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Some of the tasks undertaken by a Scrum coach – Part 1

In previous posts (Need for a Scrum coach), I have been talking about some of the benefits that a Scrum coach brings to a Scrum team. Many of these revolve around resolving issues that team members are not able to resolve, either because they do not have the experience, or because they are too deeply involved in the issues to see the real problem. In this post, I will provide some more details on what are some of the activities that a Scrum coach does:
– Coaches provide training and support to team members, team leads and managers. Since the growth of people associated with the team depends on their individual and team performances, how they are able to support and work as part of the Scrum team is also a big part of their overall performance assessment. It in this that the Scrum coach provides them invaluable advice and support. It is the Scrum coach who enables the team members, leads and managers as to how increase their performance, work towards resolving issues, and overall increasing the factors that lead to success. If the Scrum team works well, and the individuals involved perform well, then this good performance is noted.
– Coaches alleviate a huge amount of frustration that the team may be facing. When teams are somewhat new to the concept of Scrum, or are facing a difficult situation in their implementation, getting a solution for their problems can be difficult. This is especially true when teams are facing problems that are complex, or for which there is no easy solution. In many of such cases, the teams may not even realize that they are facing a problem, although they may be seeing the consequences of the problem in terms of morale issues, loss of efficiency, involvement of stakeholders who may not be seeing the team delivering as expected, and so on. Such situations can create a huge amount of frustration for the team members, leads, and managers, and it is the job of the Scrum coach to identify and head off such problems when he / she diagnoses that they may be happening, making the team members see the problem, and then working them through solving such problems (or even letting the team see the problem and mitigating the problem – not all problems can be solved, especially organizational issues). Through such actions, the Scrum coach works to resolve the frustration experienced by the stakeholders.
– The scrum coach typically has the authority and the empowerment granted to be able to work with different levels of the organization in order to provide training and also resolve issues. For issues related to morale and where there are problems that need to be solved with organizational issues, it is necessary that the solution be found, even if resolving the issues means that stakeholders at a more senior level within the organization need to be involved (for example, when senior managers get involved in trying to drive the Scrum team, it can be very jarring and needs to be addressed in a proper manner).

I will continue with this topic, adding more points where required in the next post …

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