Using NLP Techniques as ScrumMaster or Agile Coach

Using NLP Techniques as ScrumMaster or Agile Coach

Vivek Jayaraman
1st Mar, 2019

Using NLP Techniques such as ScrumMaster or Agile Coach

Many times, people say things without complete information. In any conversation, there is potential information loss. Why does it happen? What is the reason behind it? How do I know that there is such a thing happening? How can I get more information after I identify it?

There is nothing in this world that cannot be solved through a conversation. People always have information inside their heads. When it comes to communicating, most of the time, people think that the person who is listening to them knows the context. But, they don’t.

NLP is an approach to better communication, understanding behaviors & patterns, and how it helps in making our everyday life positive and easy. The tools and techniques from NLP help Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches perform their day-to-day conversations much better. NLP helps in achieving breakthroughs in any type of conversation. 

Let’s take the example of Rachna, who is a practicing Scrum Master. She often faces information loss while she is having a conversation with either the PO or the development team.

But, Rachna knows how to handle this piece of information. Let’s see how Rachna uses the Meta Model technique that she learned from NLP to get more information in a conversation. She does this almost every day.

Rachna: Good morning PO. How are things from your side?

PO: Good morning Rachna. Things are going well. I think I should start talking more to our Stakeholders.

Here, the PO hasn’t given information pertaining to the reason behind his thoughts nor what’s “more” according to him.

Rachna: I see. What’s the reason behind “more” conversation with Stakeholders?

PO: I see the need for their input, in the majority of the features which I finalize. But, before our team starts working on it. So, it’s necessary.

Rachna: That’s great. The team is going to love it when they hear about it.

It’s a natural human tendency that in a conversation people naturally assume that the other person knows what the conversation is all about. Nobody will know what one has in their mind unless it is shared in the conversation. While this looks like a normal conversation, it takes a good listener to understand what is missing in the conversation. Let’s see some conversation between PO, Rachna, and the team.

Team: PO, it is not possible for us to complete the feature by tomorrow.

PO: Is it so?

Rachna: Team, what is stopping you from completing it tomorrow? Could you please elaborate it?

Team: Code review did not happen for all that we have done till now. We might not be able to come up with a build. It’s always like this.


Team: It does happen frequently these days as we are not having code review done because of our focus on completing everything.

Rachna: What is this everything?

Team: We mean all the required things we do to complete a feature.

Rachna: I get it now. What do you guys think we should do?

It might look like a normal conversation but without the right questions, it is impossible to unearth information. Rachna has enough skills under her sleeves as a Scrum Master and an aspiring Agile Coach. Let’s see what she wants to showcase on the next blog.

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