• Marco Toscano

Five Rules For Scrum Masters to Manage Distributed Teams

Updated: Dec 24, 2021

Coordination of distributed and remote work teams is complex. It has both advantages and disadvantages. A rigid manifesto will not work in every circumstance or for every organization. Fortunately, the agile methodology allows us to adhere to its principles while tailoring its methods to our specific requirements.


Even though many companies were forced to adopt remote working due to the pandemic, our teams, despite being distributed, were always building Agile software products precisely as our clients desired. Even so, when our two teams split further, with each employee in a different environment, we had to tweak our model a little, emphasizing specific good and essential practices to stay together as a team.



A Scrum Master is essential in Agile Teams for empowering teams and instilling the right team spirit. The pandemic has changed the game.


Read these five significant pointers for Scrum Masters:


Listen

One of the essential tips for any employee, especially the Scrum Master, is listening carefully and empathizing with others. Everyone has their own set of difficulties and challenges. We can't understand or estimate correctly unless we pay close attention. The ability to listen is essential for maintaining momentum and staying on track.


Employees and customers should be valued

Of course, completing the tasks is the most important thing. However, it is not always about work. Employees who feel undervalued will not give their best effort, and customers who think undervalued may not want to continue working with you. Balancing both of their interests is a tightrope walk that the Scrum Master must undertake daily. Though it may appear to be impossible, it is entirely feasible. The key is to listen to them and assure them that they are important to you.


Convert abstract concepts into concrete, actionable goals

Everyone feels better when their professional goals coincide with their work requirements. However, abstract goals are challenging to translate into actionable ones. Employees become valuable assets if the Scrum Master can identify and communicate how they align. Working hard and smart, for example, is an abstract goal that can be translated into tips on writing clean code, suggestions for workshops, and webinars that can assist team members in their work.


Maintain a Flat Hierarchy

Before Agile, teams were organized in a hierarchical structure. Team members in such a setup are focused on climbing the ladder at the expense of their personal goals and interests. A Scrum Master is not in charge of a team. They facilitate team communications and is an integral member of the team. Agile encourages team members to be open and transparent, and it requires a flat hierarchy to be implemented.


Utilize Agile Tools

It isn't easy to maintain team spirit and bonding while still following up and getting work done in remote working conditions. Agile tools enable us to communicate more effectively and form virtual but genuine connections. Using a virtual team space or virtual rooms to assess each other's workspace and plan together is an excellent method of team engagement. Furthermore, these tools promote team member transparency.


Concluding thoughts

Though Agile may appear to be just a software development methodology, its foundations are based on widely-accepted values and principles. This knowledge has been accumulated by the industry over many years and shaped not only by brilliant minds but also by great philosophers. Reducing it to rigid rules undermines the efforts of those who have made significant contributions.


Developing your method of remaining Agile is critical, and this is what the methodology is all about. Choose excellent and meaningful collaborations over a lonely journey if you are on the Agile path.


Follow my blog https://www.marcotoscano.de for more information on Scrum, Kanban, Agile, and much more.