Having been part of quite a few transformations, I hear this often: “We are doing an agile transformation, so we need lots of agile coaches to make it happen.” While I am very fond of all the agile coaches I know, and being an agile coach myself, I have come to realize that there are some hidden gems that make such transformations more effective and in most cases help them stick, from the executive level to the team level. These hidden gems are the “secret sauce” that comes in the form of scrum masters.
Executives are slowly discovering that scrum masters create the steadfast base upon which the team works and in fact are the shepherds of your people and products. They are your in-house CX experts who take the pulse of the organization. In their capacity, scrum masters have the ability to test ideas in real time and provide immediate, immersive feedback on how your Ways of Working are aligned with your teams. They can capture dynamic metrics to support ideas and principles, identify variances in team operations and satisfaction, and provide best practices and tools for greater efficiency and product deliverability.
Scrum masters are key to scaling your organization—both from a team perspective and from a skills and CoP aspect. By virtue of their servant leadership, scrum masters can instill updated ways of working based on their CX-team-level feedback and create custom methods and processes specifically for your company. Additionally, scrum masters create a network that socializes ideas and concepts, helping to identify what is working (or not). Their CoPs share the best ideas and create a sense of community that directly contributes to the culture of your organization.
Across all the engagements that I’ve had the pleasure of being involved in, getting to know the scrum masters has led to my gaining insights on team dynamics and cultural shifts in organizations, as well as an exponential increase in my knowledge and skills in agile, product, and organizational dynamics. I am grateful to all of the folks that I’ve had a chance to learn from, and I encourage you to not overlook this “secret sauce” in your next transformation.