Lots of people who are trying to get into the Scrum Master role are getting into a vicious cycle: need experience to get the job, need the job to get the experience. But I assure you, there ARE some things that you can do to gain some experience even if you don’t officially hold the Scrum Master job title.
A story of becoming a Scrum Master
Let me tell you a story about how I become a Scrum Master.
If you didn’t know, I was actually a Content Manager before getting into Scrum. I was working in PayPal at the time and in a Content & Localization Team. However, I had my degree in Project Manager and I wanted to grow in my career, so I was looking at some Project Management opportunities.
Unfortunately, it didn’t happen for me. But our company started an Agile transformation, so the word Scrum started to appear more often. I saw this as an opportunity to make a switch.
I’ll be honest though, at that point I had absolutely NO IDEA about what this role is about (I assume like many of you who want to become a Scrum Master).
I got the PSM certification and tried to apply to a few internal SM roles. As you might imagine, I wasn’t even called for an interview.
So I took another route and discussed my professional development plan with my manager. While I was not able to officially transition, internally, I could fulfill some of the Scrum Master’s responsibilities to help our team be more effective. That’s how I managed to get the experience I needed to fully transition.
(Though, I often say that during that time I learned how NOT to do Scrum…. psst, don’t tell anyone)
What YOU can do
Ok, so that’s a brief walk down the memory lane. But you might be asking yourself: how am I supposed to do that? I’m not in a similar situation!
I’ve got you covered. In my video below, I talk about five things you can do to gain important Scrum Master experience, even if you are not a Scrum Master.
So to summarize what I said in the video, here is how you can learn the Scrum Master skills:
- Prepare an elevator pitch to explain Scrum and Scrum Master role in 5 minutes
- Teach Scrum to others, even if they are not actively using it
- Shadow someone, another Scrum Master in your organization, for example
- Create an improvement plan to improve your observation and listening
- Run a retrospective for your team to work on your facilitation
This is a humble start, but this can be exactly what you need to get ready for your interviews and for the job itself!
Now, share what other things you tried (or want to try) to gain some Scrum Master experience in the comments 👇