Grade Job Applicants using Impediments

March 23, 2010

Bring the candidate scrum master to the team stand up and have them listen in with you. Afterwards, simply ask them how many impediments they heard come up during the stand up.  If they didn’t hear any impediments, then they probably aren’t a good candidate (hint:  no impediments from a team is an impediment all by itself). If they heard more than one impediment, then perhaps they are a decent candidate.

Want to take it even further? Pair up for the remainder of the day and chase one impediment down together. If you nail it by the end of the day, then share a high five and hire that candidate! For a prospective scrum master, dealing with a real organizational impediment will tell them more about a company’s culture in one day than attending a week’s worth of meetings.

Impediments are the Measure of a Good Team Leader

March 22, 2010

Overcoming impediments is not for the timid. It requires a single minded purpose, a completely uncompromising attitude, in order to overcome the obstacles that face your team. For the scrum master, it is the impediments that you face that will define your skill and ability as a team leader. Every impediment that you fail to address reduces your value to the team. Every impediment you are able to remove increases your value to the team. It’s really that simple. Remember that the next time you face a daunting impediment that blocks the team’s progress.

The only use of an obstacle is to be overcome. All that an obstacle does with brave men is, not to frighten them, but to challenge them.
– Woodrow Wilson