Sunday, February 18, 2018

Top 10 Challenges faced by the scrum master | Supreme Agile

תמונה קשורה
The Role of the Scrum Master (SM) is very challenging. SM responsibilities include Coaching, Training and facilitating both Agile practices and Spirits.  In this article, I will review some of the challenges faced by the Scrum Master during his day-to-day activities.

Challenge 1 – No Authority

The first thing that we need to remember is that the SM is the facilitator of the team. However, with that being said, the SM does not have any authority as we would expect to see for such important role. In fact, the Scrum Master can be any member of the team. He is a person who has a good understanding of the Scrum Framework and is a good facilitator.

Challenge 2 – Time-Boxing

I think that any SM will agree, keeping the Scrum activities under a defined time limit is just one of those annoying tasks that no one likes to do. As the team SM, it is our job to ensure that the specific Scrum activates timing is kept. We need to limit the time slippage to a minimum.  

Challenge 3 – Role Definition

There is a Hugh challenge explaining the role of the Scrum Master (incl. scope expectations, activities, and responsibilities). I often see lots of misunderstands that arise. This is because some stakeholders in the process do not really understand what they can expect from this role, its importance within the organization and particularly to the team.

Challenge 4 – Management Expectations

There is always a gap between management expectations (relies on old management habits) and new practices that come from an Agile transition.

This makes the life of the Scrum Master really challenging as he needs to protect the team (Especially in the earlier phases of the implementation), while at the same time allowing senior management to take part in the process. 

Challenge 5 – Managing Conflicts

The Scrum Master has the responsibility of managing internal conflicts within the Scrum team and sometimes external conflicts that arise from external stakeholders. It is expected that the SM also have the skill to deal and resolve personal issues that may occur.  

Challenge 6 – Building the team

One of the main Objectives of the Scrum Master is to assist his team to become “Self-Organized/sufficient”. This can be the difference between a successful team and a complete failure. So how challenging is this task? Well, extremely, just think about a group of people that sometimes have personal issues with one another. It is the Scrum Master’s responsibility to assist them to become a coherent, dedicated, goal-oriented team. 

Challenge 7 – Collaboration

As part of the day-to-day activities, the Scrum Master needs to ensure that there is a productive collaboration among the relevant stakeholders. This is especially important between the team and the product owner. This can become increasingly challenging when the Product Owner (PO) is not responsive to the team questions or when decisions are made by the PO without consulting the team. 

Challenge 8 – Leader of change

When it comes to Agile transitions, the Scrum Master is the change agent in the organization and should take the lead role in making the change a reality. This is a massive challenge, especially when the organization is still not ready to embrace the change and to adopt the new practices.  Remember: making a small change is hard enough, but changing the way of work, state of mind and culture of an organization is a completely different story.  

Challenge 9 – Continues Growth

I think that it is a positive challenge that I love to use as an example in my lectures regarding why the SM role is so challenging. This role possesses the responsibility to always learn new ways to improve the personal skills that will be reflected in more efficient and productive way for the organization. For me, more studies that involve both theoretical and practical practices is the key to grow within this role. 

Challenge 10 – Gaining Respect

To be able to be a real servant leader of the team and to be able to lead without authority the Scrum Master has one major challenge and that’s to gain the respect of the teammates. This is the main reason that the best Scrum Masters are the ones chosen by the team and not by the organization. 

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