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Scrum Mastery: From Good To Great Servant-Leadership

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  627 ratings  ·  62 reviews
The basics of being a ScrumMaster are fairly straightforward: Facilitate the Scrum process and remove impediments. But being a great ScrumMaster, one who truly embodies the principles of servant-leadership and helps move a team to the high performance levels possible with Scrum, is much harder and much more elusive. In his over ten years of coaching numerous Scrum teams, t ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 30th 2013 by Inspect & Adapt Ltd
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Forest Tong
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Although this book has some suggestions that I consider to be silly and distracting--like adding a game to the daily scrum updates--it is on the whole a terrific book full of practical, inspiring, and extremely challenging ideas. For example:

> A good ScrumMaster will say what needs to be said. A great ScrumMaster knows the power of silence.

My only other objection would be that the information is a mishmash of random thoughts that are forced into the acronym RETRAINED instead of coherently organi
Barnabas Smith
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you’re interested in what a Scrum Master does, this book as some informative chapters in the Appendices. If you want an in depth breakdown of what makes a great Scrum Master, this is the book for you. There are some excellent pointers and tips on leadership and team building that could be applied outside of Scrum/Agile. However, the Agile methodology and Scrum framework facilitate this style of leadership and provide opportunities that might have to be forced otherwise.
Piotr Gregorczyk
Foreword cause me to think, there would be some great advice for scrum teams and entirely new topics. In fact, only few things where new and even then, they were explained with long stories and without deep dive into the subject.
Content is really basic. It covers some people managing technics without any new knowledge in that area. It's just scrum perspective on those tools.
For plus are chapters about planning and tracking progress and using visuals. I also liked summaries and quotes before and
Mar 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: agile, in-2017
This book has excellent highlights on what it takes to be a great Scrum Master and I was happy to find a lot of them matched my own observations of what makes SMs effective. Perhaps because I was already familiar with many of the points raised, I found the book somewhat lacking in practical advice.
Despite my somewhat average rating, the book is a good read and I think many will find it useful to discover and start thinking about some of the more subtle aspects of the SM role.
Gary Watts
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great book on Scrum Mastery and coaching teams - narrated well in a down to earth accessible way and brought alive with good i
examples and anecdotes. An essential read for all Scrum Masters, teams, any supporting roles, and all aspiring agile coaches.
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very interestig book, gives numerous examples of how a great scrum master should be.
Covers a lot of ground, many different aspects, and the examples are great.
Setting goals, how to inspire the team, how to keep things interesting, removing impediments, are all examples of what was tackled in the book.
Small mini chapters, as well as the case studies, make it a very light read.
Rishat Muhametshin
Jan 22, 2020 rated it did not like it
I regret buying this one. There’s a couple things wrong with the book.

In the beginning, the book introduces the acronym "RETRAINED" that stands for "resourceful", "enabling", (and spoilers), and then retrofits the content into it. Such approach reads like a collection of articles from the internet that have almost no relation to each other.

There are “live cases” to reinforce the ideas in chapters. The cases are not realistic and apparently aren't supposed to be. Each of them boils down to “the t
Peter Gfader
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A must read for every leader of some sort. The title has Scrum in it, but it is really about building great teams and changing the organisational context.

What makes the book a 10/10 stars you ask?
* Lots of experience reports as stories from real team situations
* Lots of tips what to try
* Lots of things what hinder team collaboration and growing
* The "Good to Great" motto is awesome!
* Easy to read and very short breathed
* Shows beyond the basics of facilitation and teaching the process to teams
Łukasz Woliński
Jul 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
The book consists of real life stories and use cases for the daily use of scrum. I found many of them useful and practical. There are lots of ideas on how to handle difficult situations. The implementation of those ideas is fairly easy and straightforward. Although some of the stories were slightly boring I would recommend this book for begginers, who would like to dive deeper into the world of scrum master's responsibilities.
Kyle Bremner
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great book for those newer to scrum or guiding teams, a good book that recaps and reminds you about important topics for those with more experience.

A well written book, the structure makes it easy to refer back to specific chapters when looking for guidance around a specific problem. The highlighting between good and great is a nice format, suggesting that you're not wrong by following the "good" path, but you could help a team (and yourself) even more by following the "great" path.
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: work
Great little book. Short, easy to read chapters with some great real-life examples and ideas. Besides some tips and tricks, I also found it useful to evaluate myself against each of the characteristics described. This has helped identify areas I'm doing well at as well as those I either need more practice at or have not even been aware of!
Gerard Chiva
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great advice for Scrum Masters, written in a friendly way, with lots of practical tips and real stories. Must read for any good Scrum Master that wants to become a great Scrum Master ;-)
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great read if you have experience working as a scrum master for at least a year and want to improve. Novices will not get as much out of this book initially.
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: agile, work
Fun. Lot of interesting stories, but most of things is basic. Quick read for me.
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There are some really interesting stories in this book but each chapter starts with a great two line summary which really do sum up a huge amount.

