When a Scrum Master Encounters Resistance? | How To Do Things 101 (2023)

When a Scrum Master encounters resistance from team members, they must first assess the source of the resistance. Is it coming from a place of fear or misunderstanding? Once the source is identified, the Scrum Master can begin to address the issue with specific techniques designed to overcome resistance.

In some cases, the team may need additional education on what Scrum is and how it works. In other cases, team members may be resistant to change and need help adjusting to new ways of working. Whatever the cause, the Scrum Master must work to resolve the issue in order to ensure that their team can operate effectively and efficiently.

If you’re a Scrum Master, you know that resistance is part of the job. You’re not always going to be welcomed with open arms by everyone on the team. In fact, it’s likely that you’ll encounter some resistance at some point in your career.

So, what do you do when you encounter resistance? First, it’s important to remember that resistance is normal and expected. Don’t take it personally.

Second, try to understand where the resistance is coming from. Is there something about the way you’re doing things that isn’t working for someone on the team? Or is there something about the team itself that isn’t working?

Third, once you understand the source of the resistance, try to address it directly. If it’s something about your own behavior, make a change. If it’s something about the team, see if there’s anything you can do to help improve the situation.

Finally, don’t give up. Resistance is normal and it doesn’t mean that you’re doing anything wrong. If you keep at it and stay positive, eventually most people will come around and start to see things your way.

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  • When a Scrum Master Encounters Resistance from Outside of the Scrum Team What Should the Scrum Master Do Scrum?
  • When a Scrum Master Encounters Resistance from Outside the Team?
  • How Do You Manage the Resistance of a Person in Scrum?
  • When Scrum Team Members Meet And Collaborate With Each Other to Find the Best Way to Build?
  • Who Collaborates on Understanding the Work of the Sprint?
  • What Emerges from Self-Organizing Teams?
  • How Should Scrum Teams Plan Work to Be Performed within Sprints?
  • Conclusion

When a Scrum Master Encounters Resistance from Outside of the Scrum Team What Should the Scrum Master Do Scrum?

When a Scrum Master encounters resistance from outside of the Scrum team, the first step is to try to identify the source of the resistance. Is it coming from management? From other teams?

Once the source is identified, the Scrum Master can work with that group to try to address the concerns and remove any impediments. If the resistance is coming from within the Scrum team itself, then the Scrum Master should work with the team to help them understand and buy into the process.

When a Scrum Master Encounters Resistance from Outside the Team?

When a Scrum Master encounters resistance from outside the team, they need to be very careful in how they handle it. The main goal is to keep the team focused and on track while also maintaining good relationships with those who are resistant. Here are some tips for dealing with resistance from outside the team:

1. Understand why there is resistance. Is it because people don’t understand Scrum or because they are afraid of change? Once you know the reason for the resistance, you can address it head-on.

2. Keep communication channels open. Make sure that everyone understands what Scrum is and why you’re doing it. Explain how it will benefit the company as a whole, not just the team.

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3. Be patient and understanding. People are often resistant to change because they’re scared or unsure of what will happen. It’s important to be patient and explain things clearly so that people feel comfortable with the transition.

4. Don’t give up easily. If you encounter resistance, don’t give up right away – continue to push forward and show people that Scrum can be successful if given a chance!

How Do You Manage the Resistance of a Person in Scrum?

In order to manage the resistance of a person in Scrum, it is important to first understand why the person is resistant. There can be many reasons for this, but some common ones are:-The person may not be familiar with Scrum or how it works.

-They may be worried about change and what it will mean for their work or role within the company.-They may not see the value in Scrum and how it can help them or the company.Once you understand why the person is resistant, you can then start to address their concerns.

This may involve:-Explaining how Scrum works and what its benefits are.-Helping them to see how Scrum can help them specifically in their role within the company.

For example, if they are worried about change, show them how Scrum can provide structure and stability during times of change. – Assuring them that their input will be valued and that they will have a say in how Scrum is implemented within the company. It is important to involve resistors in decisions as much as possible so that they feel like they are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

With understanding and communication, most resistors can be brought on board with Scrum implementation successfully.

When Scrum Team Members Meet And Collaborate With Each Other to Find the Best Way to Build?

When Scrum team members meet and collaborate with each other to find the best way to build, they are engaging in what is called a “Scrum.” A Scrum is a type of meeting where team members discuss how they will work together on a project. The purpose of a Scrum is to help team members figure out the best way to complete their work.

During a Scrum, team members may share ideas, ask questions, and provide feedback to each other.

