What are the top 3 tips you would give a newbie Scrum master?

11 Aug 2023

Define what “Done” looks like

The first tip, which I would urge you to tackle straight away, concerns your definition of “done”. If you are truly a Scrum master and your team is using Scrum, sorting out your definition of “done” is paramount. Having a clear and mutually agreed-upon definition of “done” helps everybody understand what finish looks like, an essential cornerstone in effective Scrum methodology. To give you a leg-up, I’ve written a comprehensive blog post previously that provides an example of a great definition of “done”.

2. Check in on the Product Backlog

The second tip is to pay close attention to your product backlog. Your product backlog will provide a snapshot of how well your team is working together and refining ideas. This will also give you an insight into how clearly your Product Owner is articulating intent. Hence, regularly checking in on the Scrum artefacts is super important.

3. Understand your team dynamics

The third and final tip is to focus on your team’s functioning at both an individual and collective level. This is absolutely critical and involves:

  • Establishing team working agreements,
  • Setting a conflict protocol and how the team will navigate conflict effectively.

In order to get a deep understanding of your team members, consider exploring an individual charter – a personal guide that outlines how each person likes to work. By establishing this working framework amongst your team, you’ll be laying the groundwork for effective collaboration.

Summing up

By understanding what your product backlog looks like, establishing a working framework within your team, and focusing on the definition of “done”, you will successfully master the basics and lay a solid foundation for your journey as a successful Scrum Master.

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