Scrum Master Resolutions (2016 Edition)

It is hard to believe 2015 is almost over and it’s even harder for me to believe that this blog has been around long enough to have a Scrum Master resolution post for the 5th year in a row. In case you’ve missed any of them here are the four earlier New Year resolution posts.


If there is a theme for the resolutions this year it would be “evolving the role.” Having been involved with many organizations as they attempt to improve and transform I am recognizing how much more is required from all roles, but especially Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches.

The call to all of you heading into the new year is to challenge traditional beliefs with what you think is possible with your role and recognize the opportunity you have in becoming a catalyst for change – regardless of how complex or “broken” your organization has become.

Hopefully, the 3 resolutions for 2016 will be enough to get you started on your journey but there will be much more to come from Illustrated Agile throughout the year.

Look harder. Your team, leaders, and organization is revealing important details about what is needed from the role of Scrum Master (and it may not be a fancy framework or a few Agile buzzwords, tools and ceremonies). Observing takes real practice and journaling is an important way to help improve this trait. Check out the note below to see how you can get a worksheet I have used to help Scrum Masters begin to capture their observations about what they are see and sensing. My most commonly used question when coaching a Scrum Master is “What are you sensing?”

Find more time to think. Take what you are observing and carve out quality time to think…just think. Ask yourself challenging questions. Why is this happening? Why is it really happening? What are all my senses telling me about the situation? What is the system telling me?

Last year we resolved to slow down and allow imperfections to emerge. This year, resolve to create time and space to add a dose of critical thinking to your role.

Hopefully, this quote from Leandro Herrero will inspire you (as it did me):

Critical thinking has wonderful unintended consequences: being humble is one. Free from the heavy load and duty of being always right, a burden that the uncritical thinker tends to bear, the critical one is agile and nimble.

Increase bravery. You’ve sensed what the system is telling you. You’ve given yourself the space to pause and think. Now it’s time to strengthen your resolve to become a catalyst for change. Be vocal. Be a friend. Be a spark. Be a raging fire. Be encouraging. Be strong. Be open to new possibilities. Everyday, ask how you can instigate change in your company culture…otherwise, the culture is slowly changing you.

Have an awesome 2016 everyone! Be brave. Len

For a limited time, get a digital copy of the book “Becoming a Catalyst: Scrum Master Edition” for free when you subscribe to the blog. You will also receive the Becoming a Catalyst Companion Worksheet to help develop the 8 traits of a Catalyst Scrum Master explained in the book.

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

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5 thoughts on “Scrum Master Resolutions (2016 Edition)

  1. Thanks for the article, how do you get the worksheet to becoming a catalyst if you are already subscribed to your blog? I already have the book, but would love to see the worksheet. Thanks!