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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 19, 2021

This week, Dan Neumann is joined by two fellow AgileThought colleagues — Sam Falco, a Principal Trainer, and M.C. Moore, a Team Agile Coach.

Together, they explore the topic of Scrum mastery — specifically, being a Scrum Master new into an organization. There’s a lot of excitement but also many potential pitfalls that come with entering a new group as a Scrum Master. And as someone who joined AgileThought just six months ago, M.C. Moore, in particular, has a lot of experience in this area! He shares his top tips on what to do as you enter a new organization to build trust and vulnerability, how to break the ice with a new team, how to navigate the challenges that come along with entering a new organization that may be doing Scrum differently than you’re used to, and more.


Be sure to tune in as M.C., Sam, and Dan offer their insights on what to do when you enter a new company (that you won’t find in the Scrum guide!)


Key Takeaways

Tips for a Scrum Master that is entering a new organization:

Start by listening (we all have preconceived notions but it is key to first listen)

Be open to changes and be ready for a journey

Set expectations and prep for change

Have an openness to learn and hear from the team (especially with their “whys”)

It is important to get feedback from a team when you step into a new culture

It is also key to share (ideas: share a mind map about you, hold an AMA session, etc.)

Hold fun/game events (helps break the ice and brings teams together) — anything that brings the teams closer and have them see that you’re human too are great in helping you all work toward the same goal/s

“If you’re not having fun in the team, there’s a problem somewhere.” — Dan Neumann

Show vulnerability — vulnerability is a huge component of trust, and trust is the foundation of healthy conflict (if you don’t have healthy conflict, you just have conflict)

Reach out to get to know who they are; show a genuine interest and ask about themselves

Tips for a Scrum Master that is new into an organization that is doing Scrum differently than what they’re used to:

Pick and choose your “battles”

Ask “why” and counter with your “why” for those that have only learned Scrum halfway (“Is this working for you?”, “Are you getting value out of this?”, “Or what value do you expect to be getting out of this?”)

You need to crawl before you walk (oftentimes, people end up putting themselves in a bad spot because they see areas for opportunities and try to take on too much, too quickly, which creates resistance)

Start with (if possible) at least a couple of hours going over the Scrum framework and the “whys” of it so that the team/s understand

If you are not able to start with the above statement, teach as you go (it’s important to take pauses and go through the fundamentals rather than rush everyone through and overwhelm the team/s)

The most successful team start-ups start with the person who would eventually become the Product Owner saying, “We’re not delivering, would Scrum work? Can you come talk to my team?” Blocking off the entire afternoon, and inviting everyone (including stakeholders) so that everyone is on the same page

Tips for Scrum Masters around lifelong learning VS. learning Scrum once:

Lifelong/continuous learning is crucial, especially in a setting where you’re moving from one organization to another

Continuous learning provides you with that “reset” when you entire into a new organization because you’re always staying current with industry knowledge

It’s easy to become comfortable if you’ve worked with your current company for a while but it is part of your evolution to progress forward and stay current

Read books and stay inspired

Go outside your four walls (such as attending virtual meetups or joining a Scrum Masters Guild) — the infusion of external ideas into your organization is invaluable

Differences in being a Scrum Master new to an organization working in a scaled environment vs. a not-scaled environment:

Many differences are organizational in nature

Working with a standalone Scrum team you’ll have a bit more flexibility to do things differently


Mentioned in this Episode:

M.C. Moore’s LinkedIn

Sam Falco’s LinkedIn

Agile Coaches’ Corner Ep. 115: “Scrum Mastership: Patterns and Practices vs. Principles”

Tampa Bay Scrum Masters Guild


Esther Derby

A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia Butler, by Lynell George

Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition, by Adkins Lyssa

Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation, by Blake J. Harris


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