Scrum masters are like soccer coaches. They make sure that the team successfully completes the right tasks at the right time. Most importantly, make sure that the team is satisfied during the process. This way, they ensure that the entire team - i.e. the department or the organization - achieves its goals.
But how can Scrum Master performance be evaluated? As with soccer coaches, the question for Scrum Masters is what part they play in the success - or failure - of projects. So how can you measure how well a Scrum Master is leading their team? We take an in-depth look at how you can evaluate Scrum Master performance and which KPIs are relevant.
Isn't a single KPI enough for Scrum Master Performance Review?
The success of a company usually depends on the value of the product supplied and how satisfied customers are with it. These two factors are decisive for how often a product is purchased. Doesn't a Scrum Master therefore have to be measured exclusively on this basis?
Or couldn't you simply conduct Scrum Master performance appraisal by checking whether Scrum Masters are obsolete? After all, if they get the team to work in a self-organized way, evaluate themselves, and put out an excellent product, they have fulfilled their goal. They are then - at least in theory - obsolete.
If you want a quick and simplified solution, then the answer to both questions is "yes".
This way, you uncover where Scrum Masters are getting the most out of their work - and where they can still improve. This has an impact on the performance of the team and the value of the end product. In turn, this has an impact on customer satisfaction and thus on revenue for your company.
In this way you will discover in which areas Scrum Masters get the most out of – and where they can still improve their work. This has an impact on the team's performance and the value of the end product. This in turn has an impact on customer satisfaction and thus on sales for your company.
How to measure Scrum Master Performance
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Back to the Scrum Master Performance Review: So which KPIs can you use to carry out a Scrum Master Performance Evaluation?
Scrum Master Performance KPI #1: Sprint Goals Delivery
The KPI Sprint Goals Delivery reveals whether a team achieves its sprint goals on time. The decisive factor here is whether it can consistently meet the goals set by the development team (DEV) and product owner (PO).
When a team works together for the first time or on a new product, it is usually difficult for them to estimate the exact effort in the first sprints. Scrum masters must ensure that the estimates become more accurate. To do this, they must first and foremost support the PO in ensuring that the Scrum team understands the goals, scope and product area as good as possible. And: they have to increase the productivity of the team. Scrum masters must be measured against this. Because: they are only as effective as the team as a whole.
To measure Sprint Goals Delivery, you can use these metrics, for example:
Burn Down Charts: Burn down charts graphically represent how much work is left to do compared to the total work in the remaining time. Since the development team maintains the charts daily, you get insight into whether a sprint or project is on schedule. You can see how fast a team is working and how well they can estimate their tasks.
Burn Up Charts: Burn Up Charts show you how much work has been completed compared to the total work. They include changes to the scope or scale of a project. Like burn down charts, they provide insight into how quickly a project is progressing. They thus allow forecasts for further progress.
Predictability: Predictability measures the ratio of "planned" to "completed". In doing so, the metric documents how much work a team committed to at the beginning of the sprint and how much they completed at the end of the sprint.
Tools like Jira, Rally, and Version One automatically generate helpful charts like burn down charts. They let you trace the measures for each metric directly back to the Scrum Master.
Scrum Master Performance KPI #2: Continuous Improvement
Continuous Improvement shows you how a team improves over time. This is the responsibility of the Scrum Master to the PO, DEV and the organization. You can evaluate the development through these metrics:
Estimation of effort
The team compares the estimated effort with the actual effort. This gives them insight into how accurate their estimate was. The team can do this, for example, via a sprint retrospective. If the team gets better in its estimates, the Scrum Master is doing a good job.
As a facilitator, coach and leader , the Scrum Master must ensure that team members interact with each other. This ensures that the team sets realistic goals and achieves them on time. This metric is more subjective than others. However, it does provide a valid indication of how team communication is doing and, consequently, how successful the team is. You can measure interaction through observation and team feedback, for example.
Velocity measures how quickly a team delivers results. The KPI is thus a measure of productivity. Scrum masters are successful here if the output of a team increases with each iteration. At a certain point, they can reach a plateau with their team, which is considered the benchmark for velocity.
Dealing with problems
If obstacles appear in processes, Scrum Masters are responsible for clearing them out of the way. You can measure how effectively they do this by evaluating the results, which are recorded in the obstacle log.
Ultimately, a constant increase in performance also has an impact on the final product and thus on customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is therefore - as already stated at the beginning - directly linked to the performance of the Scrum Master. How you can measure this, will be shown below with the KPI "Delivering Value".
Scrum Master Performance KPI #3: Trust
Team members who trust each other work particularly efficiently well together. Trust is, therefore, one of the most important aspects of team performance. In order for trust to develop in teams, Scrum Masters must above all exemplify trust. To do this, they must lead their team in a humble and servant-like manner.
Measuring trust is not easy without tools because metrics are often subjective. However, you can achieve a certain objectivity by observing a team regularly, writing down the observations, and thus building indicators of trust.
You can measure trust in concrete terms using the Echometer software tool, for example. This uses psychological know-how to evaluate factors such as employee satisfaction, efficiency and trust - and thus uncover free potential. Echometer takes the subjective assessments made by team members and turns them into measurable values.
Scrum Master Performance KPI #4: Team Happiness
Like "Trust", "Happiness" - i.e. team satisfaction - is an important metric for measuring Scrum Master performance. Morale and happiness are important indicators of how well team members perform. In practice, this means that if Scrum Masters ensure employees are happy, they perform better.
To measure satisfaction, you can observe employees and regularly ask them how they feel about the team and their work. You can also use the Echometer software tool to put this into concrete figures. The tool uses retrospectives to determine how satisfied employees are with their role in the team.
Scrum Master Performance KPI #5: Delivering Value
One of the most important Scrum Master performance goals is to deliver as much value as possible to the organization with the finished product. You can use these metrics to determine if you've succeeded:
Customer reviews give you a precise insight into how satisfied buyers are with a product. This shows you what value a Scrum Master has created with his team. You can gather feedback from customers using tools such as SurveyMonkeys .
As a rule, products have mechanisms that measure their use. While increased usage is no guarantee that customers are particularly satisfied with a product, it is still a strong indicator of how good a product has become and thus how much value has been generated.
If you evaluate support calls, you get a good picture of the problems a finished product has. From this, you can draw conclusions about the value generated.
Ultimately, a product should always generate sales. A high turnover, especially compared to the competition, is therefore an indicator for a high product value. Sales figures are therefore important for the Scrum Master performance assessment.
Conclusion on Scrum Master Performance Evaluation
A Scrum Master performance review only appears difficult at first glance. In practice, however, you can fall back on numerous metrics with which you can draw clear conclusions about the Scrum Master performance.
These metrics are closely linked to the Scrum Master performance goals. After all, the KPIs are also an important indication for Scrum Masters of how their project is progressing. Team Happiness, Customer Satisfaction and Delivering Value are therefore not only KPIs for evaluating Scrum Master performance, but also examples of Scrum Master performance goals.
Many tools that you use anyway for an agile way of working automatically provide you with reports and analyses to carry out a Scrum Master performance evaluation. This means you have little effort to assess performance. You can then provide feedback to Scrum Masters that will boost their performance. By the way, to live the open work culture of Agile, you should always do this in a direct and open conversation. An example of Scrum Master performance feedback is not only criticism of work performance, but also praise. This can significantly improve Scrum Master performance.
If you not only want to measure Scrum Master performance, but also develop your entire organization, you should take a look at our free eBook. Throughout, we present 12 team workshops from a psychological perspective.
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