The Scrum Master acts as a servant leader, guiding the agile team and removing obstacles to effectiveness. Their focus is on enabling the team to work together smoothly to deliver value, by facilitating self-organisation over command and control. In this article, we will explore the role of a scrum master in resolving and managing team conflict.
Why does conflict arise in teams?
Conflict naturally occurs in teams due to diverse perspectives, poor communication, competing priorities and interpersonal friction. If unresolved, conflict can decrease morale, reduce productivity and threaten team cohesion. The Scrum Master works to acknowledge and address issues early before they escalate.
How does the Scrum Master promote open dialogue?
The Scrum Master fosters open communication between team members. They mediate conversations where required to reach understanding and find solutions all can accept. This prevents tensions from festering and improves relationships long-term. The Scrum Master also reinforces shared purpose and alignment.
What is the Scrum Master’s facilitator approach?
Core to the Scrum Master’s role is impartial facilitation. They do not take sides or assign blame during conflict. The focus is on enabling collaboration and constructive resolution. This creates a culture where problems get discussed, not avoided. The Scrum Master models effective communication skills.
How do agile principles help resolve conflict?
The Scrum Master champions agile practices like transparency, inspection and adaptation. Applying these helps resolve interpersonal problems through regular feedback loops. Retrospectives provide a safe space to reflect, air concerns and decide improvements. The Scrum Master ensures the team adheres to these rituals.
Managing Team Conflict as a Scrum Master
In summary, the Scrum Master role is crucial in managing team conflict. Their leadership and coaching helps teams communicate openly, tackle issues promptly and nurture a learning culture. This prevents conflict from undermining value delivery and promotes continuous collaboration.
Finally, if you’re wanting to develop these skills either personally, or in your leadership team, you might be interested in taking our Agile team Coaching (ICP-ACC) course, and/or our Certified Scrum Master training course, which are available both in-person in London and online.