5 Top Scrum Master Tools that every scrum master should know about
5 TOP SCRUM MASTER TOOLS THAT EVERY SCRUM MASTER SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
If you ask anyone what are the top tools for Scrum Masters, you will probably be offered with task board application. There’s a lot of them out there, and some of them are damn good. But when I am explaining that I need tools that are not necessary applications I usually end up with offers such as burn chart or task board.
Well, that fine as well, but I am looking for less obvious stuff, and still tools that help the team to get things done. When I am looking for a tool, I want more than just an application. Something we can use that will help us elevate team performance.
So I have gathered a list of my top 5 tools “tools” that some of them can fit the term “Sometimes a tool is not just a tool” and yes, some of them are applications but not just an application☺
Here are my top tools for getting things done for Scrum Master.
Poker planning app
It makes the different when the entire team is using an easy app to size their tasks. Poker planning is a great communication tool. It is a canalisation factor for a truly open discussion. It encourages verity of opinions and also a fun way to deal with the ugly side of sizing.
But even poker planning should be easy to use and available … so I found that when it’s on everyone cellphones, the poker planning session becomes almost second nature. Everyone has a cellphone these days, so cards are out app are in. Just download whatever poker planning app you find out there – it will do the work.
Open window. Remote teams direct communication
I don’t know how this one is called, but it’s a simple Skype communication open constantly in two (maybe more) remote scrum teams locations. In each location we have a dedicated screen presenting the other side.
In any given time, any team member can pick into that window and call another team member for a direct conversation even though they are remotely located.
This is a hell of a tool that makes remote scrum teams feel they are working together.
Sticky notes!! Yes, just sticky notes
These small squares that we stick on a board or a wall have power. I mean the real thing, the paper ones.
They are the best thinking tool, an awesome communication tool, they know how to manage meetings, they know how set order in things and discussions, they are colourful easy to carry around, easy to throw away (without losing any code) and never depending on a process implementation to visualize anything you want the way you want it.
I use them for almost anything. From simple tasks on the board to team agenda, planning tool, hideouts, reminders, notes…
Talk with question marks
Why? Because It empowers others and makes everyone feel they count.
I know this is not a tool per-se. But communication was always the best tool around, knowing how to use the communication tricks is a valuable tool. It teaches the importance of listening and gives him firsthand experience of the first step of empowerment.
And what if there is no coach around? This is one of those tools you can easily use for free.
• The team likes it. It’s light, easy, productive and fun.
• It doesn’t demand any special “psychology craft” skills.
• It’s so easy to use that it holds almost no resistance.
• The feedback is immediate. The person who asks the questions sees the feedback right away, and the information starts to flow better and with better cooperation.
• No one listens to us? They listen now.
• When opinions are out to the air, it enhanced decisions making and makes it easy to solve problems. Especially when we add the rule to answer a question with another question.
White desk (in relation to white board)
Something I realised to be powerful just recently. Why not flip the board.. it makes it a lot more efficient. You can draw everywhere without even get up from your seat. It means that Communication between team members becomes easy immediate and handy.
Planning discussion, instant meetings, any meeting…coding even code review becomes easier when you can just pick up a pen and draw your thoughts on the spot.
BTW, have you noticed that all of my top 5 are communication tools? Well, this is why I consider them to be my top.
Well, there are some more, but this is my top 5. What yours?
My name is Shirly Ronen and you can find me on Twitter right here.