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Top 7 challenges faced by A Scrum Master & their solution

Top 7 challenges faced by A Scrum Master & their solution

Avantika Nayak
3rd Aug, 2022

The scrum master serves as the servant leader. With the tasks of coaching, being a change agent, facilitating, removing obstacles, and protecting the team, it is clear that the scrum master must be closely involved with the team in order to fulfil their position and benefit the team.

Nowadays, a variety of businesses successfully implement Scrum into their daily operations and excel in their specialized industries. Additionally, a lot of businesses adopt Scrum and other agile development frameworks to build products. As a result, a majority of organizations are moving towards Agile initiatives, and the need for Scrum Masters is growing every day.


Who is a Scrum Master

A scrum master is a system coach who is tasked with maximizing the efficiency of the scrum team by assisting in process improvement. Scrum teams need Scrum Masters to help them grow at a sustainable pace.

The Scrum Master is accountable for establishing Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide. They do this by helping everyone understand Scrum practice, both within the Scrum Team and the organization. The Scrum Master is accountable for the Scrum Team’s effectiveness. They do this by enabling the team to improve its practices.


 Scrum Masters are Servant leaders who serve the Scrum Team 

The word Scrum is derived from the game Rugby, referring to when opposing teams Huddle together to restart gameplay. Product development teams congregate just like Rugby players!

The Scrum team discusses 3 things

  1. What did we do yesterday?

  2. What will we do today?

  3. Are there any impediments on our way?


While the scrum masters are responsible for the Scrum adoption they’re not the project leader and are not singularly responsible for the project outcomes but rather help the team determine what can be achieved in a period of time or a sprint.

It is safe to say, Scrum Master keeps the show running!


Why is Scrum Master Important?

Consider any Sports team or a professional athlete, whether tennis or football everyone needs a coach. Now, this doesn't suggest that the coach is a better player than the athletes; it rather implies that the coach is to assist the athlete in becoming their best selves.

The purpose of a Scrum Master is not to teach new skills; their role is to observe and ask questions—not because they are right or wrong, but rather because they want to help the team to get outside of their comfort zone and assess their performance objectively by breaking away from bias and filters. 


Over a few years, we asked dozens of Scrum Masters about the challenges they encounter within or without an Agile Organization. Therefore today, this is our topic: What are the challenges of a Scrum Master? More importantly what are a few ways to overcome them?


#1 Resistance to change

Scrum masters must consistently push team members to make changes, bring up conflicts, and highlight areas for improvement.

Corporations, on the other hand, are designed to adhere to the status quo. Because they have become accustomed to one way of working for a long time, they naturally oppose change. Therefore, it might be difficult for the scrum master to persuade the team members of the value of agile and scrum methodology when a company initially implements an agile framework.


Solutions - Share data Driven articles describing how the agile scrum methodology has benefited large businesses like Google, Apple, etc. This will ultimately help team members understand the effectiveness of Scrum. By doing Scrum, teams can visibly see incremental results at the end of every sprint. 


#2 Lack of Scrum & Agile training among team members

Scrum is all about value creation and self-managing teams. Scrum Masters accomplish this by utilizing their facilitation, coaching, and change agent talents. Therefore, unless everyone understands the guiding principles and the motivations behind adhering to these Scrum values, they won't be invested in it enough to do so.

Given that Scrum is an Agile methodology, training and certifications will aid team members in adopting Agile practices. Additionally, a team that consistently adopts an Agile attitude will have fewer conflicts, work together more effectively, and eventually produce successful projects.

Solution - To ensure that everyone on the team is on the same page, formal Scrum training is a requirement. The Scrum Master's responsibility is to bring the group up to speed and provide them with in-depth training if they are not familiar with the rationale behind the approach.


#3 Overload of problems to resolve at once

Even the most experienced Scrum Masters may find it challenging at times when the position's pressure exceeds all tolerances.

When a challenge presents itself, it is the Scrum Master's duty to remove it from the team's path as soon as possible. However, there may be times when the Scrum Master finds it challenging to swiftly establish a consensus due to the sheer volume of barriers.

Solutions - Mutual respect, trust, and open communication between the members of the Scrum Team are fostered by establishing cultures of shared responsibility within the team. Because of the assistance from your team, it is therefore simple for you to overcome a number of challenges in your path. Good Scrum Masters are skilled at developing each team member's capacity for problem-solving.


#4 Scrum Master Doubling as a Product Owner or for any other position

Due to budget constraints or for other reasons, the scrum masters are sometimes required to fill in for any other position. Regardless of the reason, when a team tries to merge different duties into a single job it nearly never succeeds since it will undermine the Product Goal.


The Scrum Master doubling roles will be forced to cut corners while managing the development process. Innovation will be less encouraged and meeting deadlines will take priority. Since the scrum master already has too much on their plate, the value of the product will begin to suffer.


Solution - Discuss with your senior management the benefits of having the right individual for the job and provide them with data-driven articles to support your points.

#5 Numerous/unrealistic Management Expectations 

In an organization with multiple managers and just one Scrum Master, it is typical for one manager to expect the Scrum Master to make the team work harder, another manager to expect statistics, a third to want higher productivity, and a fourth to support the team's ability to solve problems. It can be challenging for the Scrum Master to succeed in the midst of all these contradicting messages. Furthermore, a scrum master's efficiency is severely diminished when they oversee too many teams.

Solution - Prioritise your work based on key sponsors, customer standpoint and the needs of your team. Ask for clarity on what is expected from you to do in this role. while discussing with all other managers and teams show your list of priorities and try to align their priorities along with yours.

#6 preventing the groups from disintegrating

The likelihood of education and knowledge transfer in a team that has been together for a long time is significant. Team cohesiveness is difficult to calculate but has a significant impact on the team's capacity to take on challenges and find solutions to problems of not just the present but also the future.

The value that a person offers to the team is directly related to and depends on his or her relationships with the other team members and cannot be represented on a spreadsheet. Consequently, the scrum master must maintain the team's integrity and unity by creating a safe space for everyone at all times.

Solution - The Scrum Master must create a safe zone for the team to express themselves and their vulnerabilities which will increase mutual trust and respect for the team members. A Servant leader sets the example for all to follow hence the Scrum Master can often take the initiative and go first. For example, in order to build trust, the scrum master should be the first to trust and respect the team.

#7 Lack of Scrum Master training

Scrum is a way of life that requires years of expertise and insightful knowledge of the goings-on in organizations. Given the rapidly evolving and demanding environment in the Product Management industry the significance of comprehensive training for the Scrum Masters is greater than ever.

Solutions - Shadow experienced Scrum masters in your company, if not join training sessions led by experienced mentors at Leanpitch. We provide training courses that will expand your horizons in Scrum Mastery, we’re here to help you achieve your objective and contribute to your success in the industry. The Scrum Master certification provides deep dive into Scrum Frameworks as well as team rules, events and various artifacts incorporated into the Agile Development.

View our training options to know more about Scrum Master Certification Costs and to reserve a spot in our online courses at a discounted rate!

Conclusion

A Scrum Master has a difficult and intricate job. However,  It is crucial to the Scrum Team. In order to overcome challenges and accomplish the desired outcomes, the scrum master should combine soft skills, knowledge, and competencies. These are acquired through practice, knowledge and proper training.


   

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