Agile Thinking

How Do You Become a Great Virtual Scrum Master?

A scrum master usually has a thankless job of being always available for the team. It was difficult enough to manage a team in a physical location. With companies shifting to the remote work model, how do you build and maintain that personal rapport as a virtual scrum master? In this article at Agile Connection, Mark Kilby and Savita Pahuja share how you can become a great virtual scrum master.

Tips for a Virtual Scrum Master

Use Your Listening Skills

Sure, you have listened to the problems of your team before. However, as a virtual scrum master, you must be an active listener, i.e., actually pay attention to what they are saying before speaking up. You not only have to understand what they are saying but also decipher the undertones. For instance, you hear more intently and ask more questions when assigned a task, but you do not do so when given to someone else. So, throw open-ended queries to get to the bottom of your team’s concerns. Ask them questions like “At what point did you notice…?” or “Tell me more about….”

Reactions to Implementation

Suppose you make specific changes to the usual workflow. How does your team react? Are the team members able to cope with the extra workload while working from home? Do they have the time to balance with personal and professional life? Leverage Satir Change Model to understand your team’s comfort level. After all, as a scrum master, you must know where your team stands before taking up new assignments from the higher-ups.


You cannot teach the team everything. So, you must treat the teammates as adults and allow them the room to learn things voluntarily. You can either take a step back and push them to make decisions. Or you can assign them tasks and inform them that they would be doing it independently. Keep an observation log to understand which team member scales up to take full ownership of an assignment. Have columns like a meeting or discussion date, behavior, action, and insights, suggest the authors.

Reviews and Execution

Once you have observed how your team reacts, you must let them know your observation. As a scrum master, help the team members grow by having one-on-one sessions and regularly providing them with constructive feedback.

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