My focus is on making software, coaching Agile/Scrum teams, and being a husband and father--definitely not on blogging--so please do not expect very frequent posts here.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Basic Scrummaster Duties checklist

I really like Michael James's Scrum Master's Checklist to give us an idea of the work a Scrum Master can do to make their team the best.  However, it doesn't really show the basics of being a Scrum Master, so the following should help with that.

Scrum Master duties list:
  • Nudge, steer, and help the team to do all Scrum events and activities
  • Help the product owner and team in any way to be more productive
  • Remember the Agile values
Before daily scrum:
  • Ensure the team has updated the hours remaining on all tasks.
  • Update and post the burndown chart.
During daily scrum:
  • Note all impediments reported by the team for later aggressive follow-up
  • Steer the team to stick to short answers to the three questions; steer them away from discussing problems or details during the scrum (Often say "this sounds like an important discussion; can we have it after the scrum?")
After daily scrum:
  • Help team to overcome impediments as a top priority
  • Ensure relevant team members meet to overcome impediments before doing regular work
  • Keep outside distractions away from the team
  • Answer (or research) all Scrum questions the team has
Anytime, to prepare for sprint planning:
  • Gather info on vacation/unavailable time for all team members in the next sprint
  • Ensure (help) the Product Owner refines and reorders the backlog
  • Ensure the product owner prepares a sprint goal
  • Schedule the next sprint planning
  • Schedule the sprint review; arrange for stakeholders to attend it.
  • If the stakeholders can't attend the Sprint Review, reschedule it.
  • Ensure the team will prepare a demonstration for the sprint review.  Ensure it is appropriate
  • Prepare any other charts or information radiators helpful for planning, such as a velocity trend chart
  • Schedule a backlog estimation/refinement meeting as required
In sprint planning:
  • Facilitate the entire meeting; take team through all parts
  • Take notes from the retrospective
  • Announce velocity in story points from last sprint
  • Announce team capacity in hours for the next sprint (accommodating vacations, etc)
  • Post/arrange the product backlog for sprint backlog selection
  • Keep the team on track for breakdown into tasks; write/post task cards if necessary
  • Ensure a reality check of task hours vs. capacity happens and adjustments made
After sprint planning:
  • Create beginning burndown chart, task board, and any other information radiators
  • Demand that the team take any certain action
  • Assign work or take unilateral action to change a practice
  • Neglect Scrum Master duties in favor of "regular work"
Once you have the above under control, consider additional duties from the Scrum Master's Checklist.


  1. Missing and the most important one - build a high performance team. Everything is a detail.

  2. That doesn't sound like a S.M.A.R.T. action step, but more of a high-level strategy, and I certainly agree with it.