The following is an accurate representation of what my typical day/week looks like from the perspective of a Scrum Master. Names, titles, and project details have been altered to preserve the anonymity of my fellow coworkers and to avoid sharing any sensitive company data. Rather than highlight every single repetitive meeting, I sampled some of the most important meetings from the week.
Wednesday 10:30am, Platform Team Sprint Planning
This particular Wednesday is the beginning of our next sprint. For many, this is an exciting time because it means that they get to work on new stories and tasks. This meeting went smoothly because the Product Owner and team had done a fantastic job grooming the backlog in preparation for this sprint. During this meeting, I take the responsibility of navigating through our team’s Rally page and pulling in stories, updating the hours and making a few adjustments to a few tasks. If you are not familiar with Rally, it is the website we use to help track all the work that we do as an organization. Every team that works with our product documents their work in Rally in order to stay organized and provide transparency to the rest of the company. I made sure to make a few adjustments to a few of the team member’s capacity in this sprint because they knew they were going to be out on vacation for a day, which would decrease the amount of work they were capable of taking on. With the previous day’s retrospective still on our minds, we worked hard to come up with a good velocity for the team and appropriate capacities for each of the team members. For a more in depth description of how I run Sprint Planning, please check out: https://agilearmy.com/2017/10/01/scrum-beginnings-part-9-your-first-sprint-planning
Thursday 1:00pm, Scrum Master Strategic Meeting
During our Strategic meetings, the Scrum Masters get together with our director to discuss topics that are affecting our department. During this meeting, we talked about a very important issue regarding the fragility of the current software build process. Because of various reasons such as network issues, lack of VM space, and unit test failures, our builds will often break at a moment’s notice. We took this time to discuss ways that we could improve the current process so that the teams did not have to waste so much time constantly fixing the builds. We came up with a plan to audit the Continuous Integration (CI) build process that the architecture team currently uses with the hopes of gaining some insight on their methods and workflow. We each left the meeting with different tasks that we were responsible for before the next strategic meeting.
When I am not in meetings and participating in ceremonies, I fill in my time with typical work such as catching up on emails, talking with other teams about their work, getting rid of blockers that may be hindering my team and of course socializing and having a good time with my fellow coworkers. At the end of the day, your teams will be so much stronger and more effective if everyone enjoys being around each other. We love to joke around, go out for team lunches, have Nerf gun fights and talk about whatever is currently going on in the company and in the world. I have been fortunate enough to work with teams that are all very humble and hard working and are constantly looking out for each other. As a Scrum Master, this is the type of environment that you want to create so that your team members enjoy coming to work every day.
Thanks for checking out this series! I will write more often on this subject in the future since it is what so often is under-represented in Scrum text books!