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Who Collaborates on Understanding the Work of the Sprint?

The Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Development Team collaborate on understanding the work of the sprint. The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that the team has a shared understanding of the goal of the sprint and for helping the team to identify any risks that could impact the successful completion of that goal. The Product Owner is responsible for providing guidance to the team on what needs to be done in order to achieve the sprint goal.

The Development Team is responsible for actually doing the work required to complete the sprint goal.

What Emerges from Self-Organizing Teams?

Self-organizing teams are those where the members themselves decide how best to work together to achieve their goals. This type of team can be very effective, as it allows for a high degree of creativity and collaboration. However, self-organizing teams can also be chaotic and difficult to manage.

In order to ensure that your team is able to function effectively, it is important to understand what emerges from self-organizing teams.One of the most important things that emerges from self-organizing teams is a clear sense of purpose. When team members are allowed to freely collaborate and communicate, they will quickly develop a shared understanding of what they are trying to achieve.

This clarity of purpose is essential for ensuring that the team remains focused and motivated.Another key emerging characteristic of self-organizing teams is a strong sense of ownership. As team members take on more responsibility for their own work, they will naturally develop a stronger sense of ownership over the project as a whole.

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This increased level of ownership can lead to greater levels of commitment and engagement from team members.Finally, self-organizing teams typically exhibit high levels of creativity and innovation. With no one telling them how to do things, team members are free to experiment and come up with new ways of doing things.

This creative freedom can lead to some amazing results, but it can also result in chaos if not managed properly.If you’re thinking about implementing self-organizing teams in your workplace, it’s important to keep these emerging characteristics in mind. By understanding what makes these teams tick, you’ll be better equipped to create an environment where they can thrive.

How Should Scrum Teams Plan Work to Be Performed within Sprints?

Scrum teams should plan their work for each sprint using the product backlog as a guide. The product backlog is a prioritized list of all the work that needs to be done on the product. The team should start by looking at the top of the product backlog and estimating how much work can be done during the sprint.

They should then choose the items from the product backlog that they will work on during the sprint. The team should create a sprint goal for each sprint. The sprint goal is a short, achievable objective that the team sets for themselves for each sprint.

The goal should be something that can be completed within the timeframe of the sprint. The team will then break down their work into tasks and assign these tasks to individuals on the team. Each task should have an owner who is responsible for completing it.

The team should also estimate how long each task will take to complete. Once all of this information has been gathered, the team can create a Sprint Backlog, which is essentially a roadmap for what needs to get done during the upcoming sprint. The Sprint Backlog includes all of the tasks that need to be completed, who is responsible for each one, and how long it is estimated to take.

This document helps keep everyone on track and ensures that everyone knows what needs to get done and when it needs to be done by.


When a Scrum Master encounters resistance, it is important to remember that the goal is to help the team be successful. The Scrum Master should work with the team to understand what is causing the resistance and help them find ways to overcome it. It is also important to keep in mind that sometimes people are resistant to change simply because they are afraid of the unknown.

In these cases, it is important to help them see that change can be positive and that Scrum can help them achieve their goals.

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What to do when Scrum Master encounters resistance? ›

The best way to deal with this resistance is to have a one on one conversation with the person. Don't gang up on them and force them to justify their resistance to the team or their manager. Listen to their concerns, and be sympathetic to them. Scrum is different and does involve change.

How do you deal with resistance in agile? ›

How to Manage Resistance to Change Within an Agile Organization
  1. Change resistance and organizational inertia. ...
  2. Establishing an agile workplace culture. ...
  3. Breaking up bureaucracy. ...
  4. Making unfamiliarity and discomfort acceptable norms. ...
  5. Setting an example. ...
  6. Providing individual feedback.
Apr 4, 2022

What are some challenges a Scrum Master is likely to encounter? ›

Top Scrum Master Challenges
  • Difficulty in Maintaining Time-boxing. ...
  • Scrum Master's Role is Considered to be Extra. ...
  • Lack of Buy-in From Senior Management. ...
  • Agile Meetings Not Conducted Correctly. ...
  • Conflict Between Agile and Waterfall. ...
  • Lack of Agile Training. ...
  • Lack of Understanding Between Agile Teams and Stakeholders.
Jan 5, 2023

What should the Scrum Master not do? ›

The Scrum Master should not be confusing with the role of Project Manager. The scrum master's role is to take a different perspective from the team members and don't directly work as a taskmaster. They don't direct the team, collect status, compile reports, and share it with the stakeholders.

