As a Scrum master, part of your role may involve addressing process problems within a specific team. However, it's crucial to consider a broader perspective when seeking solutions.
Management often expects you to rush into the process and start solving the problems that have been building up for some time.
While issues can certainly arise internally, they can also stem from inadequate support, misalignment between business and IT, low empowerment levels, improperly structured teams, or a lack of mentorship and learning opportunities.
To pinpoint problem areas, there are several useful tools available, such as the Competing Values Framework, AgilityHealth Radar, and the Path to Agility.
However, you can also start by engaging in simple conversations with your team, other departments, and management.
To assist you in this process, I have created a simple list of questions that can help identify areas where process difficulties have emerged.
25 QUESTIONS TO ASK THE TEAM AND MANAGEMENT TO ASSESS THE CURRENT STATE.
How do you think the product discovery process is working?
How do you think the product roadmap is doing?
How are requirements gathered, structured, and prioritized?
Who are the user personas?
What does value mean to the team?
Who are the stakeholders?
What are our technological and technical capabilities?
What does “done” mean to you?
Why does the team exist?
How does the team create value for the customer?
What are some key roles and their responsibilities?
What are the team’s goals?
What are the events held?
What are the processes and practices used?
How do the teams collaborate with business?
How does management communicate with the team?
How much support does management give to teams?
How much autonomy/empowerment do the teams have?
What is the inter-team communication level?
How do we keep each other accountable?
How often can the team release?
How are the releases/delivery organized?
How transparent is the end-to-end delivery process?
How does the team deal with changes, blockers, and dependencies?
How do you evaluate the team’s performance?
What are the key metrics, and how are they gathered?
How do you evaluate team health?
How does the team share knowledge and grow?
What are your main concerns?
What are your main assumptions?
The information you gather will enable you to develop an action plan for improvement, leading to more effective processes that address management's concerns more readily.
While management may have their own ideas about the top-level issues, their primary focus typically lies in product delivery and company growth rather than the day-to-day development process.
If the solutions you propose are comprehensive and impactful, delivering tangible value, management will be pleased with the outcomes.
Want to add any other questions to the list? Feel free to reach out. 🙂
Hope you found it helpful.
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