How To Develop Situational Awareness As a New Agile Coach or Scrum Master

How To Develop Situational Awareness As a New Agile Coach or Scrum Master

We'll walk you through how to develop situational awareness on large and complex projects as a new Agile Coach or Scrum Master

Picture this: You’re a Scrum Master or Agile Coach who was brought in to assist a team embarking on a large and complex project. You’re new to the organization, perhaps even to the line of business they’re in. You feel like you need to get up to speed quickly so that you can start contributing effectively, and your years of experience have taught you that every organization and every team is unique. You understand that for you to truly create value, you need to capture the unique context of the team and organization you’re now supporting – that is, you need to develop _situational awareness. _You need to understand what it means to be where you are, the people with whom you are working, and the history, people dynamics, complexity, and many other nuances of the team and organization. 

And to be clear, here I’m not talking about project Inception/Inception Sprint/Sprint 0/Project Kick-off, etc. All of that comes later. Rather, the focus of this article is YOU – ensuring that YOU have a systematic way of acquiring, analyzing, and compartmentalizing the information you need in order to understand your surroundings well enough so that you can start contributing effectively to your new team and organization.

This effort to develop a broad understanding of your new environment could also help you (and your team) design a fit-for-purpose project initiation (inception/kick-off) process that leverages what has already been done in the past to develop a shared understanding of what needs to be done in the future and identify areas where the team needs to pay special attention. Have there been customer interviews conducted in the past as part of an effort to envision what an enhanced version of the existing product would look like? Were there any agile success stories from other projects in the organization that could be used as part of your ‘hearts and minds’ campaign to help foster an agile culture and mindset? Have there been any efforts to map the end-to-end flow of work as things stand now? Etc. Content that has already been developed - perhaps for different purposes, be it maps, artifacts, retrospective summaries, etc. could streamline many activities during project kickoff and throughout the project. 


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