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Agile Soft Skills

Today, I decided to write about the importance of soft skills. I just received an invitation to use Google’s new AI Workspace. Like ChatGPT and other LLMs, it writes articles. After I inserted what Google’s AI generated, I turned Grammerly, another AI, loose on it -- many modifications ensued. This paragraph was written totally by me with no help from AI. What follows is pretty good, but I will have some follow-up at the end.

A Scrum Master is a professional responsible for facilitating the Scrum process and ensuring that the Scrum Team follows the Scrum framework. They also help remove any obstacles the team may face and promote collaboration and communication within the group.

To be successful in this role, a Scrum Master needs to have a variety of soft skills. Some of the most essential soft skills for a Scrum Master include:

  • Communication: A Scrum Master needs to communicate effectively with the Scrum Team, stakeholders, and other teams within the organization. They need to articulate the Scrum process clearly and the team's goals and provide feedback and support to the team.

  • Collaboration: A Scrum Master needs to be able to foster cooperation within the Scrum Team. They need to be able to help the team work together effectively and resolve any conflicts that may arise.

  • Problem-solving: A Scrum Master must identify and solve problems that may arise during the Scrum process. They need to think critically and come up with creative solutions to problems.

  • Teamwork: A Scrum Master needs to work effectively as a team. They need to be able to support the team and help them to achieve their goals.

  • Leadership: A Scrum Master needs to provide leadership to the Scrum Team. They need to be able to motivate and inspire the team and help them stay focused on their goals.

  • Organization: A Scrum Master needs to be able to keep track of the Scrum process and the team's progress. They need to manage the team's time and resources effectively.

  • Flexibility: A Scrum Master needs to be able to adapt to change. They need to be able to adjust the Scrum process as required to meet the needs of the team and the organization.

These are just some of the soft skills that a Scrum Master needs to be successful in their role. If you want to become a Scrum Master, it is crucial to develop these skills. Many resources are available to help you learn these skills, such as books, articles, and online courses.

I find little to fault in the above. What isn’t said is how the “Agile Industry” has been co-opted by certification organizations. Their mission is to pump out “Agile Professionals” in weeks. The reality is that these skills take years to learn. While people learn most of these soft skills along the way, Agile professionals must be experts at them for coaching the team. Coaching was not listed above but is also a crucial soft skill. I would have added meeting facilitation as well.

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