Our Top 5 Tips for New CSM’s

You completed 3Back’s Certified ScrumMaster training. You passed the necessary exam. You even framed your certificate. You are a full fledged, card carrying CSM.

So, Now What?

Any seasoned ScrumMaster will admit that their time spent as a newly anointed CSM was both exhilarating and overwhelming. With all of that newly minted Scrum knowledge buzzing through your brain, where do you begin? Which essential tools from your virtual Scrum tool chest do you grab first to help guide your Team towards better agility and improved productivity?

We’ve all been there. That’s why we put our heads together to offer you our Top 5 Tips for New CSM’s. Consider this our first installment. Trust us; we’ve got lots more than five. And, we’ll give you more tips down the road.

We encourage you to read and digest these five, keep them handy and refer to them during those quiet moments when you wish your Certified Scrum Trainer was sitting across from you. These tips are not ranked and are in no particular order. We did this because we realize that during the course of a Sprint, different tips will resonate more strongly with you.

Tip #1: Facilitate. Don’t Manage.

Especially for a new ScrumMaster, this is an easy trap to fall into. You want to make an impact. You want to drive your Team to their goals. And, you probably want to do this pretty quickly. But, by using your CSM role to manage rather than facilitate, to direct rather than listen, to prescribe rather than coach, your dreams of creating a Well-Formed TeamTM are just that – dreams. So, slow down. Take a breath. Guide your Team to get there, rather than giving them your version of the correct path.
Our Top 5 Tips for New CSM’s - CSM tips - Facilitate - 3Back Scrum & Agile Blog

Tip #2: Different Strokes for Different Folks.

Now that you’re reminding yourself to facilitate rather than manage, it’s time to add the next level of finesse to your ScrumMaster role. Remember that your approach to your role and how you interact with each Team Member is also an Agile one. Sometimes your facilitation will require you to play the role of Scrum trainer, sometimes Scrum coach and sometimes Scrum mentor. Your approach is guided by the specific needs of each Team Member. Listen and observe, and the role you should play will rise to the surface.
Our Top 5 Tips for New CSM’s - CSM tips - Different Strokes - 3Back Scrum & Agile Blog

Tip #3: Remember the One Constant.

Despite morphing your role for each Team member, there is one constant — you are their Scrum expert. It’s your job to bring your mastery of Scrum to the table in every interaction. Make time to be a student of Scrum, both recognizing and absorbing the in’s and out’s of how Scrum works. This is more than time well spent. It may prove to be the most valuable use of your time as you settle into your new CSM role.
Our Top 5 Tips for New CSM’s - CSM tips - One Constant - 3Back Scrum & Agile Blog

Tip #4: Listen to What Scrum is Telling You.

Scrum is a lightweight process framework. That’s more than a T-shirt worthy definition. It’s an ever present reminder of the Scrum big picture. You and your Team are not slaves to Scrum. Rather, the agility that Scrum offers liberates your Team. And, at those moments where you and your Team don’t feel liberated, pause to reflect on what is getting in the way.
Our Top 5 Tips for New CSM’s - CSM tips - Listen to Scrum - 3Back Scrum & Agile Blog

Tip #5: Focus on the Present and the Immediate Future.

Leave the worrying about the far future to your Product Owner. It’s not your job to house your Team’s crystal ball and anticipate what may (or may not) appear someday on the horizon. The more you can build your awareness of the present and help your Team do the same, the more your Team will thrive.
Our Top 5 Tips for New CSM’s - CSM tips - Focus on Present - 3Back Scrum & Agile Blog

No One Said It Would Be Easy

But, with these 5 tips under your belt, it just might be very, very rewarding.

Want more hands-on tips of the Scrum trade?
We’ve got training for that.

As Always. Stay Agile.