Scrum Master Duties: Training and Support of Team Members
Question: How much time do you spend in total per week on training or supporting individual team members?
The answers to this questions are wide-spread: more than 10 percent of all respondents spend at least 4 hours per week on coaching other team members. On the other side of the spectrum, 40 percent allocate less than an hour per week on coaching their teammates or do not do this at all.
Scrum Master Duties: Training and Support of Stakeholders
Question: How much time do you spend in total per week on training or supporting stakeholders from your organization?
A quarter of all respondents is not coaching stakeholders at all or allocates less than 30 minutes per week to this task. The rest allocates various amounts of time to stakeholder education, most commonly around an hour or two per week.
Scrum Master Duties: Learning
Question: How much time do you spend in total per week to learn from books, blogs, newsletters or from other scrum masters, for example, in communities?
Three-quarters of all scrum masters spend at least an hour a week on educating themselves, 30 % of them up to three hours a week.
Scrum Master Duties: Doing the Math
A typical scrum team based on this survey has more than seven members and runs a two-week sprint.
On average, the team’s scrum master allocates his or her time roughly as follows, normalized to hours per week:
- Product backlog refinement: 1.00 hours/week
- Sprint planning: 0.75 hours/week
- Stand-ups: 1.50 hours/week
- Sprint review: 0.50 hours/week
- Sprint retrospective: 0.75 hours/week
- Learning: 2.00 hours/week
- Training of teammates: 3.00 hours/week
- Training of stakeholders: 2.00 hours/week
If you do the math — the total amount of time spent on scrum ceremonies, educating herself, or training teammates and stakeholders, respectively, is about 11.50 hours/week.
Learn what other activities scrum masters of a single team turn to as well in the next paragraph.
Additional Scrum Master Activities from Survey Participants
Here are some of the additional comments by survey participants:
“Preparing meetings, presentations, thinking through the habits of the team and prepare for the retro, self-reflection, writing internal blogs, preparing and executing a strategy/plan for organisational change towards agile. “
“I joined a team mid-flight where the PO was doing both PO and SM, and it’s very challenging to build trust with the team and to inspect and adapt. Some team members do not believe there is anything to improve, yet they never meet their sprint goal. “
“Other tasks are: working on impediments, preparation of the physical task board. “
“[I am] also spending a huge chunk of time doing the typical PM chores: project checklists, plans, etc. “
“The majority of my time is spent on helping remove impediments and team coordination with waterfall teams (all of our LOB teams are componentized). Also, I spend a good deal of time on reporting initiatives and internal “agile” initiatives. “
“[I am] working in LeSS with four teams in total, spending 3–4 [hours] [syncing] with other SMs and Teams. “
“[I am] working with a nimble startup trying to align with waterfall processes within a bank, trying to broaden [the] Agile adoption. “
“Depending on the sprint, I may spend a few hours preparing for [the] retro. “
“In particular, we have “corrupted” scrum to best feed the context of our company. I would not call it scrum, we are doing something based on it, we try to defend the values and principles, but the flow itself mutates based on the needs of the team. “
“[I am] liaising with other teams, external vendors. Aligning [the] team to [the] org process and tools. Metrics and reporting. “
“Gather Agile metrics and prepare reports for leadership. “
“As an Agile Coach, we spend more time on outside teams than we do with the direct team. Really, only one team for a Mid/Sr level SM? I call BS on that. “
“Training opportunities usually appear in regular Sprint Events, which I do not count separately from those events. Usually, training happens in bulk in one week, when I spend most of my time on training only. Then training occurs less. That is why I put a middle ground for training as if spread across several months. “
“I also observe a lot [of] people interactions and help with conflict resolution. “
“In my organization, we are still in [the] process of implementing scrum. The involvement of management and organization to do scrum is minimal. The organization wants to be agile, but not adopt agile practices (not yet by even doing all the ceremonies). Long way to go! “
“Some details about my support: it is about coaching people, ensuring proper implementation of ceremonies and adapting scrum framework to a non-IT environment. “
“I co-locate with my team. I listen to conversations in the team room to determine if things are going well, or [if they] need my help. As a [scrum master], you have to listen for what is NOT spoken and follow-up on those concerns just as much as what IS spoken. I have a lot of 1:1 conversations with team members and encourage them to follow-up on items as a result. This empowers the team member, and the team grows.”
Scrum Master Duties, Serving a Single Team — The Conclusion
Yo scrum master, whatchadoin all day?
I am afraid; we cannot answer that question given the non-representative nature of the survey. However, if you take into account what respondents also list in the ‘other tasks’ category, you will get a pretty good impression of the nature of the real-life ‘scrum master position’ nowadays.