Scrum relies on the Scrum Master to be truthful and transparent about the reality of the team and how it is progressing in the use of Scrum. The condition of the team includes the ability of the team to discuss ideas, become united in their focus and build true bonds of friendship.
It is valuable for the Scrum Team to regularly reflect on its own condition informally through conversations and formally through the Scrum process. The ability of the Scrum Master to help the team to reflect on its own team development helps them advance and overcome conflicts and challenges. It is also valuable to inspect and adapt on its use of Scrum so that it is aware and taking ownership of its own progress. A Scrum Master that isn’t truthful about the condition of the team will be unable to help the team to advance and become a high-performance team. Reviewing the use of Scrum will help move the team to take on a posture of learning which will lead to the development of continuous improvement which is a tenant of Agility. Those teams that don’t do this may fall into the trap of becoming “insane” – doing the same things each and every Sprint and expecting a different result. Regular and deep review of the team’s current state is essential for the team to become more productive, effective, and creative.
The Scrum Master can become more truthful only by understanding an important concept of Scrum, namely, transparency as the foundation of empirical processes. This understanding will come only through careful study of the fundamentals of Scrum as represented in the Scrum Guide. Understanding transparency deeply as it applies to Scrum will lead to a willingness to create greater and greater transparency. The use of the Scrum artifacts and ceremonies (primarily the Product Increment and the Sprint Retrospective) can only be made more effective to create transparency if the Scrum Master is willing to do the work. For example, the Scrum Master should be spending about 1/5 of the time of the Sprint preparing for the Retrospective. There are some excellent resources for retrospectives online including the Plans for Retrospectives web site.
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