The First Day as an Embedded Scrum Master

The day started with an end and beginning to a Sprint. With the cycle being so short, the team was devoting 30 minutes each to review and retrospective and an entire hour for Sprint Planning. I could see where the review could handle the short length and knew planning could be short since most of it was done for the team already the day before. I was hoping as the new Scrum Master to have the chance to run the meetings, but they went on routinely and it was obvious all I should do is just listen in.

Of course, it’s difficult for me just to sit passively. I wound up briefly touching on the very, very basics of Scrum for about five minutes, basically drawing and explaining this picture. There was also a bit of a plea in solutions during Sprint Review from me to ditch some burdening process and have some visible information radiators around the room.

Even without my interjections the review lasted over an hour, with discussions of the same couple of things. Not really new or interesting information, just all agreeing on the same problems, rehashed and kicked over. Ironically, one of the problems was starting meetings on time and sticking to the time box. Even with interjections from me and others to get on with it, everyone wanted to have the last say. Somehow, it ended and we went in to planning.

The Sprint Planning I was really hoping to run. With our prioritized MPP on the white board, I thought it would be easy to first write some acceptance criteria for each, and then focus on writing tasks. We could break in to groups using the people assigned as an owner to lead them, but ensuring everyone was in agreement with the tasks and time. Instead, the Product Owner and Project Manager read through the list and their hope that it got done in the time they estimated, and then everyone left the room. Presumably to enter their tasks in the tool the team was using, but who really knows?

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