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How Do You Measure a Scrum Master’s Effectiveness?

Stacey Ackerman

For most companies, the role of Scrum Master is really new and really weird. So they’re not quite sure what to expect.

Recently, an AMC member came to the community for help trying to evaluate two Scrum Masters and to determine which one is more effective. She said she didn’t know how to evaluate each one’s performance and hoped to get objective rather than subjective metrics.

Here’s How the Community Weighed In:

Evaluate How Well the Team is Performing

A Scrum Master’s worth is best gauged by how well the team is performing, a member replied. He added that asking to evaluate ‘who’s better’ seems like a Scrum anti-pattern. He then asked, “Why do you need to know who’s better?”

We learned that the company wanted to send one of the Scrum Masters to another team, and therefore they wanted to know which Scrum Master is stronger to balance the teams.

Knowledge Workers’ Performance is Subjective

“I do not believe you will find ‘concrete objective metrics’ for measuring the effectiveness of Scrum Masters. Knowledge workers are notoriously hard to measure that way,” added Mike Cohn.

If you’re doing it to improve the effectiveness of the team overall, a tool like [https://agilityhealthradar.com/] (Agility Health Radar) is helpful, added another member. However, you won’t want to use it to measure an individual’s performance.

Don’t Encourage Competition Among Scrum Masters

Who’s the best Scrum Master sets up a competition, which I would discourage, another member chimed in. If they’re both competent and good at servant leadership, decide which one will gel with the new team better.

She added that she works with four Scrum Masters, and each of them have distinctly different styles. One’s a bit sarcastic and has a very unique sense of humor. She works well with her current team, but some teams would clash with her style.

Consider rephrasing the question from ‘Who’s the best Scrum Master?’ to ‘Who’s the best Scrum Master for Team X?’

Another suggestion was to determine what it is that the team might need right now such as patience, persistence or handling strong personalities, and then evaluate the two Scrum Masters against that criteria. However, be clear that this person is not the best Scrum Master, but the best match for Team X right now.

Let the Team Choose its Scrum Master

Introduce both Scrum Masters to the team and let the team choose which one is right for them, added another member. One of them may be really good at facilitating meetings, but doesn’t know how to help the product owner, which may be what the team needs the most right now.

Have the Scrum Master’s Evaluate Themselves

One of the Scrum Masters in the community said he evaluates himself using the [http://scrummasterchecklist.org/ ] (Scrum Master Checklist). This has helped him to retrain how he works with the team and to focus on empathetic listening.

To be part of the conversation and to hear more comments on Scrum Master effectiveness, join the Agile Mentors Community. Visit [http://www.agilementors.com ] (www.agilementors.com) for more information on membership.

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