How To Be A Good Scrum Master During A Crisis
via Scrum.org Blog by Duncan Evans
Many teams are finding that they need to adjust to a new reality amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Strategic plans lie in tatters, urgent unplanned work fills the board, stakeholders are hammering teams with requests, and routine has gone out of the window. This is a time for a Scrum Master to be pragmatic, calm, and outcome-focused: providing delivery leadership without allowing the process to get in the way.
Help the business clarify their tactical objectives
Responding to change is a well-rehearsed line, but it’s important that everyone understands the new objectives. Try to get a clear line from the business that can serve as a new, tactical vision. Something like “We need to support customer service in managing increased volumes to avoid losing customers or damaging our brand”. Getting this agreed will help to focus minds and allow decisions to be made. The key is that the Product Owners and teams have an awareness agreement over what needs to be done. Once this is established, you can avoid the barrage of stakeholder requests being taken on without thought. Help to draw up some criteria for what counts as urgent.
As a Scrum Master, the way you can help here is to ensure the right questions are being asked. Asking probing questions that you think people should know the answer to can reveal gaps. Once the gaps are revealed, you can help people find the answers: