How can we tell if the Scrum Master is doing a great job?

An excellent Scrum Master ensures the team self-manages, improves continuously, and removes obstacles effectively, leading to better autonomy and reliable delivery of quality, valuable increments.

Each Scrum team is unique, and the indicators of a great Scrum Master may vary based on team size, maturity, organizational culture, and specific challenges. However, a Scrum Master who promotes the principles and values of Scrum, as described in the Scrum Guide, is likely doing an excellent job when their team is improving at the following:

1.     Product Delivery and Value: A good indicator is the regular and consistent delivery of increments that meet the Definition of Done and contribute to the overall product vision and goals. The Scrum Master works with all the team members to ensure that the Scrum Team is always focused on delivering value.

2.     Stakeholder Collaboration: There should be a noticeable improvement in collaboration and communication between the Scrum Team and stakeholders. With the use of coaching, teaching and mentoring, the Scrum Master helps the Product Owner manage stakeholder expectations and ensure a clear understanding of the product vision, product goals, product backlog and work progress.

3.     Resolution of Impediments: The Scrum Master is good at identifying, tracking, and facilitating the removal of impediments. This can be seen in how quickly and effectively blockers to the team’s progress are addressed.

4.     Continuous Improvement and Learning: A practical Scrum Master constantly promotes and supports the team’s efforts in continuous improvement, encouraging regular and effective retrospectives. This can be seen in the team’s quality improvements and adopting better practices over time.

5.    Autonomy and Self-Management: The Scrum Master should foster an environment where the Developers can work autonomously and manage themselves. This is evident when the team decides how to achieve product goals best and manage their work.

These core improvements are marks of a Scrum Master who not only understands the principles of Scrum but applies them effectively in practice to drive success and facilitate a high-performing, reliable team.