21 New Year’s Resolutions for Scrum Masters

As we come up on the end of the year, it's time to make some New Year's resolutions. Since one of my resolutions for this year was to provide useful and actionable advice, and since I know you’re busy, I’m going to help you get started.

So here are 21 New Year’s resolutions for ScrumMasters to consider:

  1. Offer to facilitate another team's retrospective
  2. Update the team's definition of done (or write one if they don't have one)
  3. Have that tough conversation you've been putting off
  4. Learn something new
  5. Help your team learn something new
  6. If you've personally been giving the demo during sprint reviews, have someone else do it
  7. Inbox zero
  8. Ban email for one day between team members (talk instead)
  9. Have a private conversation thanking each team member for their contributions
  10. Remove something from your process
  11. Instead of maintaining an impediment list, remove each impediment the day you hear about it
  12. In team meetings, ask more questions and make fewer statements
  13. Trust your team
  14. Admit when you've made a mistake
  15. Celebrate little wins as well as big successes
  16. Never type or look at your phone while a teammate is talking to you
  17. Ask your team how they most want you to improve
  18. Try sprint planning a completely different way
  19. Encourage cross-training while allowing people to do what they're good at and enjoy
  20. Ask a sixth why
  21. Eat more fiber (my doctor told me to include this one)

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Mike Cohn

About the Author

Mike Cohn specializes in helping companies adopt and improve their use of agile processes and techniques to build extremely high-performance teams. He is the author of User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development, Agile Estimating and Planning, and Succeeding with Agile as well as the Better User Stories video course. Mike is a founding member of the Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance and can be reached at hello@mountaingoatsoftware.com. If you want to succeed with agile, you can also have Mike email you a short tip each week.