The First Step In My Journey to Becoming a Scrum Master?

One of the most common questions I get in training courses, LinkedIn, and just in the general Agile and Scrum community is “how do I become a Scrum Master?” Another common one is “I know someone that is studying at University right now, and they’d love to become a Scrum Master but I am not sure how to help them.” These are but a few of the many types of questions that enter my inbox on a daily basis, and since I am a Professional Scrum Trainer, I am always happy to help people make an informed decision. And so for this reason my first response is to say straight out that becoming a Scrum Master is tricky, and will not be an easy feat. This is because a Scrum Master is not a junior role, it is a leadership role with a great amount of responsibility and accountability involved. 

You are a Servant Leader, and a true leader that serves the Scrum Team. This requires a high level of expertise in the game, knowledgeable input, and ‘battle scars’ from having done the work either as a Developer, Product Owner, or maybe even a Manager. It is essential you have experience doing this work and know the pain that each member of the team goes through on a daily basis. This will not only help you better relate to your team, but also enable you to make decisions that are based both on practical and theoretical knowledge. 

This is important because when your team or Stakeholders are talking to you, you should be talking to them from experience, and help guide them through areas you have had experience with in the past. Having experience as a Scrum Master is also beneficial for your team because you are most likely to have made mistakes or encountered dilemmas when you were a junior and so may have learned some valuable lessons along the way that could help you in identifying problems or risks that others may not be aware of. And then implementing solutions based on this experience. 

How Scrum Mastery Started For Me

My journey into becoming a Scrum Master all started when I was working as a Project Manager for an organisation. I was the lead in implementing The Six Sigma and Prince2. This was really fun because we were doing what’s called Remote Robotics Process Automation (RPA). I was doing pretty well in this role, and the rest of the organisation started to pay attention. This led to my superiors making the decision to direct me to working in Agile and forming my own organisation. They made this call because they recognised that I was doing Project Management from a slightly non-traditional approach,and was simply doing everything differently, and was succeeding. 

At the time, none of us really had a real conceptual understanding for what Agile is, or what it looked like, but we knew we were somewhere on the lines of it. So when they asked me if I wanted to be a Product Owner or a Scrum Master, I said “well, what I’m doing right now is similar to a Product Owner, so why not try being a Scrum Master.” And so I did what any young and ambitious professional would do; I winged it!

 I opened up a blog article, and read a few things, and said “okay, I can do this, sounds easy enough.”

The result? Terrible. 

I can tell you now with a heavy heart that I was a terrible Scrum Master for the first year because I had no idea what to do, and frankly that blog article did not prove useful to me at all. All I knew was that I was in an authoritative position, and had to lead my team to success, but I did not really know how. So all while doing an horrendous job, I kept reading about being a Scrum Master, and what exercises would be most effective for my team. And even though it did help me to a certain extent, the benefits were minimal. 

So Next, I Enrolled Into a Training Course 

So as you can imagine, I was not seeing results with my ‘wing it’ approach. I had no choice but to enrol into a professional training course, as my job was pretty much on the line here. Looking back on this I can laugh about how naively confident I was, especially when my trainer asked if I had ever read The Scrum Guide, and I had to embarrassingly say no. That was a defining moment for me because instead of accepting defeat and curling into a little ball, I took that as a challenge and then searched for this guide. I read it overnight from the first day to the second day and at times in my dreams too. 

Now looking back I can say that enrolling into that course changed my life and my profession entirely. 

By enrolling in a Scrum Master Training Course, I learned: 

🚀 What Scrum actually is. 

🚀 How Scrum functions in a multilayered team.

🚀 How to solve complex problems.

🚀 How to collaborate and be transparent with my team at all stages of Product Development. 

In summary, the experience and insight that I got from that course was invaluable and it still helps me to this day. 

Therefore if you are interested in becoming a Scrum Master, I recommend that you: 

🚀 Join a team that is innovative, adaptable, and actively trying to solve Complex Problems.

🚀 Equip yourself with some experience of working as a junior in such teams.

🚀 Read the Scrum Guide. 

🚀 Enrol into a Scrum Master Course. 

If this sounds interesting to you and you want to learn more about how you can become a great Scrum Master, get in touch with me today. 

Let’s work together on your journey to success! 

Pragmatic Shift is a Scrum Training, Agile Consulting, and Agile Coaching consultancy that specialises in delivering Scrum.Org certified scrum courses, and helping organisations increase their business agility and product development success through agile consulting and coaching.

We firmly believe that a shift to agile is a pragmatic shift. A natural evolution from traditional project management and product management. A proven, reliable, and resilient framework for addressing compelling problems and developing complex solutions.

Over a decade’s worth of experience as an agile practitioner, agile consultant, agile coach, and scrum trainer informs our pragmatic approach to change. Agile dogma has no value in the context of product development or organisational change.

Instead, we look to start where you are, work with what you have, and make meaningful interventions that align with the objectives you are trying to achieve.

Progress over perfection.

If this sounds like a pragmatic solution to you, visit the following pages for more information.

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