So you’re a ScrumMaster, Now What?

10 Steps to Jump-Start Scrum Adoption after your CSM Class

Many students take a Certified ScrumMaster training course intending to kick-start their team or company’s Agile adoption. However, as we know, Agility is simple in theory, but hard in practice. You may be asking yourself, “Okay, I am a Certified ScrumMaster, but what’s the next step?” You understand the fundamentals, but how are you going to guide or convince an entire team or organization to completely embrace Agile methods and adapt the way they’re currently implementing projects? Although it may seem daunting, small steps in the right direction are doable and can impact your team and organization enormously.

We asked a handful of our Agile Coaches and Instructors about their recommendations to first initiating Scrum on a new team as a ScrumMaster. Below we listed the 10 steps that we found most beneficial. Enjoy!


1.Find a project suited for scrum — Find a project with medium term deliverable, around 3 months or so, and medium importance. You want to find a project that is not detrimental to the organization if it fails, but not so insignificant that no one will care.

2. Find a sponsor who will support your endeavor — Describe to them the problems with your current team’s problems tell them how Agile could help. To get ideas, check out the benefits of Scrum here!

3. Acknowledge that this is a learning opportunity – Let your team, management and executives know that this is a learning process and scrum is iterative; it will take a number of sprints before improvement is seen – Remember failure is the only way to success!

4. Find comparison metrics – Compare the success and failure metrics from your scrum project to metrics of a current plan-driven project. One suggestion is to look at the number of known bugs released to production or escaped defects found after your release. Also look at the severity of these defects. You can also try to measure customer satisfaction, adoption/uptake rates, click through rates, team morale, cycle time (between release cycles), or features per cycle.

5. Form your team – Find a team that has all the necessary skills to complete this project – a ScrumMaster, Product Owner, Developers, Q/A, etc.

6. Be prepared to train your team — If you are the only one on your team who has taken Scrum training, be prepared to train your team and guide them through the process. If your budget allows, look for team training opportunities to get everyone up to speed. Read about our Team Training Workshops. cPrime also has an Online Introduction to Scrum Course available here that your team could take for a low cost.

7. Find a Mentor or Coach — If resources allow, find a mentor or coach to help you and your team. (Ask us for help!)

8. Read “Scrum and XP from the Trenches”— You can download the entire book here. Use this book as your guide while going through all the processes of Scrum. It gives you every practical detail of scrum processes, tips and tricks, pitfalls, descriptions of day-to-day work, scaling and planning in scrum. This was the first book that Kevin Thompson, cPrime’s lead Agile Coach, read and he recommends every person starting to use scrum to read it.

9. Schedule your first Sprint Planning Meeting — Make sure your product backlog is in place and that your product owner has rated the importance of the stories. Refine your product backlog story into small tasks or items that will fit into your first sprint (Your sprint backlog).

10. Keep Learning! Your CSM course gave you the fundamentals, but adopting Scrum is an process and it is important to continue to learn best practices and improve your performance.

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