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What Are Scrum Techniques?

Scrum in Agile is a framework of roles, rules, events, and artifacts for implementing projects. Scrum techniques are the strategies, tactics, and tools adopted by Scrum masters in their servant-leadership role.

Scrum masters are responsible for establishing an effective Scrum environment where team members understand the theory and methodology and deliver the highest quality work. Scrum techniques should empower leadership, team development, change management, and problem-solving.

Scrum master leadership style

The Scrum Guide describes the Scrum master as a servant-leader there to coach the team, remove impediments, champion and facilitate empirical planning, facilitate stakeholder engagement, and more.

McKinsey describes this well within a broader context of an organization’s leadership that has embraced Agile:

To build and lead an Agile organization, it’s crucial that senior leaders develop new mindsets and capabilities to transform themselves, their teams, and the organization. 

It’s the Scrum master’s responsibility to foster and promote this mindset within the team through a number of Scrum techniques.

Scrum techniques to implement change

Listed below are strategies rather than tools or processes of the Scrum workflow. They all form part of a Scrum master’s toolbox and play an important part because they help the process move forward faster, as well as promote values and principles as articulated in the Agile Manifesto. Here are some of the more important ones:

  • Create and foster a new culture - This is particularly beneficial for team members who are new to Agile
  • Honesty and transparency - To build trust and be able to address challenges sooner rather than later
  • Clarity - The ability to distill complex ideas and present them simply
  • Celebrating short-term wins - The journey is often long and celebrating small wins can improve morale
  • Empower others to work as best as they can - Remove roadblocks and support team members when needed
  • Communicate effectively - complementing Scrum’s in-person events with online tools such as Wrike’s Scrum Board

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Root cause analysis

On a more practical level, a Scrum master and the development team rely on a number of different techniques to identify, address and solve issues.

There are a number of ways to perform a root cause analysis used in Scrum and other project management methodologies, including:

  • Fishbone
  • Five whys
  • Multi-attribute analysis
  • Force-field analysis
  • Impact mapping

The fishbone and five whys techniques are often used in Scrum because they are visual, simple, and quick to complete.

Other Scrum techniques

There are many more Scrum techniques covering team management, communication, and every facet of a Scrum project management. Some are well documented, shared, and discussed in the Agile community but many more are developed to address the unique challenges of a project. Scrum masters and team members should always be looking to incorporate them as part of a process improvement plan.