6 Mistakes Scrum Masters Should Avoid and their Remedies

Software Development

When we say Agile Methodology, Scrum is the first thing that comes to your mind. Guided by the agile philosophy, Scrum is the delivery process that works on specific rules and guidelines. Unlike Agile, it is self-organizing and works best in a rapidly changing environment.

What happens in the Scrum methodology? You generally run sprints that are about two weeks long. So, during the first sprint, a part of the project is delivered. Once the first sprint is completed, the team will plan the next sprint and then execute it. The entire project whether it belongs to WordPress development service or Android or any other service, it is now divided into smaller sprints that are expertly delivered, after thorough testing, thus ensuring a faster time-to-market.

The massive potential of scrum master, who happens to be the facilitator of the Agile methodology, can be ignored by the organizations, which can cause considerable losses to the companies. You can increase the productivity of your project, and also manage the entire schedule effectively, if only you know how to manage the scrum master.

However, most organizations don’t understand the difference between a scrum master and a project manager, which is why the scrum master is not appointed with great care. Here, we will discuss the…

Mistakes the scrum masters make that affect the project majorly

1. Asserting a Project Manager Like Control

As discussed earlier, scrum masters often mistake themselves to be project managers.  How? Daily scrums are a part of the Agile process that allows you to define the sprints and plan them following the project needs. It also addresses any issues that you might face and will enable you to rectify them as needed.

However, most scrum masters tend to dictate these meetings, behaving like project managers, ready to assign tasks. The fact is scrum masters are not supposed to lead teams; in fact, the Agile teams using the scrum delivery method are supposed to be self-organizing. In this case, the scrum master should involve the entire team, ask them their opinions, and the decision for the next sprint should be teamwork. The team members should take ownership for, and the members should decide what task needs to be taken up next.

2. Taking Decisions Alone Without Consulting the Team

As we have already discussed, the Agile development cycle involves an entire team. The scrum master needs to consult the team before taking up a task. However, in many cases, the scrum master tends to make decisions for the team. Instead of bringing in agility to the software development process, the scrum master rings in dependencies, which causes lowered productivity.

Encourage communication and make your team members talk about what is going on in their minds so that you know how you can move about the project. You need to include the team members to be a part of the decision-making process. When people who have a certain level of understanding of the project give their opinions, you get a better solution.

3. Disconnect Between the Team and the Client

Often, the scrum master discusses the doubts and all the issues the team faces with the client. As a result, there is a slight disconnect between the team and the client. In many cases, the team is unable to provide the client with their exact requirements, as they are never understood perfectly. The person working on the project must understand the requirements. However, that is never the case in many organizations, because the scrum master decides to take up the job of the mediator.

To avoid this situation, ensure the team communicates their doubts and discusses the progress with the client. This way, all issues are resolved at once, and the team can accomplish their tasks on time. If the clients talk to the team members directly, your jobs are completed on time.

4. Constant Follow-up with the Team

Scrum masters tend to constantly follow-up with their team. This can irk the team, and ultimately make the scrum master a bad leader in the eyes of the members. Individuals within the team may feel that the master does not trust them enough. Constant scrutiny can also lead to reduced productivity. This mistake can cost the organization a great deal, monetarily as well as time and effort-wise.

The scrum masters should treat the team members as partners and trust their commitment towards work. Give them space to complete their tasks and be available whenever they face an issue or need an immediate resolution with something. Let the team members take ownership of the tasks that have been delegated to them.

5. Not Discussing the Obstacles or Taking Care of Them

Scrum masters are supposed to remove all the obstacles at the start of the project and make the whole path smooth for the team members. However, most scrum masters don’t consider the obstacles or even discuss the issues the team members are facing. That’s why a lot of projects face delays and get completed way after the scheduled time, despite following scrum methodology.

Scrum masters should use the daily Scrum as a platform to discuss the project delays, the issues the team members face, and the possible resolutions.

6. Ignoring the Agile Principles

Scrum follows Agile guidelines and principles. However, a lot of scrum masters tend to ignore the Agile principles when implementing the Scrum methodology to their software delivery process. In the case of Agile, the people and their interactions are given importance. However, a lot of scrum masters tend to forget this basic.

You should keep the use of tools and resources to the minimum. Make sure the Agile philosophy you are using is simple and easy to comprehend.

If you do want to use tools, make it interactive and easy to implement.

Summing up

Scrum masters often believe that Agile as a philosophy is easy to implement and get started. They don’t understand that there are quite a lot of things that need to be addressed before you transform your existing philosophy to Agile philosophy. For one, you need to take into consideration the cultural issues, communication and accountability factors, before implementing Scrum methodology.

Prioritize your needs as well as your project’s goals before you move with Agile methodology. Agile can help you to effectively implement and upload your project, and increase the productivity of your team. As a scrum master, you should keep up with the issues the team faces, and remove all the obstacles at the starting stage itself for better results.

Chirag Mudsa is the CEO of a leading web and mobile app development company, CMARIX TechnoLabs Pvt. Ltd. He is a goal-driven tech evangelist for a long time of 17 years, specializing in web and mobile development domain. His innovative spirit, strong leadership skills, and a profound commitment for organizational growth have given him a key leading position in the industry.

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