When Scrum Master encounters resistance from outside the scrum team what should the Scrum Master do? ›

The key to resolving any resistance is to avoid escalating the situation. Simply telling someone they're wrong can lead to conflict, which could derail the entire project. As a Scrum Master, it's your job to explain why their suggestion would not work and why the team needs to work in a particular way.

When Scrum Master encounters resistance from outside what should the Scrum Master do? ›

When a scrum master encounters resistance from outside of the development team, he/she should overcome the same by working persistently and diligently. He/she should also develop a working atmosphere where the team members will readily offer the Scrum with their organic support as and when needed.

What is the best way to deal with resistance? ›

  1. Find The Strength Within Your Resistance. ...
  2. Ask Yourself What It Is You're Resisting. ...
  3. Realize You Don't Fear Change, You Fear Loss. ...
  4. Adopt A Learning Mindset. ...
  5. Look For What You Can Learn Now To Welcome Change In The Future. ...
  6. Consider The Upsides Of Change. ...
  7. Consult A Mentor Or Coach.
Dec 11, 2017

What are some techniques for dealing with resistance? ›

Top strategies to overcome unproductive resistance to change
  • Listen First, Talk Second. The first strategy to overcome resistance to change is to communicate. ...
  • Communicate the Reasons for Change. ...
  • Get Excited. ...
  • Make it About Employees. ...
  • Delegate Change. ...
  • Show Them the Data. ...
  • Implement in stages. ...
  • Practice change management exercises.
Dec 30, 2019

What is your greatest challenge as a Scrum Master? ›

So without wasting any more time, let's dive into the topic.
  • Difficulty in sustaining the Time-Box. ...
  • Scrum Master's role is an Overhead. ...
  • Lack of Buy-in from Senior Management. ...
  • Lack of Training. ...
  • Lack of Understanding between Agile Teams and Stakeholders. ...
  • Unhealthy Relationship with the Product Owner.

What are the roadblocks as a Scrum Master? ›

Roadblocks are anything outside the Scrum Team's control that prevents a Scrum Team member from working at full capacity. If the Roadblock is “internal” to the team, the Scrum Master may need to facilitate a team meeting to resolve the issue.

What are some common mistakes that Scrum Masters make and how can they be avoided? ›

Common Mistakes of a Scrum Master and How to avoid them?
  • Not conducting Retrospectives. ...
  • Lax Daily Scrum Meetings. ...
  • Scrum Master acting as a Mediator to the Product Owner and Developer. ...
  • Being the assistant of the team. ...
  • Scrum Master having the sole responsibility of the delivery. ...
  • Not raising the obstacles in initial Stages.

How does Scrum Master handle conflicts? ›

The Scrum Master has to guide the team and make them understand that the conflict is a common problem in the workplace and can be resolved using an assertive approach. It is the leader's job to ensure the team members that their issues would be heard and would be resolved.

Why are most Scrum Masters destined to fail? ›

This is called 'influencing without authority'. Influencing without authority means that you need to act like a Scrum whisperer and get everybody to move in the right direction because they want to do this themselves. This is exactly why most Scrum Masters are set up for failure.

What are 2 behaviors of an effective Scrum Master? ›

SAFe Scrum Masters are responsible for supporting and fostering the following team attributes: Self-management and taking ownership and accountability. Aligned and collaborative. Success focused on clear goals and purpose.

Does the Scrum Master helps those outside the team interact with the scrum team? ›

The Scrum Master helps those outside the Scrum Team to understand which of their interactions with the Scrum Team are helpful and which are not. The Scrum Master helps everyone change these interactions to maximize the value created by the Scrum Team.

How do you handle a spillover in scrum? ›

Scrum says to keep your product backlog ready for the sprint planning, and not having it will lead to an ambiguous plan. Better to have product backlog refinement sessions in advance to reduce ambiguity. I coach the team on the importance of having 1–2 sprint's work refined in advance to avoid this issue.

What should the Scrum Master do when dealing with team dynamics ?( 2? ›

Scrum Master responsibilities towards Addressing Team Dynamics: A good scrum master encourages the team to follow Scrum and also ensures the team has a more productive environment. Provide guidance to the team on how they can become Self-organized to achieve the Sprint goals.

Which of the following should is a Scrum Master expected to do? ›

Summary: The scrum master helps to facilitate scrum to the larger team by ensuring the scrum framework is followed. He/she is committed to the scrum values and practices, but should also remain flexible and open to opportunities for the team to improve their workflow.

