When someone recently asked me how I manage to supervise 2 or 3 teams at the same time as a Scrum Master in a SAFe context, I had to do some soul-searching and think about what the essential factors are for me to do justice to this task.
Especially when you are part of a large solution, it can sometimes be quite difficult to keep an eye on the big picture and still coach with focus at team level. The Solution Train coordinates several Agile Release Trains at the same time and enables complex solutions to be built. In such a scaled environment, I am confronted with several challenges at the same time and am also allowed to supervise several teams as a Scrum Master. At first, this sounds like juggling several balls and I also had a lot of respect for this task at the beginning.
Nevertheless, I am happy to have accepted this challenge. In the hope of giving tips to other Scrum Masters and clients, I have identified a few factors for myself:
#1 Determine the maturity level of the teams and on the basis of this determine my radius of action and my main areas of activity, as well as constantly taking developments into account.
#2 Nothing is as essential as clarifying expectations: Because there are many exciting topics at the organisational level as an agile coach, it is very tempting to be involved there. Nevertheless, the release train engineer and I were able to clarify from the beginning that working with the teams and the product increment has priority.
#3 Expectation management at team level Clarifying together what best supports them in their work and what they expect from me as a coach gives me a clear framework in my work.
#4 Adaptation: An expectation is nothing without constant comparison with the status quo: I hold retrospectives with myself and regularly question whether I am acting and being effective in terms of the expectations.
#5 Sufficient organisation and preparation before events (e.g. before PI Planning). I have found that it works better to accompany only one team during the event and prepare intensively with the others so that they go into the event self-organised. If a balancing act between the teams is necessary, I consider together with the teams beforehand what I can provide support for and when.
#6 Be informed and constantly build up knowledge: Scrum of Scrums meetings, Scrum Master Gatherings and Community of Practice help me to stay in touch.
#7 A constant optimisation thought and welcoming change as something positive helps me to question dusty systems and structures again and again.
#8 And last, but not least: have fun! Creating a good atmosphere, celebrating successes with the teams and also overlooking my own mistakes helps me to get out of the juggling trap.
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