Do scrum team members need to wait until the next daily stand up to ask for help in resolving impediments or obstacles?
No, they don’t need to wait.
The purpose of the daily scrum.
The purpose of the daily scrum is to align team members with what is happening over the next 24 hours, raise any impediments or obstacles that are blocking progress, and to provide the team with insight into how you are progressing.
In essence, the developers will talk about what they are working on and raise any red flags that may prevent them from achieving their goals.
So, yes, it is a great time to raise impediments, but it is not the only time to raise impediments.
Tackle the problem early.
A daily scrum is a great backstop when it comes to impediment resolution, almost like a safety net if you like, but ideally you will want to tackle the problem early and connect with the person or people who can help you resolve that problem as quickly as possible.
As the scrum master, you need to be available to assist a struggling developer if the problem falls outside of the influence and control of the team.
Perhaps you need to talk to a product stakeholder or raise the issue with a senior leader on behalf of the team. If you can do so immediately, that is great and will be deeply appreciated by your team. If not, set time available to tackle the problem as soon as you can.
Creating autonomous, self-managing teams
We are getting the point where people are starting to realise that scrum masters are more than just problem solvers in the team environment. An understanding that a scrum master is not there to just remove impediments.
You are looking to create an environment where the team can excel.
Part of that achievement of excellence is becoming an autonomous, self-managing team that can act in the face of challenges and adversity. An environment where a developer can raise a red flag, request the team to swarm around the problem to resolve it, and ensure that there is as little disruption as possible.
Take some time out to have these conversations with the team.
If you see an opportunity for the team to take ownership of a problem and solve it internally, great, encourage them to do that and use the sprint retrospective to reflect on how that helped the team improve, and how they can grow capabilities to tackle greater problems in the future.
Help the team understand the value of becoming truly autonomous and skilled at resolving problems early and effectively.
About John McFadyen
If you are interested in becoming an agile coach and value mentored, coach-driven skills development in your journey to mastery, visit our Growing Scrum Masters website.
For more information on John McFadyen, connect with John on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnmcfadyen/.
If you like the idea of becoming a scrum master and want to achieve internationally recognised and certified accreditation as a scrum master, visit our Certified Scrum Master (CSM) course page.
If you are already a scrum master and want to upskill to a more advanced level of knowledge and agile coaching capability, visit our Advanced Certified Scrum Master (A-CSM) course page.
If you have several years’ experience as a scrum master and want to validate and certify your professional skills, visit our Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master (CSP-SM) course page.
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