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The Scrum Master’s guide through (almost) galaxy

I have been using this checklist for years and will work with it until the day I retire. It has grown and changed and it will continue to change.

Checklist for Scrum Master

Why a checklist at all

To me it is important to know if I haven’t lost my focus somewhere on the path and in the turmoil of everyday’s (work) life. In order to achieve this check, I deliberately answer the questions in this list. And yes - this list is not religiously. There is no raised index finger and no reference to the Scrumguide. And morality and decency are missing too. But there is a lot of experience in it for that.

I am asking myself these questions about once a month:

  • How are my team members?
    Really, how are they? Are they all in a good mood? Does anyone have problems, is anyone in need of my support? Not (only) as Scrum Master, but (as well) as a human being.
  • How is my team?
    How do they grow as a group? Which Tuckman phase are they experiencing? Are there any developments that I should prepare them for? Is there any potential for conflict that I have to pay attention to?
  • How is my product owner?
    How are things going for him? Is he enjoying enough support from the team, the special department, and me?
  • How is the special department?
    Am I overhearing the latest gossip? What topics and projects are currently in progress? When was the last time I was there and talked to the people?
  • How is my organization doing?
    Am I too absorbed in daily business? After all, I should support the agile transformation of the organization. Am I doing that too?
  • How am I?
    Dropped clue: mental hygiene. Do I have the support I need? Are there hidden conflicts? Are there things that I put in front of me?
  • How is the Product Backlog?
    Is it clean and prioritized properly? Are enough stories estimated? Are there old stories lottering? Does it need to be thinned, updated and mucked out?
  • How are the Scrum Board and the other information radiators?
    Are they accepted and used? If not, why not? Do I have to muck out again?
  • How does the medium and long term forecast look like?
    Do I have a plan how teams and members develop? Is this plan still up to date? Is it adjusted? Do I have priorities and improvements for the time being?

These are the questions, that I am using to check my work on a regularly base.
Even if this list is very general: it may not be suitable for you at all. Each of us has our own methodology. And every team has its phases. And each of these phases requires its own priorities. But maybe you can at least take one or the other question with you and use it as the basis for your own list. Or do you already have your own list in use?

Published 27 August 2018. Pictures by Cathryn Lavery at Unsplash.


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Thoughts about modern project management - classic, agile, hybrid. You can find Stephan Weinhold on LinkedIn and XING. Oh, and you should follow him on Twitter.