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Thanks for taking the time to read our weekly newsletter to help you get Unstuck! Check us out every week for your dose of agile inspiration. We’re striving to keep the content in our 4 Qs brief and powerful so you can get a lot of impact from a little reading!

Quintessential Thought

The Scrum Master's accountability is all about the effectiveness of the Scrum Team. It's a big responsibility, and it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Some well-meaning Scrum Masters try to tackle everything at once, while others focus on what's familiar and easy…but not the most important.

Try these steps for a simple approach to focus your efforts and maximize your impact:

  1. Identify Challenges: Create a list of things holding your team back. Look at impediments they face, issues they report, and stakeholder feedback.

  2. Prioritize Ruthlessly: Not all issues are equal. Identify the 2-3 that will most significantly improve value, product delivery, or team effectiveness.

  3. Experiment and Learn: Design a small experiment to address your top priority. For more on crafting a good experiment, see last week's article on Change Hypothesis.

  4. Repeat: This is an ongoing process. Regularly revisit your list, adjust priorities, and analyze the results of your experiments.

This focus and experimentation perfectly embodies how a Scrum Master leads by serving. You're demonstrating the value of iterative learning firsthand – the same approach you want them to embrace for product development.

Bonus! By focusing on clear goals and measurable improvements, you can more easily explain the value you bring as a Scrum Master. The next time someone asks "What does a Scrum Master do outside of Scrum events?", you'll have a compelling answer!


“Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.” — Marian Anderson

“Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.” — Simon Sinek

“The first and most important choice a leader makes is the choice to serve, without which one’s capacity to lead is severely limited.” — Robert Greenleaf

Quick Step

Try the four steps above for a Sprint, then gather feedback from one or two members of your team.


What issue are you addressing today that is not the most important for your team’s effectiveness?

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