This article is part of a blog series!

Part Title
1 Evaluating JIRA Agile – Product owners
2 Evaluating JIRA Agile – Scrum masters
3 Evaluating JIRA Agile – Team Members
4 Evaluating JIRA Agile – Everyone

 

This is the second part of our blog series on how JIRA Agile optimizes the key players in an agile team (see also: product owners and the team). Agile methodology brings about a whole new way for managing projects – It focuses on iterative development where the product team can release to market in predictable iterations. Scrum masters sit between a product’s ideation and delivery, and partner with the development team to ensure things are running smoothly, and there are no blocking issues impeding the team.

Scrum masters – Order from chaos

Scrum masters have the challenging job of keeping the day-to-day operations of the team on track. The scrum master works with the product owner and the team to decide on a sprint commitment and help the team deliver on its goals.

Getting to the sprint commitment

Scrum masters help facilitate the scrum cycle which begins with sprint planning, during which product owners work with team to estimate each item in the backlog. Many teams use story points and planning poker to facilitate estimation. Teams can record story points right inside of JIRA Agile so everyone stays on the same page.

jira_agile_scrummaster_plan_mode

Throughout the sprint, the scrum master, product owner, and development team can all work through the sprint together with JIRA Agile.

Delivering on the sprint commitment

When the team is working in a sprint the ScrumMaster helps optimize the team’s performance. That includes flagging blocking issues, monitoring progress, and fending off scope creep.

Flag those blockers!

Once the team is in the current sprint, the scrum master focuses on removing impediments for the team, because when a team member is blocked they are not able to contribute to the overall velocity of the team. JIRA Agile makes it easy to flag blocking issues in work mode; Just right-click the issue to flag it:

jira_agile_scrummaster_flagging

 

ProTip: What’s the difference between the blocker flag, and the blocker priority? The flag means the team member cannot move forward on an issue. When priority is set as blocker that means the issue has the highest priority for the overall program.

Stay ahead of the curve

Reports aren’t just for when the sprint is finished – savvy scrum masters focus on the burndown chart during the sprint. Why? The burndown chart helps the team understand how much work should be completed each day. It’s easy to see whether the team is ahead or behind the sprint commitment day by day.

jira_agile_scrummaster_burndown

JIRA Agile makes it easy to add nonworking days to a particular sprint. The flat spots represent nonworking days. If the team gets too far above the suggested burndown rate, the scrum master can proactively work with the product owner in the engineering team for an effective plan of action.

Keep sprints tight

Scope creep is the number one enemy of a successful sprint. Scope creep undermines the scrum and makes velocity harder to predict. The sprint health gadget aggregates important team information in an easy-to-understand format. Scope creep can easily compromise a sprint’s integrity. The sprint health gadget makes everyone aware of scope creep in a particular sprint.

jira_agile_scrummaster_sprint_health

ProTip: Scrum masters who manage multiple teams can easily aggregate a sprint health gadget for each team they support on one dashboard. Multiple team management has never been easier!

 

Inform stakeholders

Stakeholders always want to know how the project is running. JIRA Agile wallboards aggregate all of the important statistics for a single or multiple agile teams in one easy to read place. The scrum master can proactively inform stakeholders and advertise the team’s success.

jira_wallboard_video

When stakeholders are informed the team is more productive, as less time is spent updating stakeholders with status reports and context.  IRA Agile helps the scrum master with keeping the entire team up to date.

Scrum masters focus on ensuring that teams are running their best. Knowledge is power, so JIRA Agile helps the scrum master keep everyone aware of important team metrics so that each sprint is a success.

Interested in learning more? Check out estimation techniques, tracking progress, and team structure on Atlassian’s agile microsite.

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