Scrum masters guide their teams, remove impediments to team success, and ensure the principles of scrum are being properly upheld. Can they do anything else? Sure! They can also provide coaching to management. In an article for Scrum Alliance, Daniel Dojcinovski describes how scrum masters can be of strong use to the business beyond their immediate teams.
Scrum at the Top
Dojcinovski notes how, once a team truly understands how agile works, they typically become enthusiastic to engage in the process. He believes such enthusiasm for agile can be generated across business units as well. Executive teams can stand to really benefit from the concept of stand-ups, with discussion adapted to become about the progress of initiatives. Dojcinovski helps executives work out a program backlog of initiatives and associated best practices for managing a backlog.
Here is another impactful idea he shares:
To gain a shared understanding of what an organization will deliver, I have implemented section or branch planning and review sessions. These sessions are an opportunity for all teams within a department or branch to gather and discuss the new initiatives and assess their outcomes together.
During the initial planning session, all teams attend and discuss the items in the program backlog while defining the criteria and the Definition of Done. The session also includes discussions about risks, issues, dependencies, and constraints associated with those items. Once there is a shared understanding, the work is allocated to individual team backlogs. Following the initial planning session, teams then break out into their own planning sessions to estimate size and complexity of the items, select the items they will work on during the next sprint duration, and together put forward a plan on how to deliver the items.
The new transparency and efficiencies generated by such gatherings is palpable, and it stands to make agile (and the scrum master) a golden child in the organization.
You can view the original article here: https://www.scrumalliance.org/community/articles/2017/september/what-else-does-the-scrummaster-do