A day in the life of a ScrumMaster

As part of our new series, I took over the White Label Dating® Facebook page last Friday to give an insight into the hard work that goes towards maintaining our award winning platform. Here’s what I got up to…

8-9am: My day starts bright and early and this is my opportunity to review the previous day’s achievements, clear my inbox of any waiting emails, look at the day ahead and prepare for meetings I may have.

9am: It’s time to stand-up with Team Prime. This is a 15 minute meeting we have every morning to talk about what we did yesterday, what we’ll be doing today and if there are any impediments in our way that I, as ScrumMaster, need to get out of our way! Our Product Owner, Tim, also attends this meeting so he can keep up-to-date with how our current sprint is going. Team Prime consists of people in Windsor, London, Devon and even New Zealand! Team Prime’s focus at the moment is around payments and working with our existing and new payment gateways.

9.30am: Next up is my stand-up with Team Bolt. We follow the exact same pattern as Team Prime, joined by Pete who is Product Owner. As you can see, we’ve also got team members dialling in from Devon and London. Bolt’s focus has recently been around the Profile Experience and will continue to be for the next few sprints.

10.30am: Today marks the end of Team Bolt’s sprint which means they will be demo-ing the work they have completed over the last two weeks to the rest of the business. This is my time to set up the presentation room, call our team members in London and Devon and do a quick run through of the presentation to iron out any possible hiccups before we start!

11-11.30am: Between 11 and 11.30 Bolt hold their demo, showing off all the work they have done over the last two weeks. This is also a time for the Product Owner to review the finished product and for stakeholders to provide feedback or ask questions. Today we’re showing the progress we have made on our new ‘Looking For’ feature and some ideas we have come up with for future changes to the Profile Experience.

11.30-12.30: Immediately after the demo, we hold a retrospective to reflect on how we have performed as a team over the last two weeks. We cover what went well, what could have gone better and what we need to improve on. We evaluate things such as; did we hit our goal? If so, what enabled us to do that? If not, what prevented us from doing so? Were there any major blockers or interruptions that caused us problems? Did we manage to achieve more than we expected? The key point of this meeting is to honestly evaluate the sprint from every angle and pinpoint areas that require improvement in the next sprint.

12.30-1pm: As the sprint has now finished, the remainder of the day is spent preparing for the next 2 weeks ahead. Pete, our PO, runs through the work that is in the backlog to brief the guys on what’s coming up. As Bolt are going into Kanban (a different development style) for the next two weeks, they won’t be committing to a specific set of work as they would normally. They will get as much done from the backlog as they can but as they are not bound to a commitment, they can remain flexible in order to move onto any unexpected, or higher priority work that might come in. Once this part of the meeting is over, it’s time to crack on!

PicMonkey Collage1-2pm: This section of my day lets me catch up on what I’ve missed from the morning due to being away in meetings; mainly consisting of catch ups with the rest of the team, emails, reviewing tickets that might have come in from the business reporting issues that need to be looked at, beginning to write the retrospective report for Team Bolt and grab some lunch before the afternoon takes off!

: Once a month the ScrumMasters and Product Owners get together and review how the Scrum process is going, discuss any topics we think are valuable to improving the process and how we plan to implement these improvements. We’ll also spend this time reviewing previous actions and/or agreed improvements and discuss the progress of these and how/if they are adding value. A huge part of how we work is all about inspecting and adapting our performance on a regular basis, my day so far is probably one of the more extreme examples of this!

3-3.30pm: Every two weeks I hold a meeting with the B2B team to update them on all things development to keep them up to date with recent releases and what’s coming up. Today, however, Pete is taking the floor and running the meeting with me. We’ve recently introduced POs to this meeting as they are best placed to answer any questions about future projects and the direction the product will be taking. The team can use information from this meeting to inform their partners of anything that is relevant to them.

3.30-4.30pm: This is the last hour of my normal working day. I tend to spend this time finishing the write up of the retrospective report for my team, any post-planning admin that needs to be done following our earlier meeting with Pete, review my calendar and begin to prepare what I might need for tomorrow, clear my inbox, catch up with my other team to make sure that their day has run smoothly, have a quick catch up with the big boss Sam, and do a final check to see if I’m needed for anything and then head home!


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