About The Author
Jonathan Ray 2 articles
Residence: US Parker, Colorado
Agile Enthusiast | Certified Scrum Master | Agile Coach
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As a SAFe Advanced Certified Scrum Master (SASM), he has successfully (and concurrently) coached and led multiple teams under SAFe. He is a firm believer in agile methodologies as the means to build happy and effective teams, delivering business value early, and supporting people and organizations to improve their work flow. He has helped in leading Agile transformations and worked in Agile environments with a focus on achieving an Agile culture that supports: trust and growth, transparency, and systems thinking.


How to Unlock Your Inner Scrum Master.2

Find the COURAGE to strive for a better team, product, organization, world.

What is stopping you from telling a better story? I was talking to a colleague one day and they asked, how did you become a Scrum Master? I thought about it, and I realized that I never truly became a Scrum Master until after a year of saying that I was a Scrum Master. On paper I have been a Scrum Master for 5+ years, but it wasn't until after that first year or so that I started to understand the role and responsibilities I had to the team and the organization.

After we transitioned to Agile, adopting SAFe, my title and role changed to accommodate the transition, but I didn't have a clue on what it meant to be a Scrum Master. This is because when you start as a Scrum Master, you have to change your mind-set and unlearn what you have been told and this causes one to have to learn, observe, and understand the knowledge you need to bring to the team and organization. In the beginning the goal should be to understand the WHY.

Once you understand the WHY you can begin to understand the true meaning of what it is to be a Scrum Master. We all have a story to tell and this is how I went from doing Agile to embracing Agile.

Do not let FEAR/DOUBT stop you from telling a better story. I think this is relevant to most than others, because for me it wasn't what I intended to be doing. After transitioning from an Sr. Automation Engineer to a Scrum Master, it created a lot of unknowns. Will I be good a leading a team? How do I go from being a part of the team (in the trenches) to being a guide or coach through this Agile process? How will I embrace the servant leadership, knowing I will not be recognized as I once was? All of these as Raluca mentions from her perspective is falling victim to the Impostor Syndrome, however she does have a point that this creates an opportunity for you to realize your gaps and to help guide you to where you should start learning.

I believe all of the questions that spawn from the Impostor Syndrome are valid questions for someone to have in order to help alleviate that fear and doubt. In order to address this fear/doubt you must find your courage, which can be addressed by reaching out to other Scrum Masters, attend Agile meetups, or read books. Only by embracing the opportunity and finding the courage to take that next step can you tackle those negative questions you have been asking yourself in order to resolve that fear or doubt.

Do not let OBSTACLES stop you from telling a better story. The biggest obstacles that one will face as being a Scrum Master are: 1) Dev. team involvement (inspiring on Agile methodologies and principles), 2) HR/Management to move from the command and control leadership style to giving the power to the team, 3) The organization, 4) YOU!. However, being aware of these obstacles is not enough and you must tackle them head on. It is similar to the concept of being Agile vs. doing Agile. It is easy to say that one is Agile, but truly doing, being, and living is completely different.

The main OBSTACLE for a Scrum Master is not only to help yourself but your organization to unlearn what has been taught up to this point, and show what it wholeheartedly means to be Agile and to have an Agile mind-set. It is at this moment when you truly start applying Agile and begin to see your inner Scrum Master come through.

As a Scrum Master you need to take a step back, pinpoint a few key areas that need attention and then focus on those. If you try to take on too much, or implement what you think it is best, you will be defeated before any true change can be seen. Focus on small incremental improvements, get constant feedback, and adapt to what is learned. Obstacles are everywhere, and the Scrum Master must have the courage to address the product, organization, and even the world. A Scrum Master can use this courage to see through those obstacles and conquer that fear/doubt to strive for a better team and agility in the workplace.

So I guess to answer the question, How to unlock your inner Scrum Master? is simply find your courage. These points above will help an aspiring Scrum Master to find their courage, and break through their shell. Some choose the role of the Scrum Master, and others are forced into it (myself included), but unless one shows courage and allows for vulnerability you can never tell your story. Each chapter written is one less piece of the puzzle to becoming Agile and bringing Agility to an organization.

Published at pmmagazine.net with the consent of Jonathan Ray