Which of the following are actions that the Scrum Master must do regarding the daily scrum? ›

The Scrum Master does the following regarding the Daily Scrum (select all applicable variants): If others are present at the Daily Scrum, ensures that they do not disrupt the meeting. Ensures that the Development Team has the meeting. Teaches the Development Team to keep the Daily Scrum within the 15-minute time-box.

How do you avoid a spillover in scrum? ›

Keep some time reserve for experiments and unplanned work based on historical data. The team can always pull more work within the sprint if the team has extra time. No teamwork: Every member is picking up the story based on individual skills and ability.

What are three ways to reduce resistance? ›

Ways to reduce resistance to change:
  • #1 – Be timely.
  • #3 – The past.
  • #4 – Watch for staff reaction.
  • #6 – Involvement.
  • #7 – Increase engagement by asking questions.
  • #8 – Communication.
  • #9 – Use social media.
  • #10 – Storytelling.
Nov 2, 2014

What are the 5 types of resistance? ›

Types of Resistors
  • Linear Resistors.
  • Fixed Resistors.
  • Variable Resistors.
  • Non-Linear Resistor.

How do you push through resistance? ›

  1. Break the new thing into very small steps that are non threatening. ...
  2. Understand that it takes time to build new habits. ...
  3. Anticipate Resistance. ...
  4. Follow Your Resistance. ...
  5. Grind It Out. ...
  6. Learn To Spot Resistance Coming From Others.

What are the six specific methods to reduce resistance to change? ›

Kotter and Schlesinger suggested Six Change Approaches to handle resistance to change:
  • Education and communication. ...
  • Participation and involvement. ...
  • Facilitation and support. ...
  • Negotiation and agreement. ...
  • Manipulation and co-optation. ...
  • Explicit and implicit coercion.
Jun 9, 2020

What are the 3 components of resistance? ›

Abstract. This article deepens and expands the study of the three dimensions of resistance to change in employees: resistant thought, resistant feeling, and resistant behavior.

What are the 3 different types of resistance? ›

There are three types of resistance, Logical/Rational, Psychological/Emotional, and Sociological. As a person who is facilitating Change, you should expect to experience each of these from employees.

How managers can overcome resistance to change? ›

Define and Communicate Reasons for Change

The next strategy to overcome resistance to change is defining the why, what, and how behind the change and communicating this to employees. Leaders must develop a communication strategy that involves more than just telling employees what's expected of them.

What makes a strong Scrum Master? ›

To sum up, Scrum Masters share at least 6 traits: They are responsible, humble, collaborative, committed, influential, knowledgeable. And the best Scrum Masters also know when to abide by the rules and when to break the rules.

What are three values a Scrum Master brings to a team? ›

Scrum has five values that are essential for success: focus, openness, commitment, courage, and respect. It is built on certain agile principles, including small, cross-functional teams, frequent inspect-and-adapt feedback loops, and people over process.

How stressful is Scrum Master? ›

Since the entire effectiveness of the project ultimately lies in the hands of the Scrum Master, the job might get overwhelming for some. Contrary to the popular belief though, the work of a Scrum Master is not a stressful job.

Does Scrum Master remove project impediments? ›

According to the Scrum Guide one of the Scrum Master services to the Development Team is removing impediments to the Development Team's progress. As a servant leader, the Scrum Master guides the Development Team towards self-organization and cross-functionality.

What is the most common reason behind sprint failure? ›

The most common reason behind Sprint failure is a product backlog with status “not ready”. It is also a cause for delivering low value. Making a backlog ready before the 'next sprint' is good.

How do you resolve impediments in Scrum? ›

All Impediments should be flagged during the Daily Scrum. Reoccurring Impediments should be dealt with during the Sprint Retrospective. If an Impediment just won't go away, the Team probably hasn't identified the root cause and should begin the A3 process. It is vital for Teams to continually identify new impediments.

How can a Scrum Master support a problem solving? ›

In many ways, the Scrum master takes a facilitator role in problem-solving workshops. They encourage and moderate discussions. They help the team find routes to solutions without dictating what those routes are. The Scrum master makes sure that there is adequate space and time for testing and experimenting.

What are the failures as a Scrum Master? ›

The Conclusion: Three Wide-Spread Scrum Master Failures

Sometimes, it is the lack of organizational support. Some people are not suited for the job. Others put themselves above their teams for questionable reasons. Some Scrum Masters simply lack feedback from their Scrum Teams and stakeholders.

