How should Scrum Master handle a situation if Scrum Team was unable to reach an event goal after the time-box expires?

For many Scrum Master Expert , this should be relatively easy. The obvious thing anyone would do is stop the sprint, the same way you would have done even if the sprint would have been successful. The scrum master should assist the team and product owner to arrange for the review and retrospective of that particular sprint and then assist them to plan for the next sprint.

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The key question arises here is team and product owner should be doing. If you as a scrum master are doing the scrum right then they could be the people responsible for doing and finishing the work on time and in this case the account does not come to you directly. It is the duty of the product owner and the scrum team to inspect and validate what went wrong and they should come to a common agreement on how they will tweak their processes a bit in the future to part way with the problem or at least reduce its impact or intensity.

As a scrum master, your key role is to streamline things and not to allow the scrum team to extend the sprint (even for a couple of days) beyond the stipulated sprint deadline. At the same time, you should try and assist the product owner to realize that unnecessary putting a lot of stuff into a single sprint is not in the best of interest of the organization as well as for the well being of the team in the long run. Always try and keep the outcomes transparent and visible and portray a bigger picture for the team to visualize.

Coordinate and facilitate meetings to assist the scrum team to concentrate on more important topics, so that they actually start to improve. Guide the team to get their own space so that they can think and come up with better ideas worth implementing.

Scrum master certification online is an option where a candidate cannot physically attend the classroom training since he might be located outside Pune or else it can be his own choice of preference.

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As the normal story goes unfortunately in many scrum executions the scrum master is always held responsible for the sprint results, which signifies a manager role and ideally a scrum master is not a project manager.

As a scrum master, you need to speak with the team and find out the appropriate further steps to move forward with the current sprint and be as successful as the team can be. Sometimes it even means extending the time box for a particular sprint, or sometimes it means calling it done in an as-is state.

In several cases, this is an outcome of the Scrum Master not really doing their expected work of keeping an eye on the clock and planning the event appropriately, although there will be times when the stipulated time-box is not sufficient to reach the deliverables or goals that have been set.

There will be these kinds of situations that should also be brought to the surface during retrospection, which will help the team to inspect and adapt to make it less likely in occurrence again.

There is a saying in the scrum which goes like this an event goal which is rather not clear is not a defined term in the scrum

The sprint always should have a very clear objective that defines it, however, the sprint goal should always be made up of a certain no of achievable (converting it into features) stories. So scrum master needs to be very clear and sincere with himself and the team. Should ask questions such as was the overall goal missed due to a single or particular story was incomplete or rather not clear, because many other or all the stories remained incomplete, or is it because your understanding of done is wrong and the stories were at no point of time achievable by the team.

If there is a situation where one story was incomplete but numerous other stories are already done then there should not be any unduly concern or panic. Normally a scrum master would carry that story over to next sprint and use the retrospective to find out the various reasons it was not able to complete within the boxed-time frame and take efforts to eliminate any loopholes from future sprints.

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The kinds of questions that need to be asked and eventually get answers are:

  • Was the event goal missed due to an unforeseen loss of potential through a justifiable situations like sickness in the team? Simply carry the story over to next sprint and complete it.
  • Was the scrum team over-excited and highly optimistic in what could be completed in a particular sprint cycle? If that was the case then take fewer story points into the next sprint iteration.
  • Also need to check that if the scrum teams go under any pressure from the product owner to include another user story which the team was not sure of delivering successfully with the required quality and within time. A scrum master needs to use this as proof to get the product owner to give its due diligence to the scrum team’s skill, experience and estimates. Honor the statistics and convince the product owner to also respect all of the scrum teams’ work in the future. Always a good practice to break down large stories into smaller chunks of stories for any future sprints.
  • Was it missed because the scrum team was obstructed by some external conditions that could have been or should have been easily fixed? If the answer is yes, then as Scrum Master you should do what is need of the hour to get the roadblock removed. Having a conversation with product owner with absolute sincerity. Do not feel shy or even scared to uphold the issue appropriately with the product owner. Take into account changing the definition of done to remove that point. Sometimes as a scrum master you just have to balance your act and play and stay afloat with corporate politics with external influences.





Working as a Software Engineer – Wipro Technologies



Working as a Senior Test Analyst – Cerillion Technologies

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