Toolbox: Learn from peers with Scrum Master Pairing

For whom is Scrum Master Pairing useful?

Support in everyday life is essential, especially for new Scrum Masters, because many beginner mistakes are difficult to recognize without external feedback. The exchange with “old hands” helps to build up a set of solution approaches for typical problems faster and thus accelerates the learning curve enormously.

What is Scrum Master Pairing exactly?

Scrum Master Pairing is an instrument that is based on collegial case advice: The aim is to develop solutions for specific practical questions in the sense of an agile support culture. Colleagues help each other by dealing openly with questions and uncertainties, sharing their knowledge, and learning from each other. This is not about door-to-door conversations, but the Scrum Master Pairing is systematic collegial coaching that lasts around 60 minutes.

How does a Scrum Master Pairing work?

It is important that the coach and coachee fit together and that the coachee makes a clear commitment to the coach — an important basis for a trusting and appreciative working relationship. The coachee must feel comfortable and be able to openly address difficulties. The Scrum Master Pairing takes place in a quiet room in private. The seating group should be chosen so that the coach and coachee can look at and talk to each other.

Organization of a Scrum Master Pairing

There are different ways to use Scrum Master Pairing as part of organizational learning. For Junior Scrum Masters (experience < 2 years), regular support in the form of 1 hour per week makes sense, but experienced Scrum Masters should also have the opportunity to take advantage of a Scrum Master pairing at least once a month, for example in the form of case-related inquiries within the company’s “Agile Community”.

In short: The advantages of Scrum Master Pairing

  • Scrum Master Pairing promotes initiative and group cohesion. Scrum Masters learn that they can solve many problems on their own by using the knowledge of the group.
  • Views from outside help to question one’s own perspective, to better understand the problem, and to develop targeted solutions.
  • Scrum Master Pairing leads to a continuous expansion of competence in the sense of a systematic “Inspect & Adapt” approach.

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