How many attempts Scrum Master? ›

The Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) test has 50 multiple-choice questions with a passing score of 74%. You will have two attempts within 90 calendar days after you receive your initial welcome email to pass the test at no cost.

Why does the team usually struggle to stay agile without Scrum Master? ›

Teams without Scrum Master

Sprints are full of scope change; the teams generally don't get better sprint by sprint. Companies are not satisfied because the result presented by the team is not satisfactory. Managers think that everything takes too long. They don't know what is happening within the team.

What is your greatest weakness as a Scrum Master? ›

Virtual Team

One of the most common weaknesses of a Scrum Master is that the teams are distributed geographically. When the teams are virtual and not working from a common space, there are delays, network issues, cultural and regional issues, different time zones, and different working hours.

Which two Behaviour should Scrum Master represent as a coach? ›

Support the team in problem solving and conflict resolution; Coach the team to develop "to the point that members learn how to best learn from one another"; Change the attitude, mindset and behavior that restrict the team of doing Scrum well; Coach the team in giving each other open and honest feedback.

What are the 2 behaviors seen in successful teamwork? ›

Patience and Understanding

Having patience for teammates means not measuring or evaluating their performance while it's in progress, or rushing them through steps they believe require special time and attention. Harvard Business Review suggests that patience is one of the most important team leader behaviors.

What is one way a Scrum Master leads the teams efforts for relentless improvement? ›

The SAFe Scrum Master role has the primary responsibility to help the team achieve its goals. They do this by teaching and coaching SAFe ScrumXP and SAFe, implementing and supporting SAFe principles and practices, and identifying and eliminating bottlenecks to flow.

Who is responsible for removing obstacles from the scrum team? ›

A Scrum master is both a facilitator and coach who helps the Scrum team and broader organization understand and apply Scrum theory and practice. The Scrum master helps the Scrum team work more effectively by skillfully removing obstacles and distractions that may impede the team from meeting goals.

What is the biggest challenge you faced as a Scrum Master? ›

Lack of Agile awareness for the teams

It is one of the challenges of the Scrum Master to help Scrum Teams deliver the product on-time irrespective of the team member's coordination.

How do you deal with difficult stakeholders in Scrum? ›

How to deal with difficult stakeholders
  1. Identify your stakeholders. Before you can manage difficult stakeholders, it's important that you can identify your stakeholders. ...
  2. Categorize and prioritize them. ...
  3. Stay calm. ...
  4. Listen carefully. ...
  5. Understand their motivation. ...
  6. Be objective. ...
  7. Respond quickly to issues. ...
  8. Be firm, if necessary.
Sep 29, 2021

How do you handle a spill over user story? ›

Dealing with spillovers
  1. It is important to review the process followed by the team during the sprint retrospective session. This session can be used to identify the root cause for spillovers and to discuss options available to mitigate it. ...
  2. The team must discuss the future of the user story that got spilled over.
Jan 6, 2023

How do you hold a Scrum team accountable? ›

Accountability in Scrum

Each role in Scrum embraces clear accountability: The Product Owner is accountable for maximising the value of the work; The Development team is accountable for creating releasable increments; The Scrum Master is accountable for the application and understanding of Scrum.

How Scrum Master can motivate team? ›

Scrum Masters Coach and Protect the Team

Scrum Masters usually work directly with the teams, coaching them to self-organize and protecting them. They create an environment for people to flourish, which serves to motivate agile teams.

What is the main way for a Scrum Master to keep the team working at its highest level of productivity? ›

What are the two primary ways a Scrum Master keeps a Development Team working at its highest level of productivity? By facilitating Development Team decisions and by removing impediments that hinder the Development Team. A Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Development Team.

What is the most important responsibility of Scrum Master in a scrum team? ›

The Scrum Master is responsible for creating and onboarding project teams, integrating them into the organization and providing a clear vision of the product. The Scrum Master also facilitates communication and information exchange between external groups and the project team.

How can a Scrum Master remove impediments? ›

Adopting the Scrum framework - utilizing the Plan, Do, Check, and Act cycle - can remove the impediments holding your development team back. It helps address issues as they appear, improving the way the Agile development team works.

Who has the most authority on a scrum team? ›

Scrum Master Responsibility:

The scrum master helps the scrum team perform at their highest level. They also protect the team from both internal and external distractions.

Who is responsible for release in scrum? ›

During Release Planning, the Scrum Master facilitates as the Product Owner, Delivery Team (Core Agile Team, Network, Security, Operations, etc.), and Stakeholders collaborate and commit to a plan for delivering a product increment by a given deadline.


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