The 8 Stances of a Scrum Master @ CGI

A couple of months ago Ralph de Puij approached me with a great idea. Ralph is working as an Agile Coach for CGI – a global consultancy organisation. Within their Agile community of practice the white paper “The 8 Stances of a Scrum Master” was received enthusiastically. Ralph wanted to organise an internal event about the Scrum Master role and my white paper offered some nice insights. Long story short: I got asked to create and co-facilitate this event; an invite I happily accepted.

The first event took place in February, the second session happened this week. Both events had about 40 participants.

In this blog post I’m not going to elaborate in detail on “The 8 Stances of a Scrum Master“. I’ll mention the content only briefly, if you want to know more about this topic, check the white paper. I do want to share some pictures that will give you an impression of the workshop. The CGI coaches thought of a great format in which every participant really experiences the 8 stances. They’ve proved again that success will be inevitable when you give an enthusiastic group of people a clear and engaging purpose.

The 8 Stances of a Scrum Master

A short intro to the topic “The 8 Stances of a Scrum Master”.

According to the Scrum Guide, the Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring Scrum is understood and enacted. Scrum Masters do this by ensuring that the Scrum Team adheres to Scrum theory, practices, and rules.

The Scrum Master is a servant‐leader for the Scrum Team. He (or she) helps those outside the team understand which of their interactions with the team are helpful and which aren’t. The Scrum Master helps everyone change these interactions to maximise the value created by the Scrum Team.

The role of a Scrum Master is one of many stances and diversity. A great Scrum Master is aware of them and knows when and how to apply them, depending on situation and context. Everything with the purpose of helping people understand the spirit of Scrum.

The Scrum Master Acts as a:

  1. Servant Leader whose focus is on the needs of the team members and those they serve (the customer), with the goal of achieving results in line with the organisation’s values, principles, and business objectives.
  2. Coach coaching the individual with a focus on mindset and behaviour, the team in continuous improvement and the organisation in truly collaborating with the Scrum Team.
  3. Facilitator by setting the stage and providing clear boundaries in which the team can collaborate.
  4. Teacher to ensure Scrum and other relevant methods are understood and enacted.
  5. Mentor that transfers agile knowledge and experience to the team.
  6. Manager responsible for managing impediments, eliminating waste, managing the process, managing the team’s health, managing the boundaries of self-organisation, and managing the culture.
  7. Impediment Remover solving blocking issues to the team’s progress, taking into account the self-organising capabilities of the Development Team.
  8. Change Agent to enable a culture in which Scrum Teams can flourish.

Pictures of the Preparations

The Structure of the Workshop

The agenda and structure of the workshop was as follows:

  • A personal reflection: from 50% Agile Coach to 100% Scrum Master
  • Discussing the misinterpretations of the Scrum Master role
  • Briefly sharing the 8 stances of a Scrum Master
  • Playing the Constellation Game with some bold statements
  • Splitting the group into 6 teams
  • Offering the teams the opportunity to experience every stance in 10 – 15 minutes
  • Joint retrospective and sharing insights and lessons learned
  • Closing

The entire session took about 3 hours.

Pictures of the 1st Workshop

Pictures of the 2nd Workshop

And…

The Result

A bunch of happy facilitators, more understanding of the Scrum Master role and based on the feedback lot’s of satisfied participants!

Closing

By sharing some pictures with a brief description I wanted to offer you an impression of “The 8 Stances of a Scrum Master” workshop. The 2 sessions I co-facilitated were based on the eponymous white paper. At Scrum Day London (May) and Scrum Day Warsaw (June) I’ll provide a presentation & workshop with the same topic. It’s my mission to create a better understanding of the Scrum Master role. I’ll do this by listening, asking and trying to understand different perspectives. But also by writing, training and speaking. Most important: I try to lead by example and continue fulfilling the Scrum Master role myself.

Want to know more about this workshop? Send me an email or give me a call; I’m always willing to provide more information

Credits

The 2 sessions at CGI were made possible thanks to the support of Ralph de Puij, Mark Koning, Peter Vruggink, Chris Wagter, Wilbert van Boekel, Martijn Steen, Jan-Kees Hartog, Arja van der Worp and Henk Wildeboer. Thanks guys! You were awesome!