My first introduction to Scrum was when the organisation I was working for decided to embark on an Agile transformation. We all received the same training - a two-day Certified Scrum Master course. It was a great experience. One of the best courses I had been on.
As fate would have it, I found myself in a ScrumMaster role a few months later. I was happy! I could now apply what I had learnt and put it into practice. So I jumped right in.
I quickly realised how näive and ill prepared I had been for this role. I was not equipped to deal with conflict within the team. I didn’t have the tools to have difficult conversations with my line manager and the leadership team about their behaviours that impacted team morale and productivity. It was a very uncomfortable situation.
Let’s not forget we are talking about making a change to our ways of working, a change in mindset, a change in behaviours.
There is no undisputed model. There are multiple models. Everyone is experimenting. It’s R&D on a massive scale.
Looking back, I think it was unfair to expect a newly trained ScrumMaster to do everything I was asked to do. Some of these expectations came from me and some came from people around me.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen this all too often. I’ve seen organisations expect too much from newly trained ScrumMasters, Product Owners and in fact from people in other roles including team leaders, senior managers and even executives. This causes a lot of pain and suffering for individuals themselves and people around them.
Does this resonate with you?
Remember, just because someone has a job title, a role and even some relevant training, it doesn’t mean they are well equipped to succeed and thrive in that role from day one.
In the process of learning and growing in my career, I have taken some unusual and sometimes difficult decisions. I have pushed myself outside my comfort zone and invested time and effort in acquiring new skills and enhancing existing ones.
If you are a ScrumMaster or a Product Owner, what are your plans for investing in yourself? What do you intend to do to increase your Agile Mastery in the new year?