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New Scrum Master? Ask These Questions to Know Team Better

Are you nervous about your new Scrum Master role in the team? You know that you have to learn the ropes quickly to be a productive part of the group. The higher the post, the more expectations people have from you. How do you do it? In this article at, Stefan Wolpers shares questions that would enable you to get a headstart.

New Scrum Master Questions

Who decides the team’s Definition of Done?

Either the organization or your team works on it, and this helps decision-makers later.

How much is the team technical debt?

A new Scrum Master must know team technical debt and dependencies.

Does anyone track technical debt regularly?

Experienced developers should know how essential it is to review technical debt.

What’s the time taken for refactoring and checking bugs?

Have 20 percent of the Sprint dedicated to these activities to reduce technical debt.

Are knowledge sharing sessions happening frequently?

Developers should share personal knowledge through mob programming, hackathon, and brown bag meetings.

Does anyone need formal training?

As a new Scrum Master, learn team strengths and weaknesses and facilitate training courses.

Does the team have all the required resources?

Ensure the team has all the resources, like updated software and tools, for faster project success.

Do developers determine whom to hire?

Since scrum teams are self-organizing, developers should determine who they want in the group.

At which project discovery phase does the team join?

Teammates must be in those initial meetings to avoid random estimates.

How often do developers interact with customers?

Allowing developers to communicate with customers helps to avoid a flawed product backlog.

What is the product backlog frequency?

It should be frequent and at least once with the entire team.

How many work items do developers handle besides backlog items?

Your team should not work on more items than is possible because it hinders their pace.

What’s the average time for product backlog refinement?

If the developers cannot complete the refinement within two Sprints, the new Scrum Master should remove the bottlenecks.

Who makes the work items?

Product owners should ideally include work items by brainstorming with the team.

What mode of communication is the team using to discuss work items?

Let the developers and product owners decide if they want to leverage regular standups or virtual platforms for these meetings.

When does the product owner change Sprint backlog?

You must intervene as a new Scrum Master if the product owner complicates the process by changing Sprint backlogs randomly.

How are you deciding the work item estimate?

Developers must understand how much time a work item should take to provide a correct estimate.

Working hours or user stories, what’s your estimation strategy?

Story points create better estimates than working hours because you are more accurate.

When interests differ, how does the team reach an agreement?

The new Scrum Master must discover how the team likes to conclude—based on the scenario or vote?

What challenges affect team performance now?

The question helps you give details to talk about in the next Sprint retrospective.

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