CHOW #79- What should a manager do to sustain the impact of coaching on a Scrum Team?

Prasad the Agile coach for a team, has coached the “Enchanters” scrum team for a couple months
and has completed the initial Agile Maturity Assessment. The team was slow to change at the
beginning, but Prasad with his interventions has been able to turn around the team to adopt Scrum
in the right spirit and with enthusiasm.

The assessment is not a surprise to the team and highlights the areas where they have done well and
those that they could improve. Prasad has facilitated a meeting to walk thru the assessment and
arrive at a set if action items for the team to continue on their Agile journey.

When you meet with Geetha, the manager of the team to apprise her of their progress, she asks
“Tell me Prasad, what should I do as a Manager to ensure that they sustain and grow their Agile
Scrum Practices?”

She feels the team is empowered and vary that her actions should not impact that. At the same
time, she tells that she has very little time to focus on the team, as she is busy with recruitment for a
major project that is coming up.

As the coach, what would be your response?

Suggested Solution:

Here is my view, and there could be different views. As I see there are two aspects to look out for at
this juncture:
1. The regular conduct of the ceremonies
2. The effectiveness of the ceremonies and it’s outcome

It will be great if the manager knows that the ceremonies are conducted regularly, a simple
mechanism could be put in place. Ex: The SM sends a brief mail after the Sprint Planning, Backlog
Refinement and Sprint Retrospective meetings to the team and the manager is included.

The Daily Scrum is conducted at a specific time, and the manager can walk by their workplace to see
if the it is happening, he could join in as an observer too. This could be checked or done once or
twice a week.

The effectiveness of the ceremonies could be gauged by the contents of the mail that updates about
the ceremony. The contents should be chosen/adjusted to make the ceremonies outcome
transparent. More on this in another blog.

The manager will get an idea of how the team is doing from the mail and if need be, he could look
into the agile scrum metrics of the team.

To summarize, receipt of the mail informs the conduct of the ceremonies and the contents give an
idea on the effectiveness. The latter could be ascertained by looking at the agile metrics, as and
when needed.

What do you think?

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