Scrum Master Lessons from My 4 Year Old Son

At a recent cookout, my 4 year old son, Dawson, ran for the back yard and easily joined a game of hide and seek. Watching this unfold, I realized that these kids are naturally agile. They got straight to playing (the value) and didn’t need a lot of ceremony to get there. They kids all did a quick hello, told Dawson what game they were playing, and invited him to join in (daily scrum). Then they played.

He and his friends self-organize, self-manage, and solve problems on the fly. They naturally exhibit the agile values and scrum practices that many adults struggle with daily.

For example, most parents have been bombarded with an unending stream of “Why’s?” from their child. Why does this work? Why did that happen? Why? Why? Why? While this line of questioning can be stressing, it is also invaluable to finding the root cause of an issue. Scrum teams use this approach – called The 5-Why’s – to get past technical issues and down to interpersonal issues that could be hindering the team.

This session is a fun discussion about the behaviors I’ve noticed in my son and how they translate to important lessons that all scrum master need to learn to better serve their teams.