30 Day Scrum Master Plan
As a Scrum Master with a new organization, you should probably focus on being impactful to the team within the first 30 days of joining. This is how you show your value to the team.
Here are some of the things that I do to get started.
Establish Appropriate Meeting Forums
Conduct an Assessment
It's too soon to have teaming exercises at this point. However, I think the little things matter. Learning the names of each person. What is their role within the team and where do they see themselves within the team? What are some of the human qualities that you can surmise? For example, do they have a photo. What's in the background? Anything that can help you identify with them as a human.
This is where the Scrum Master conducts their own assessment of the team. Start by defining a list of what good looks like and validate with other Scrum Masters within your program or coordinated teams.
Examples of what good might look like:
Do you have a regular cadence for your teams to provide incremental delivery?
Is there a Team Working agreement in place and when was the last time it was referenced? The Team Working Agreement should be incorporated into your feedback and used frequently.
Do you have goals prominently displayed for the team? Is it simple and could anyone outside of the team understand your goal?
Do you have a centralized tracking system for the work that aligns with the goals and objectives of the team (e.g., Jira, TFS, etc.)?
How long is the stand up? Who participates and does it surface open issues? How does the team react to open issues? My first test is whether the team will start the stand up without you. I'm looking to determine how the team interacts and how reliant they are on the Scrum Master.
Do you have planned backlog refinements sessions? While they may not be used, I prefer to keep regular sessions on the calendar.
How labor intensive is the Sprint Review? If it takes several hours to prep for the Sprint Review, I consider that an opportunity for improvement.
How frequent is a retrospective being conducted and more importantly what is being done with the feedback? I often see the retrospective being conducted but no action on the results.
Establish Meeting Forums
Based on the observation, I add, modify or remove meetings as needed so that the team has an appropriate feedback loop and overall ensure the flow of information.
Make sure to establish a meeting forum with your Leadership team. This provides an opportunity to define roles and surface open issues within the team. As a group, you can prioritize and focus on team agility issues together.
I like to conduct a short self team assessment to plant seeds and establish a baseline. This helps surface gaps in team agility and in developing a plan for coaching team success.
Creating a timeline gets some initial milestones and something to talk about in your touchpoints with your manager.
Week 1 - Team Building & Observations
Week 2 - Leadership Alignment & Observations
Week 3 - Team Assessment
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