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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Feb 11, 2022

This week, Dan Neumann is joined by two of his colleagues, Adam Ulery and Kris Chavious.


In this episode, Dan, Adam, and Kris are answering a listener who asked about the Dos and Don’ts of a Scrum Master. They cover topics such as culture, how to handle time boxes, meetings, and the challenging role of a Scrum Master removing impediments, among others.


Key Takeaways

Dos for a Scrum Master:

As a Scrum Master, you bring the culture to the team. People share more when they are comfortable; a light and energetic atmosphere is important.

Get to know the people on your team.

A Scrum Master needs to be the positive force to the team.

Joke around! Make work fun.

How do you level down the stress in teams? Incorporate personal stories to lighten things up or play music (instrumental if there are activities to be done).

Dos and Don’ts related to time boxes:

Some people may not understand what that means.

Time boxes are a maximum point but if you finish earlier it’s just fine.

Don’t be authoritarian about the time box.

Be mindful of the time box, but make sure to leave some time for people to share if something is pending or needs to be addressed in a future meeting.

The Role of a Scrum Master removing impediments:

Enabling and facilitating are roles of the Scrum Master but he is not responsible for solving all the problems.

A Scrum Master needs to bring thinking tools to the team and know how to ask questions in order to achieve a solution.

Don’t unnecessarily schedule meetings!

Scrum Masters shouldn’t be an extreme micromanager.

You don’t have to be on your team every day, we are all professionals. There are mechanisms set to see the progress of the work every day.

As a Scrum Master, you sometimes have to have uncomfortable conversations.

Don’t tolerate damaging behavior, address it right away!


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