A Scrum Master's Practical Toolbox

A Scrum Master's Practical Toolbox

Book full of useful tips, exercises and games for creative Scrum Masters

About the Book

Foreword by Gunther Verheyen

Mastering Scrum. Being proficient in Scrum. Ensuring Scrum is enacted, but without formal authority. Coaching people. Being a Scrum Master. How do you do that? Despite all the attention and focus it was given throughout the existence of Scrum, much confusion exists over the role of the Scrum Master. Some people proclaim the role is superfluous in the context of self-organization. Some people have trouble relating the servant-leader aspect of the role to their interpretation of the Scrum Master as an agile project manager. Some people stop expecting the Scrum Master to be a facilitator for the organization, as this doesn’t fit how many agile coaches present themselves. It is possible to read the Scrum Guide, to read the many books that exist over Scrum, to endlessly visit conferences and talks, or to theorize for many hours and days over the role and all aspects of the role. This may be highly valuable, but in the end remains somewhat academic. Where agility through Scrum is primarily gained on the workfloor, spending time with the Scrum Teams are confronted daily with the gracious complexities of software creation. Nothing beats exploration of the role by doing. And learning from doing. Go, start, play, find your own way, work with people, teams, organizations, departments, and managers in doing and explaining Scrum. This book, “A Scrum Master’s practical toolbox,” might be seen as part of the academic world (after all, it is a book) but it is goes beyond. It is a great support for anyone wanting to discover what it is to be a Scrum Master by doing. It does so by presenting and explaining practical tools for Scrum Masters, tools that support a Scrum Master in grasping the role, and its highly specific expectations.

Pick, choose, learn from the collected experience of Sergey, Illya and Alexei, and keep in mind what you are trying to achieve, keep in mind the purpose of the tool. And if you tend to get lost on this aspect, pick up the book again, and read through the context again that the authors have added.

“A Scrum Master’s practical toolbox” offers options, options from which Scrum Masters can select, and increase their understanding of their role as well as how the role was designed.

Gunther Verheyen

Directing the Professional Scrum Series, Scrum.org

Antwerp, September 2014

About the Author

Ilia Pavlichenko, Sergey Dmitriev, Alexey Pikulev

Sergey Dmitriev, CST

Strategy advisor, Agile coach, Unusual Concepts

Location: Moscow, Russia/Oslo, Norway


Sergey Dmitriev is scrum evangelist focused on improvement of business processes, management and strategy consulting. He can help your organization in agile transformation or to improve your existing agile practices. He does team coaching and meeting and workshop facilitation.

Currently holds Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certifications.

Have diving as hobby. Interested in deep and wreck diving or a combination of both.

Ilia Pavlichenko, PST

Agile Coach, Unusual Concepts

Location: Moscow, Russia/Kiev, Ukraine


Practicing Agile Coach and Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) from Scrum.org. One of the founders of the coaching company Unusual Concepts. Also an active member of the Agile community and a person who studies a lot and thinks that reading is a great fun. In many bloody battles for the Agile clearness received the following certifications: PST, PSMI, PSMII, PSPO I, PMI-ACP, CSP, CSM, CSPO, ICP.

Has powerlifting and table tennis as hobby.

Alexey Pikulev, Management 3.0 trainer, Ph.D

Business Agility Coach, Unusual Concepts

Location: Ekaterinburg, Russia


A licensed Management 3.0 trainer and Agile coach with many years of experience of working with a variety of organizations from startups to international enterprise corporations. The main focus of his trainings is Agile Leadership practices and the organization culture transformation. As a Coach, he is not going to tell your organization what to do, but will help you to find the right solution on your own. His current passion is building an engaging creative-work culture in the team, company and community levels by using a variety of creative concepts from coaching to business games . His motto is “Delivering Value”. Specialties:

  • agile coaching and training;
  • project management;
  • leadership;
  • agile product man

Table of Contents

    • Tweet This Book!
    • About Us
    • Foreword by Gunther Verheyen
    • About The Book
  • Complexity and Scrum
    • Travelling the Cynefin
    • Cynefin with the Team Drawer
    • Managing Learning 3.0
  • Facilitation and Coaching
    • Why a Coach doesn’t give answers
    • The Art of asking questions
    • Decision Rules for the Teams
    • Consensus Gradients
    • Brain Games
    • Brainswarming because Brainstorming does not work
    • Mark your Agenda with the Hearts
    • Facilitation and a baby seat
    • The Brave Tin Soldier
  • Estimations
    • Relative Estimations, Magic Animals and Correlation Grids
    • How to bring different story points to the common ground
  • Sprint Planning
    • «Big Rocks» choices for the Sprint
    • Scrum and Risk driven Development
    • Timebox, kitchen timer and Scrum
    • Star Map for cross-functionality and planning
  • Daily Scrum
    • How we organize Daily Scrum
    • Talk to people, not to the Scrum Board
    • Turkish tambourine for Daily Scrum
  • Sprint Review
    • What is a failed Sprint?
  • Retrospectives
    • Visual Retrospectives
    • Scrum Metaphors
    • Visual Agenda
    • Temperature Reading
    • Perfection Game
    • Problem Tree
    • Magic Animals
    • Storytelling with Rory Cubes
    • Funny Coins
    • Kinetic Sand For Creative Work, Play And Education
    • Learn to smile and say thank you
    • Using feedback for changing behavior
    • Sea Retrospective
    • Emotional Cards
    • Chekhov’s Retrospective
  • Building Trust
    • Building Trust with Personal Maps
    • Trust Canvas
  • Growing Scrum Teams
    • How to keep The Galaxy at Peace
    • With a little help from my friends
    • Playing with the charts
    • Scrum Master from the kindergarten
    • Moving motivators and gap-analysis
    • Motivation Wall
    • Overtime is a really really bad idea
    • Responsibility

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