How to Capture Scrum Master Feedback

As a part of the Scrum Master Performance Review series of posts, an emphasis was placed on obtaining feedback for the Scrum Masters reporting to you. Step 5 focused on receiving feedback from the product owner while step 6 focused on gathering feedback from members of the team.

In the past, I have used a set of questions to help foster the conversation. I would typically ask all of the product owners and a sample group of team members a subset or variation of the questions listed below.

Before reviewing these questions, I would like to reiterate a couple of key points:

Make asking for feedback a part of normal conversation. While it may be necessary in your organization to capture feedback in a formal setting, find ways to leverage informal venues and settings. This is often a more powerful approach than a questionnaire or survey. Take a product owner or team member out for a coffee to gain their perspective on team dynamics and use a few of the questions below as a conversation starter.

See for yourself. Take the time to observe a Scrum Master in action first hand. This will help you understand the true purpose and impact of the role and to begin to empathize with the Scrum Masters current situation. Here are a few posts to help you know what to look for: 3 Things to Observe in a Sprint Review, A Manager Guide to Attend Agile Team Events.

Build triads. Ask the individual providing feedback to speak directly to the Scrum Master. This is especially true when good things are happening. Developing this habit of openly sharing with each other is a powerful sign of the strength of the culture. The encouragement could be just what your Scrum Master needs as well.

Check yourself. If are an actual Scrum Master, use a few of these questions to periodically self-assess your own growth and impact in the role. Perhaps you can use these questions to start a conversation with your manager to develop areas for improvement and coaching.

Now, on to the questions. Like the Scrum Master Interview Questions and the Scrum Master Performance Review posts, each section aligns to the Role of the Scrum Master diagram.

SHAPE TEAM EXPERIENCES
Do your sprint ceremonies feel effective and worthwhile or is the team just “going through the motions?”

Is every voice on the team heard? Does everyone participate and engage?

If your team has remote members, are they fully integrated and connected to the team?

Do the roles on your team work together or are your sprints “mini-waterfalls”?

Does your team generally have a celebratory feel to it?

On a scale of 1-10, how would describe the relationships on your team?
1 – Dysfunctional, broken  5 – Normal, friendly  10 – Very close, strong bonds

RADIATE INFORMATION
Are your task walls well-organized, effective, and emitting a sense of constant movement and activity?

Is your team actively updating and sharing progress indicators (i.e. burn-down, burn-up, cumulative flow charts)?

On a scale of 1-10, rate the effectiveness of your task wall and progress indicators.
1 – Non-existent  5 – Good information but not being used  10 – Well-organized and very useful

FOSTER TEAM HEALTH
Does your team have a sense of self-healing and are able to resolve their own internal team issues?

If so, share an example of how the team recently self-healed.

Does your team pull together to resolve issues or challenging tasks?

On a scale of 1-10, rate the effectiveness of the team retrospectives.
1 – Not happening  5 – Somewhat effective (driving internal team change)  10 – Very effective (driving organizational change)

MAINTAIN FLOW
How frequently does your team have stories carry over to the next sprint? Is this a problem?

Does your team need to consistently perform “heroic” efforts to live into sprint forecasts/commitments?

When frequently does you team deploy or deliver product actual users/customers?

How well does the team thrive when the product backlog changes or priorities shift?

On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with the ability of your Scrum Master to coach and facilitate your team into a state of flow.
1 – Not at all satisfied  5 – Somewhat satisfied  10 – Extremely satisfied

CHANGE YOUR COMMUNITY
Are retrospective items emerging from the team helping to drive broader organization improvement? If so, how?

How well is the Scrum Master working with other teams to coordinate dependencies and reduce friction?

On a scale of 1-10, how much influence does your Scrum Master have in driving organizational improvement and positive culture change.
1 – Negligible  5 – Average  10 – Powerhouse

REMOVE IMPEDIMENTS
Are there lingering impediments or dysfunctions keeping your team from being in flow? If so, what are they?

Is your Scrum Master providing the necessary energy level to effectively remove team and organizational impediments?

On a scale of 1-10, rate your Scrum Masters effectiveness at relentlessly removing impediments.
1 – Not effective  5 – Somewhat effective  10 – Very effective

OVERALL
Are you proud of how your Scrum Master has been able to help coach and facilitate your team to greater agility?

On a scale of 1 -10, rate your overall team productivity.
1 – Very low  5 – Average  10 – Extremely productive

On a scale of 1 -10, rate your overall happiness with your product and team.
1 – Miserable  5 – OK  10 – Ecstatic

Feel free to add your suggestions below!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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