A good ScrumMaster grasps the responsibilities of the role. A great ScrumMaster grasps the skills and mindset of the role.
A good ScrumMaster will be indispensable to a team. A great ScrumMaster will become both dispensable and wanted.
A good ScrumMaster helps a Scrum team survive in an organisation's culture. A great ScrumMaster helps change the culture
Joshua R. Taylor
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: expository
An inspectional read, and a profound one at that. If I ever consider transitioning into a Scrum master role and wish to elevate my status from 'good' to 'great', this shall be the first text I reach for. Such a profound and pragmatic view on teams and team building.

The book is structured around an acronym to encapsulate the ideal characteristics of a great Scrum master: re-trained.

R - Respect
E - Encouraging
T - Tactful
R - Resourceful
A - Alternative
I - Inspiring
N - Nurturing
E - Empathetic
D - Disr
Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it
While I liked the book, I don't think its content is revolutionary in any way. To my taste, it focuses too much on the soft-skills needed for what Geoff Watts calls great scrum masters. You will find some tips on how to coach the team in certain aspects such as active listening or conflict management for example.
Before I read the book I knew I needed to work on my facilitation, coaching, mentoring, self-reflection or teaching skills. But that's what this book has to offer, areas for people to de
Jordi Manrique
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: it
At the beginning, it seems that the book explains obvious thoughts or facts, but while you're reading it, these concepts hook you. I recommend to write down some notes because it's full of tips or new ideas you may apply in some moments. In fact, I've started to do a couple of tips during the retrospectives and the daily meetings.

However, you need to be open-minded to get all the concepts and think about all the things you're doing. Sometimes you're doing something unintentionally and it might b
Lukasz Nalepa
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-work
This book was on my to-read list for a few years. Since I've drifted a bit from the Scrum Master role in my professional career a few years ago, I didn't had the urge to read it right away... Few weeks ago I finally started reading and yeah. This is great book exactly as I suspected. A must read for all Scrum Masters, no matter how experienced, and a must read for anyone who seeks to understand that role. After gifing it some though I also strongly encourage every people manager that have anythi ...more
Mike Gunderloy
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This one has me thinking, which is an excellent recommendation. The author applies experience as a scrum master to identifying behaviors that move scrum masters from "good" to "great." When I look around my own company, I don't see a lot of these great behaviors - but I think that's due to lack or organizational support. So then the question is: what can the organization in general, and I in particular, do to help remedy that?
Jon Bristow
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Breezy but practical

This book has a lot of good ideas and examples to run by you. I think that the only area for improvement might be to have even more examples and war stories. (But that might dilute the impact of the advice a little. There's a lot of suggested additional reading too, which serves some of this purpose.)
Ricardo Rodrigues
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Pretty basic book on Scrum. Useful if you are completely new to a Scrum and think the Scrum manual is a bit dry, otherwise save your money. It’s short with massive font size and spacing to try to make it look like a book when the content hardly fills a leaflet.
Quite disappointing. Hardly Scrum Mastery, Scrum intro at most.
Sean Ryan
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: work
Perhaps all-too-positive guide to becoming a better Scrum Master. Has some interesting examples of situations that can arise within a team attempting a software challenge.

Well written: was very easy to read, and has some nice acronyms to help memorise.

I think I will be reading it again, as I learn more on the job...
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nice book on Scrum!
Mr. Watts gives a lot of examples of how to implement Scrum in a proper way and provides a guide to ScrumMastery. There are a couple of useful tips and tricks (and resources) in this book.
The book is inspiring.
Thank you mr. Watts! ;)
Quentin Jackson
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Essential reading for new or mature scrum master

This book is amazing. Tips and tricks, context and clarity. All in one book. The most comprehensive and concise resource I’ve found.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great and easy read!

A wonderful book with a lot of great stories and advice to give to Scrum Masters. As a newer Scrum Master, the book offered a lot of help when starting with a new team.
Zoltán Dósa
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was pretty amazed by this book. Ive just read it after 5 years of Scrum Master experience and it still gave me strong inspiration, sent me back to basics I almost forgot, and even told me things that were new. Strongly recommend it to anyone practicing scrum mastery.
Mickey Kawick
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Learned a few tidbits and the author really makes the process clear along with the differences between Kanban, Waterfall, and Scrum.

Great book for a non-beginner
Jalal sadeghi Sadeghi
It mostly describes obvios things .I haven’t found any new or brilliant idea in this book .if your work fos 2 or 3 years in scrum team most of the books ideas are obvios for you.
Nov 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Clear and well written. I appreciated the emphasis on servant leadership and coaching a team into self-managing autonomy.
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