Help, my Scrum Teams have become self-managing

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As a diligent and incisive Scrum Master, your hard work in fostering self-managing Scrum Teams has finally paid off! These teams, thriving in autonomy, show a high level of engagement which correlates with improved productivity and innovative solutions. They are responsible for their work, make crucial decisions, and resolve challenges independently.

Help, my Scrum Teams have become self-managing
Photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash

However, you may now find yourself pondering your role in this newfound equilibrium. What happens when the teacher becomes somewhat obsolete? Rest assured, you’re not alone; I have navigated through this paradox myself. In such a scenario, four key avenues can help you continue to fulfill your role as a Scrum Master, all while pushing the boundaries of what self-managing teams can achieve.

The next (agile) challenge

After your teams have attained self-management, the landscape changes. As a Scrum Master, your role broadens from focusing merely on individual teams to examining larger organizational challenges. This shift can be exhilarating but also daunting. Whether it’s grappling with scaling Agile across multiple teams, or honing in on user experience design, there may be a lot of challenges. There are books, webinars, and courses on these topics aplenty.

To further deepen your expertise, you might even consider additional certifications like the Professional Scrum Developer (PSD) to understand software development from a developer’s perspective, or the Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) to gain insights into the vision and roadmap of a project.

Take your skills up to the management!

Self-managing teams should not lead to your skills becoming stagnant or confined to the team level. Now is the perfect time to elevate your contribution to include the management tier of the organization.

Consider diving into Evidence-Based Management (EBM), a strategic framework rooted in empirical data and critical metrics. This approach differs sharply from decision-making driven by mere intuition or anecdotal evidence. With your Agile background, you can act as a change agent, steering management toward data-driven approaches and aligning organizational goals with Agile values.

Don’t forget the ever-changing teams!

It’s easy to get caught up in the expansive landscape of organizational change, but the nitty-gritty of team dynamics still demand your attention! Teams are fluid, not static, entities. Members join, others leave, and group dynamics inevitably shift.

Consistent evaluations of team skills, alongside analyzing models like the Five Dysfunctions of a Team or Tuckman’s stages of group development, can offer valuable insights. By employing such diagnostic tools, you can ensure that even self-managing teams maintain their edge, enhancing their strengths and addressing weaknesses.

Where are you in terms of Agile Maturity?

The Agile Maturity Model by the Agile Leadership School offers a panoramic view of your journey toward Agile implementation. The model illuminates various stages, from a fledgling understanding of Agile practices to their full integration into organizational processes. Not only does this framework offer a diagnostic tool for your teams and organization, but it also provides you, the Scrum Master, with an actionable road map for areas needing growth and attention.

Act now, keep evolving

Having self-managing teams does not mean the end of your role, but rather a transformation of it. Your unique skills and insights are still invaluable, but their application will broaden. So, don’t rest on your laurels. Continue to engage with your teams while also influencing the larger organizational agenda. Act now. Keep evolving.

Remember, the only constant in the Agile world is change, and your ability to adapt will keep you forever relevant.

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