What are the top two bad habits of a Scrum Master?

GoRetro Team
August 22, 2022
Posted on
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As a Scrum Master, it's your job to facilitate the development process for your team, ensuring that they have the tools and support they need to work effectively. However, just like any other role, it's easy to fall into certain habits that can hinder your team's progress and success.

Bad Habit #1: A Scrum Master who Micro-Manages the Scrum Team

One of the worst habits a Scrum Master can have is micro-managing their team. The Scrum team should be self-managing, which means they will use the Scrum Master as an aid to come to the solution. As a Scrum Master, it's important to remember that your role is to facilitate and support the team, not to dictate how they should do their work. Allowing your team to have autonomy and make their own decisions not only fosters a sense of ownership and accountability, but it also helps to build trust within the team.

Conversely, the Scrum Master shouldn’t be breathing down the necks of the developing team and telling them to work and solve problems. A Scrum Master shouldn’t leave a team completely to solve their own problems. The role of the Scrum Master is to coach a team to find a solution by working collaboratively with trust and openness. Leaving a team to fend for themselves will lead to problems.

How to fix micro-management

If you find yourself falling into the habit of micro-managing, it's important to take a step back and ask yourself why. Are you trying to control every aspect of the project because you don't trust your team's ability to deliver? Or are you simply trying to ensure that everything is done "the right way"? Either way, it's important to remember that your team is made up of skilled professionals who are capable of making their own decisions and solving problems on their own. Trust them to do their job, and focus on providing the support and resources they need to succeed.

Bad Habit #2: A Scrum Master who fails to adapt

Another bad habit that Scrum Masters can fall into is failing to adapt to change. Scrum is all about flexibility and adapting to change, and it's important that your team's Scrum Master reflects that. If you find yourself rigidly sticking to a plan or process, even when it's clear that it's not working, you're not doing your team any favors.

How to fix failure to adapt

To break this habit, it's important to regularly assess your team's needs and be open to making changes when necessary. This might mean adjusting your team's sprint goals, changing the way you prioritize work, or even bringing in new tools or techniques to help your team work more efficiently. The key is to be willing to try new things and be open to change, even if it means deviating from your original plan.


In conclusion, micro-managing your team and failing to adapt to change are two of the worst habits that a Scrum Master can have. By trusting your team and being open to change, you can foster a more collaborative and successful environment for your team. Remember, your role as a Scrum Master is to facilitate and support, not to dictate and control.

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