for a bit of chaos. Allow for a few experiments and “failures.” Besides, when everything is perfect, nothing happens.
By slowing down and becoming more mindful, you will find yourself with the time and space to enjoy the deep responsibility you have been given as a Scrum Master. The opportunity to help guide an organization (or your team) to become connected, resilient, and productive will require a healthy and vibrant you.
Let go (to gain more). This is a hard one as it is always hard to intentionally let go of control, especially if you are accustomed to having it as a project manager. I touched on this with the resolutions from last year but I still feel this is an area for many Scrum Masters to grow. Resolve this year to continue to identify areas to reduce the teams dependence on yourself so others can shine. While this doesn’t feel intuitive (or like a good deal), the feeling you will receive while serving your team and watching them produce will be worth it.
Focus on experiences (not just process). While ensuring the mechanics of agile are properly adhered to may feel important (and at times, they are), ask yourself if the team is stronger and better because of it. Many teams become frustrated with an agile implementation when things feel dictatorial – sometimes feeling worse than before attempting agile. Resolve this year to design and shape every team ceremony and activity into a positive and memorable experience. Shameless plug…my book, Becoming a Catalyst: Scrum Master Edition, covers many examples of how to do this.
Have a fantastic 2015 and as always, contact me if you need anything.