Project Management

How to Develop Situational Awareness as a New Scrum Master or Agile Coach

Ayman is a digital transformation consultant, author and speaker. He has helped clients in almost every sector imaginable—from high-tech to mining, and from animation studios to government bureaucracies—discover how to unlock their potential through digital and agile ways of working.

Picture this: You’re a scrum master or agile coach who was brought in to assist a team embarking on a large and complex project. You’re new to the organization, perhaps even to the line of business they’re in. You feel like you need to get up to speed quickly so that you can start contributing effectively, and your years of experience have taught you that every organization and every team is unique.

You understand that for you to truly create value, you need to capture the unique context of the team and organization you’re now supporting—that is, you need to develop situational awareness. You need to understand what it means to be where you are, the people with whom you are working, and the history, people dynamics, complexity and many other nuances of the team and organization.

This effort to develop a broad understanding of your new environment could also help you (and your team) design a fit-for-purpose project initiation (inception/kickoff) process that leverages what has already been done in the past to develop a shared understanding of what needs to be done in the future—and identify areas where the team needs to pay special attention.

  • Have there been customer interviews conducted in the past as part of an effort to envision what an enhanced version of the existing product would look like?
  • Were there any agile success …

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"I never thought much of the courage of a lion-tamer. Inside the cage he is at least safe from people."

- George Bernard Shaw