One of the most difficult jobs for the ScrumMaster, particularly the beginning ScrumMaster, is to teach the Scrum framework to a new team. Specifically, the Scrum Guides says, “The ScrumMaster is responsible for promoting and supporting Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide. ScrumMasters do this by helping everyone understand Scrum theory, practices, rules, and values.” When new Scrum Teams are formed, it is extremely important that everyone start with the same understanding of Scrum and agree to abide by it. In Scrum, we tend to relate teaching Scrum to a three-level learning structure frequently called “ShuHaRi.”

The three levels of learning are encapsulated in the name of the approach. At the SHU level, where we begin, we learn by doing and not questioning. Once we completely internalize the framework, we move to the HA level. At the HA level, we learn by modifying as appropriate and comparing the results against what was desired in the context of how Scrum is supposed to work. When we can modify Scrum effectively, we move to the RI level. At the RI level, we have internalized how and why Scrum works and can not modify Scrum but even create entirely new structures as needed.

When teams are learning how to use Scrum, work with your team to do the following:

  1. Create Ground Rules. Make sure “following Scrum” is among the rules.
  2. Create a Definition of DONE.
  3. Determine length of the Sprint.
  4. Determine when they will do their daily Scrum.
  5. Determine when they will do their backlog refinement.
  6. Agree to follow Scrum and abide by the ScrumMaster’s requests regarding the use of Scrum.

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