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Scrum Master Tip #3 : Explain, Exemplify and Pratice

November 28, 2011

Being  a Scrum Master means a lot, if you do the right things.

Being a Scrum Master is like being a leader: you won’t drive the car, but you’ll set on the passengers seat and you’ll help the driver take the best route and be prepared for the risks of driving: without of course scaring him too much else you are the danger!

If you can’t seat quiet and you need to do the driving, then

you’re not a scrum master,  you are my granny.

You  should get your own car and do the things you like the way you like: it’s called self-employed.

Or, of course,  if you rather  rely on a professional driver (who probably has had more accidents and tickets than me) he will take you where you want, but the way he wants, the way he knows.

The tricky thing about being a Scrum Master is that you’ll have to grow faster than all other around you. You need to excel yourself, be prepared to suffer changes and embrace debate. You need to believe and understand things before all around you do, and while you do all this, you need to be open for all new things they will also teach you.

So first: Understand who you are:  Are you a team driver,  are you a solo driver or are you a driving teacher?

I won’t tell you what a Scrum master is or should be.

What you are is bigger than what a Scrum Master is, so what you are comes first. Then depending on whom you are,  you’ll be able to be a Scrum Master or not. But you know what? That’s not important. Important is to be happy at your work and do your best. To learn and to wake up the next morning knowing you did a good job and wanting to go to work again.

Now imagine, nevertheless the kind of driver you are, that you have this team you want to teach.

You don’t have to teach them. You WANT to teach them.

How will you do that?

1) Explain, Explain, Explain, …

If you want to help someone you need to explain the basics. Right?

Why you are doing that, why are we doing that, why do we need it, why this might be the best way to do it, what’s in it for them, and… most important: What they thing about all this?

After talking (experts sometimes call it conversation) , what’s next?

2) Exemplify, Examplify, Examplify

How do you explain Tarzan how he can wash his teeth? (If he wants to of course)

You can do it in different ways, but  the most efficient, in a way he would really get it, might be if you exemplify.

People need to see meaning and results on things (even Tarzan).

If you show an example you’ll be providing the evidences the brain needs to know things may actually work out and turn out to be just the way you are saying.

So..  Exemplify!

Next Step is one most people forget..unfortunately. Practice it is.

3) Practice, Practice, Practice, Practice, Practice, Practice, Pra…

Practice as much you are able to,  with more examples, specially real life scenarios. I guess experts would call it: Put in practice your learnings. Experience in order to learn with mistakes.

Whatever! Like driving, riding a bike, killing zombies, washing teeth, playing the piano, writing posts, attending meetings… you need to practice in order to succeed more often.

Dear Scrum Master, Team leader, Someone willing to help the team:

Explain First

Then Exemplify

After, don’t stop Practicing with them.



From → Agile, People, Scrum, Tips

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