I’m a New Scrum Master. What Should I do First?

Two people sitting at a table having a conversation

First of all, welcome to the club! As a new Scrum Master, you have a lot of hard – yet rewarding – work ahead of you.

Now, to get to your question: The first thing you’ll need to do as a new Scrum Master is meet with everyone. Your team, the stakeholders, and anyone in management who may try to interfere with your team’s work.

You need to find out how well your team (and everyone else in the organization) understands Agile and Scrum so that you can identify any misconceptions, anti-patterns, or other issues

Your Team Comes First

Unfortunately, there are lots of misinterpretations of Scrum out there. You need to find out right away if your team is working from any of those.

More likely than not, they will be. And that’s okay! As the Scrum Master, it’s your job to guide your team in growing their agility using Scrum.

So, ask folks what they know about the different accountabilities and how a Sprint works. Ask them what they think it means to be a “self-managed team” and other questions about their day-to-day work.

From there, you can establish a common approach to Agile for your team and get everyone on the same page.

This will likely take more than one meeting. But, every member of a team needs to be on-board with Agile in order to deliver at a higher level.

And, as a new Scrum Master, it’s up to you to coach the team through their Agile transition. Try using games to boost self-reflection. Build trust to help foster openness. Help the team learn to hold each other accountable.

Next: Talk to Stakeholders and Management

Once you have an idea of how your team is already doing Scrum (or at least their version of it), you can talk to others in the organization.

Just like your team, the Stakeholders and management might be working from some misinterpretations of Agile and Scrum. Find out what the story is and make a plan to address any issues that come up.

You may have to reiterate the value of Scrum and Agile development to the stakeholders and to management. Like I said above, everyone needs to be on-board for Scrum to make a difference in an organization.

Through all of these interactions, remember that you are a servant leader. Your purpose is to guide and serve the team so that they can deliver value.

Now, get out there and get to work.

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