What responsibilities did the Scrum Master assume for the team?
What was the SM role in Scrum events?
How did the SM mentor/ coach/ teach?
Are there any recent improvements/ teachings that the SM has been implementing?
To the organisation
What was the SM relationship like with the wider organisation?
What were the improvements the SM was heading up across the business? What were the recent successes/ failures?
In a scaled Scrum environment
What is the SM relationship with other SMs and teams?
Are there any further assumed responsibilities towards other teams?
Relationship with Your Manager
Five Conversations (1, page 93-4)
The situational diagnosis conversation
How did the organisation reach this point?
What factors make this situation a challenge?
What resources within the organisation can you draw on?
The expectations conversation
What does your new boss need you to do in the short term and in the medium term?
What will contitute success?
How will your performance be measured?
The resource conversation
What do you need to be successful?
What do you need your boss to do?
Not just people/ equipment, but support for change in the organisation
The style conversation
How you and your new boss can best interact on an ongoing basiss
Medium and how often
The personal development conversation (a few months into your new role)
How you are doing and what your development priorities should be
What to focus on
Early wins evaluation tool (1, page 129)
Use the resulting score from the below table to compare candidates for early wins.
Not at all
To a small extent
To a significant extent
To a great extent
Does the focal point offer an opportunity to make a substantial improvement in the performance of your unit?
Is this improvement achievable in a reasonably short time with available resources?
Would success also help lay the foundation for achieving agreed-to-business goals?
Will the process used to achieve the win help you make needed changes in behaviour in the organisation?
FOGLAMP Project Checklist (1, page 131)
Tool to help you cut through the haze and plan your critical projects
FOCUS: What is the focus for this project?
OVERSIGHT: How will you oversee this project? Who else should participate to help you get buy-in for implementing results?
GOALS: What are the goals and intermediate milestones and time frames for achieving them?
LEADERSHIP: What will lead the project? What training, if any, do they need to be successful?
ABILITIES: What mix of skills and representation needs to be included? Who needs to be included because of their skills?
MEANS: What additional resources, such a facilitation, does the team need to be successful?
PROCESS: Are there change models or structured processes you want the team to use? How will they become familiar with this approach?
Team decision making (1, page 193)
If the decision is likely to be highly devisive (creating winners and losers) you need to take the heat
If your team are inexperienced as build consensus is unlikely to work and you risk imposing a decision anyway
If you need to establish your authority (do not use once you are established)
If the decision requires energetic support for implementation from people whose performance you cannot adequately observe and control
Framing arguments (1, page 214 – 5)
Framing means carefully crafting your persuasive arguments on a person-by-person basis
Logos – data and reasoned arguments
What data or analysis might they find persuasive?What logic(s) might appeal to them?Are there biases to which they are falling prey and, if so, how might you demonstrate this?
Ethos – principles, policies, and other ‘rules’
Are tehre principles or policies that they could be convinced should operate here?If you are asking them to act counter to a princple or policy, can you help them justify making an exception?
Pathos – emotions and meaning
Are there emotional ‘triggers’ for example loyalty or contribution to the common good, to which you could appeal?Can you help them create a sense of meaning by supporting or opposing a cause?If they are reacting too emotionally, can you help them step back and get perspective?
Guidelines for Structures Self-reflection (1, page 223)
On a scale of high to low, do you feel:
Excited? If not, why not? What can you do about it?
Confident? If not, why not? What can you do about it?
In control of your success? If not, why now? What can you do about it?
What has bothered you so far?
With whom have you failed to connect? Why?
Of the meetings you’ve attended, which has been the most troubling? Why?
Of all that you’ve seen or heard, what has disturbed you most? Why?
What has gone well or poorly?
Which interactions would you handle differently if you could? Which exceeded your expectations? Why?
Which of your decisions have turned out particularly well? Not so well? Why?
What missed opportunities do you regret the most? Was a better result blocked primarily by you, or by something beyond your control?
Potentially Dysfunctional Behaviours
Action imperative (1, page 48)
when you feel too anxious or too busy to devote time to learning, and feel pressure to ‘do’
Leads to a death spiral
Don’t learn – make a poor decision and undermine your credibility – alienate people – they don’t share info with you – start the loop again
Undefended boundaries (1, page 224)
Fail to establish what you are willing and not willing to do. People will take whatever you have to give
The more you give, the less they will respect you and the more they will ask of you – another vicious cycle
If you cannot establish boundaries for yourself, you cannot expect others to do it for you
Brittleness (1, page 224)
Rigidity and defensiveness, resulting in overcommiting to failing courses of action
Finding it hard to admit you were wrong
Isolation (1, page 224)
Not taking time to make the right connections, perhaps overrelying on a few people or on official information
Work avoidance (1, page 224)
Choosing to delay work/ decisions by burying yourself in other work or fool yourself into believing that the time isn’t ripe to make the call
Avoiding taking the bull by the horns, resulting in the tough problems becoming even tougher
Are there any unspoken hierarchies, e.g. an assumed leader?
MUST – The team has all the skills necessary to create value each Sprint (3)
Are the skills siloed into specialisms, or are the team members multi-skilled (or T-shaped)?
Evaluating Group’s Skill Bases (2, page 162)
Four types of knowledge
Individual expertise: gained through training, education, and experience
Relational knowledge: An understanding of how to work together to integrate individual knowledge to achieve specified goals
Embedded knowledge: The core technologies on which your group’s performance depends, such as customer databases or R&D technologies
Metaknowledge: The awareness of where to go to get critical information
Do they decide what is developed?
Do they decide who does the development?
Do they decide how to build an increment?
What are they responsible for in terms of product development?
Are they held accountable for creating an increment?
Team Working Agreements
How do they like to communicate day to day?
Do they have any information radiators to aid their communication?
What are the understood response times for communications internally and externally?
Do they socialise away from work?
What is the energy of the team?
Is there overtime? Is it acceptable/ expected?
Evaluating Individuals (2, page 171)
Consider these six criteria
Competence: Does this person have the techincal competence and experience to do the job effectively?
Judgment: Does this person exercise good judgment, especially under pressure or when faced with making sacrifices for the greater good?
Energy: Does this team member bring the right kind of energy to the job, or is she burned out or disengaged?
Focus: Is this person capable of setting priorities and sticking to them, or prone to riding off in all directions?
Relationships: Does this individual get along with others on the team and support collective decision making, or is he difficult to work with?
Trust: Can you trust this person to keep her word and follow through on commitments?
Problematic behaviour patterns (2, page 120)
The group can’t clearly define its priorities, or has too many. Resources are spread too thin, leading to frequent crises and firefighting. People are rewarded for their ability to put out fires, not for devising enduring solutions.
People exhibit great variation in their levels of performance. Employees don’t understand the negative consequences of inconsistency. People make excuses when they fail to make commitments.
The group uses internal benchmarks to measure performance. Improvements in products and processes unfold slowly and incrementally. Employees are rewarded for maintaining stable performance, not for pushing the envelope.
Team members compete with one another and protect turf rather than work together to achieve collective goals. People are rewarded for creating fiefdoms.
Sense of urgency
Teams members ignore the needs of external and internal customers. Complacency reigns, revealed in beliefs such as ‘We’re the best and always have been’ and ‘It doesn’t matter if we respond immediately’