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Understanding Agile Leadership



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Scrum Mastery: From Good to Great Servant-Leadership
Geoff Watts
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 3 minuuttia.

Introduction

Agile software development has evolved from a technology-centric project management methodology into a universally adopted and highly regarded leadership philosophy used across different industries nowadays.

 

Agile leadership is a topic that I have actively heard about since my first graduation in software development in 2014. One of the main reading materials on the topic is from Geoff Watts, the book “Scrum Mastery: From Good to Great Servant-Leadership.”

 

I had the chance to gain practical experience by working closely with skilled Agile leaders. However, I found it equally fascinating to dive into the theoretical aspects of Agile leadership. This search helped me learn the full scope of responsibilities and expectations associated with being an Agile leader. What does this role entail, and what are the specific skills and qualities it demands from a professional?

 

In a nutshell, the Agile way of working is about checking in often and finding problems early. This helps the team work better and keeps things moving smoothly. Agile uses short periods of time called “sprints” to finish tasks, even if they’re not perfect at first. In Agile, “failing fast” means making changes and learning quickly. (Betterworks, 2023)

 

Key points of a Scrum master role description

 

Servant Leadership: Watts uses the term “Servant Leadership” as a fundamental characteristic of an agile leader. According to the writer, the Scrum Master should serve their team by being an enabler and removing possible blockers from the team’s path so that the members can effectively succeed in delivering their tasks.

 

Team Facilitation: Talking about the role itself, the scrum master is also responsible for facilitating team events such as sprint planning, dailies, sprint reviews, and also the retrospective of the spring. In the book, Watts also gives clear guidance on how to hold these events properly for a successful team sprint result. Although, in this essay, the idea is not to dive into the how, but the why and what are the roles of a scrum master in agile leadership.

 

Coaching and Mentoring: The next topic covered in Watts’ book is the responsibility of coaching for the agile leader. The scrum master is expected to be the coach or mentor in the agile method. The professional should be able to support the team to understand and to embrace Agile principles and ways of working.

 

Conflict Resolution: Sometimes, teams can have disagreements or problems. It is the Scrum Master’s job to deal with these issues and help the team figure out solutions. In his book, Watts talks about different ways to solve conflicts and how to make sure everyone can talk openly about their concerns.

Impediment Removal: As covered in the introduction, the Scrum Master’s job is also to identify and get rid of things that slow the team down. This might mean talking to other people in the company or organization to make sure the team can do their work well and provide value.

 

Servant to the Product Owner: Besides helping the development team, the Scrum Master should also assist the Product Owner. This could involve making sure the list of things to work on (called the Product Backlog) is organized and helping the Product Owner and the team communicate well.

 

Continuous Improvement: The Scrum Master helps the team get better at what they do by encouraging them to keep improving. The writer talks about ways to help the team look at what they’re doing and find ways to do it even better.

 

Understanding the Scrum Framework: To be a good Scrum Master, you need to know a lot about how Scrum works, what it’s based on, and what it values. The book makes clear how important is to know the principles as a Scrum Master

 

Conclusion

 

Being a Servant to the Product Owner is a crucial part of the Scrum Master’s job. It’s important for any project but can also be tough for some Scrum Masters. I’m eager to learn and improve in this area, and I’m ready to put in the effort. While I know that practice will help me get better, I can already see how important and necessary this responsibility in the Scrum Master role is.

 

There is still different good reading sources I could get deeper in the subject, but I think the book gave a good amount of perspective on what to expect from a Scrum master and give me a better overview if this is the kind of job I would rather do rather than my current software development job.

 

Better works (read on 23.10.2023) https://www.betterworks.com/magazine/what-is-agile-leadership-and-why-does-it-matter/

 

Watts G. (2013) Scrum Mastery: From Good to Great Servant-Leadership

 

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