A Community of Practice (COP) is an avenue for creating, identifying and sharing techniques, best practices, and ideas for improving project success and fostering a healthy and productive work environment. An Agile organization can have several communities of practices representing each domain or role such as Architecture, Development, Testing, etc. Similarly, the Scrum Master COP is established mainly for the Scrum masters. Other representatives within each product team or organization may choose to attend this session. The SM COP may choose the frequency for meeting, typically between once a week to once a month. Similar to a product team, COPs can experience the four stages of development – Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing. As Scrum Masters, it is vital to identify the stage and determine when external support or leadership guidance is required to nurture the community of practice.
Topics of Interest
- Sharing Impediments that are raised and resolved during the course of the sprint. It is likely that the individual teams may not discuss resolved impediments during their Sprint Retrospective sessions . By bringing it to the COP, other scrum masters can be aware of possible impediments and plan for mitigating them.
- Discussing feedback from Retrospective sessions – Sharing top three places for improvements or things that went well from individual product teams. This would typically resemble the ‘scrum of scrums’ or could be a pre-requisite to the ‘scrum of scrums’ meeting. By sharing feedback from each team’s retrospective meeting, the scrum masters can identify common items that could emerge as enterprise issues requiring prompt escalation and support.
- Identifying areas within the framework that require coaching the team members. As an example, a technically strong resource in your team may not be familiar in differentiating between Product and Sprint Backlogs. Scrum Masters can identify common areas and plan for coaching a larger audience.
- Bringing distinct scenarios that their teams experienced during the course of the sprint. These scenarios help others scrum masters in being prepared and foster an environment for considering ‘what-if’ options. Since the framework is light, the options can be documented as guidance for future reference.
- Identifying tools, solutions and techniques as the organization evolves. Examples include– selection criteria for online agile tools, supporting distributed teams, discussing Agile techniques, methodology such as XP, Kanban, etc.
- Sharing upcoming release plans that have dependencies among product teams. A quick update on dependencies could aid scrum masters and their teams during Sprint Planning.