Today is my last day as acting Scrum Master. It has been four weeks where they have trusted me with their eyes closed for this role, four weeks in which I have had the opportunity to prove to myself that I am worth for this and four weeks to confirm that what I like the most is to make my team feel comfortable in their day to day.
If you check my profile, you will see that I am a cloud engineer. I started nine years ago in the technology sector and, since then, I have not stopped training, continuing to gain experience and betting on my career to make a niche for myself in the sector. But one day, after so many years dedicating myself to the technical side, I realized that what completes me the most and makes me especially excited, is to have a happy team, trusting each other, helping each other and understanding that if the work is well planned, explained, organized and without blockers, people give their best. And it was then when I started to get interested in agile methodologies, those that had been so scarce in my previous experiences. I carry in my backpack many experiences of false methodologies, bad organizations and forms of management that have not worked, I just had to learn to turn them around, to trust my instinct and to wait for an opportunity.
And so it has been, my Scrum Master has gone on vacation for four weeks, and has trusted me to replace him. What a responsibility… and WHAT A NERVE! Having already in mind the dates, the pending tasks and everything that was expected of us during these weeks, I could only look at myself in the mirror and tell myself with the best of smiles: you can do it.
To begin with, the list of To-Do’s was a bit long: accompanying in the dailies, reviewing, speeding up and/or eliminating blockers, backlog review, closing sprint, doing retro, review and planning new sprint, coordinating tasks with the new product owner of the project, preparing mini meetings with the colleagues to keep the team spirit, and, in addition…
Continue doing my daily work as a cloud engineer. It seemed a complicated task to combine both roles, because although I have basic notions of agile methodologies, in the end the figure of the Scrum master goes beyond and there is a lot of work behind that is not seen and getting into the routine cost me a little at first. Especially because every time I had to put on my scrum master hat, I felt like Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face from Batman:
By this I mean that, undoubtedly, the biggest challenge in these four weeks was to remain objective in my role as Scrum Master and not get carried away by my role as engineer and put my needs first. For this, it helped me a lot to have a collaborative team and to be in constant communication with them to make joint decisions.
To give you a more explicit example, let me tell you about the daily moment: from a Scrum Master’s point of view, living a daily is one of the most important and exciting tasks of the day. It is a key moment to keep the team in sync and to detect possible blockers that impede the progress of the sprint. It also provides an overview of how the sprint is progressing and whether any action needs to be taken to ensure the success of the sprint. As a cloud engineer, I would log on to the daily, talk about my business and move on.
Little by little the tension and nerves of the first days were left behind and it was time to settle in and enjoy the experience. It was enough that everything was going according to plan in the sprint, many people were already on vacation for the Christmas vacations, and that made it much easier and less stressful. Just as I was getting used to the day-to-day, my partner returned from vacation, I had to give him back the baton and hang up my Scrum Master hat.
Now that a few days have passed and I have been able to assimilate everything, it has been a wonderful learning experience. I keep the positivism that I have had to reflect in my colleagues and that has also helped me not to get overwhelmed. If another colleague were to take on this role right now, I would tell them to trust in themselves and not to be afraid of facing new challenges, and to always maintain open and clear communication with the team. If you build a firm foundation of trust between everyone, you work in a more dynamic and relaxed environment.
From my point of view, leaving with the peace of mind that my team has been at ease and has felt listened to and supported, is good enough for me. I thank them enormously for having let me guide and accompany them during these weeks and for being my guinea pigs to test the experience.
It’s time for me to hang up my Scrum Master hat and go back to being a 100% cloud engineer, but I will keep my hat close, just in case.
Image: Unsplash | @marcospradobr
Leave A Comment