17 Essential Hacks Every Scrum Master Should Know

Here is a list of cool Scrum Master Hacks for all the tools we love to use as scrum masters and facilitators. If you have any more share them with us at @agileadventures using #ScrumMasterHacks. We will update the list with the best ones as a testament to your ingenuity.

1. Is your scrum board looking untidy due to curling edges on your post its?
No more I say, learn to peel your post it the right way!

2. Wondering how to open a Post-It pack while looking like a boss?
Grip it to rip it!

3.  NOOOOO! That’s the permanent marker!?! @&%$…..
If you write on a white board in a permanent pen, then scribble over it with a whiteboard pen and it will rub off. And people will think you are a wizard.

4. Find the team wanting to frequently rework the board based on the content of the sprint?
Create great moveable swim lanes with magnets like these and some string. 

5. Are the team stuck prioritising stories?
Put them in alphabetic order – they’ll soon rearrange them.

6. Does your team struggle to start talking during stand up?
Encourage the team to start talking to each other by standing behind someone.

7. Need Lego? Of course you do…. you’re a Scrum Master aren’t you?! 😉
Get your eBay on, buy second hand in bulk– much cheaper and you get an interesting mix.

8. Need to clean that second hand Lego you bought on ebay?
Put the Lego into a delicates bag and put on the top shelf of the dishwasher. Please note NOT the rubber wheels!!

9. Do you yearn for a neat and tidy team board?
You need some gridding tape in your life! 

10. I often get the urge for visualisation on the go?
You too? Learn how to turn your laptop into a portable white board. http://lifehac.kr/CpEaFyw

11. Short on White board space? Or work somewhere with strict rules around putting anything on the walls that’s might damage them?
Meet your new best friend, the Magic Whiteboard (http://amzn.eu/99PECGT), it uses static to stay on a wall or window.

12. Need a place to store stationery on your board?
A shower caddy makes a great storage unit for sharpies and post its. http://amzn.eu/4iv2g2x

13. Need team avatars to stick to board, but it’s not magnetic?
You need a hot glue gun, mini suction cups (http://amzn.eu/jdygOsH) and you guessed it……more Lego!

14. If in doubt draw it out!
If you notice your team has been talking about the same solution for a while and are going around in circles and don’t seem to be understanding each other, encourage them to draw out their thoughts on a white board.

15. Going dotty over knowing how many dots need to be dotted?
Dot voting, how many dots should each person get to vote with? The golden rule is 20% of the number of post its they are voting on.

16. Need a slightly more permanent space to hang stuff but you can’t damage the walls?
Try gripping stuff (http://amzn.eu/1zfalUJ) which holds paper, card etc up on the wall easily. When you are done you can move the items and sheet elsewhere. Note after a while the sheet will get grubby so a new one is needed.

  • Please note back into it at your peril, it also works as Scrum Master fly paper

17. Tired of killing the forests, or using Prestik on your beautiful surfaces?
Magnetise these reusable Scrum cards #scrummasterhacks


Claire Ashcroft Via Tony Richards
Lloyd Jones
Annalinde Singh

10 thoughts on “17 Essential Hacks Every Scrum Master Should Know”

  1. Mark Chapman

    OK, 3 points here:

    1- post-its – peel the pack from the stickie (not the other way round) and it will stay flat and stick much better, learned that from DVD labels.

    3- marker – tried that just the other day- wack-wack-oops! didn’t work (at least it wasn’t me who’d used permananent pen)

    13- magic whiteboard – yeah loved it, but try and get it here in Ontario and it’s ludicrously priced, over a $150 a pack, too much to claim on expenses and I wasn’t shelling out myself no matter how much I could use it.

    1. Hi Mark thank you for sharing. I am sorry the marker didn’t work for you, perhaps its brand specific. I have removed permanent sharpie from whiteboards in this way. Great to hear from you

  2. That was a fun read 🙂 #4 and #10 are new to me. Especially liked #10.
    —Tobias, the lone ScrumMaster who has never used Lego 😉

  3. What an amazing article, Philiy! I sent it out to a few scrummy friends, they’re going to love your hacks!

    I have a good hack,too! I like to keep a few sticky notes blocks and a few whiteboard pens & sharpies in a zip bag. It’s great both when you have an ad-hoc creative meeting and for standard meetings that require writing 🙂


    1. Hi Dominika, that’s a great hack, always prepared! Thank you for sharing the article. Hope you are well, let’s meet up soon!!

  4. Pingback: The Agile Roundup #3 - It's All about the Scrum Master - Sigao Studios

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *