As a Scrum Master, you don’t have the power to give your team pay rise and bonuses, but you are still responsible for motivating them to do their best. So, what tools does the Scrum Master have in his toolbox to deliver this?
Before we look at the tools in Scrum Master toolkit, I would like to highlight the money factor. Money should not be a motivator when team members are paid fair salaries, as individual bonuses and targets go against the team work. I prefer if targets are set to the team than individual targets. I would like to see bonuses paid to the whole team than one induvial as a success of a project can only be delivered as a group effort.
Belonging to a group:
When you setup a Scrum team that fully follows the Agile Principles, and has Scrum Master and product owner who understand their roles and responsibilities. Then you will get a team that will be delivering an outstanding product at an incredible speed.
In a real Scrum Team, members will feel proud to be part of it and also have pride in the product that is being delivered. This success will be a great motivator, for the team. Where Scrum is used in its pure form, then success is a common thing. In my current role, the team I am coaching has turned around the organisation’s financial forecast from negative to positive. Can you imagine the pride team members have of belonging to this team? And this also highlights the impact a single Scrum team in can have in a traditional waterfall organisation with over 3 thousand staff. My team is not unique in having such a great success. According to study that looked at team performance of over 3800 projects, it found that a task performed by best performing team in a week would take a poor performing team two thousand weeks1.
Team members feel valued and empowered:
The Scrum empower the team to make the decision because it believes that the people who know most about the technical aspect of the project are the people, who are working on the project so they should have the power to decide with the liaison of Product Owner. Also, everyone in the Scrum team is involved in, sprint planning, product backlog refinement, retro and especially in sprint reviews. The team members will feel valued and heard, which is a natural motivator for people. When the team starts to release the product to production on a regular basis, it will give the stakeholder confidence in the team and team will receive very positive feedback in the Sprint review session. This positive feedback will be the icing on the cake for the motivation and feeling of happiness in the team.
The core role of the Scrum Master is to motivate and protect the team. When a Scrum Master is unable to protect the team, it will feel unmotivated and unhappy. And if the Scrum master is unable to fulfil his/her core duty then he/she should not be a Scrum Master and should be immediately replaced.
1 Study mention in “Scrum The Art of doing twice the work in half the time” by Jeff Sutherland