Sep 14

KPIs of a Scrum Master

A question that people frequently ask me is: “How do I assess the performance of our Scrum Master? What makes her do well and how do I know?”. In this post I will elaborate on this question. After reading this post, you will be aware of multiple KPIs you can use in evaluating the performance of (yourself as) a Scrum Master. You will have found ways to assess her performance in a broader way.

To me, a Scrum Master is there to make sure the effectiveness of software delivery in the organization is improved. She does so by switching between teaching, mentoring, coaching and consulting. She does so by interacting with the Development Team, the Product Owner and the stakeholders around them. Here are KPIs for evaluating her performance:

• Happiness metric
How happy is the Scrum Team and what is the trend? It is no secret anymore these days that the happiness of people is the best indicator for future performance. You can use the happiness metric over a longer period in time to make sure the Scrum Master helps grow the Team and helps improve the life of people within the team and the organization.

• Definition of Done and conformance to it
How strict is the “Definition of Done” of the team? What is the trend, does it increase or stabilize or even decrease? As a guide, I recommend crafting a Definition of Done according to this blog post by Jeff Sutherland.

• Stability and trend of delivering working software
What is the success rate of delivering working software at the end of sprint? After the teams initial storming phase the Scrum Master guides them through, do they succeed sprint after sprint? If so, how much do they deliver? Do they get more productive over time? If so, what is their process efficiency, which is used to express their ability to “swarm” as a team?

• Understanding of collective intelligence
The biggest hurdle in succeeding as a Scrum Master is the tendency to want to solve problems for other people. Do not get me wrong, as a Scrum Master you need to help out if the situation ask for it. However, you should use the collective intelligence of the group to make sure the team solves problems they own. I most often check this with a Scrum Master by asking what the teams biggest problem last week was and how it was solved. If I see a trend in the Scrum Master thinking for and acting on behalf of the team, we talk about it.

All in all, the best KPI to me is how fast the Scrum Master can make herself unneeded without her value fading away. If, over time, the Scrum Team is truly self-organizing and does not need the Scrum Master because the team members are showing behavior of a Scrum Master, she succeeds as a Scrum Master!

Want to know more or share your experience? Please let me know in the comments below or ping me on Twitter

Picture: peritumservices.com

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