Four tools to improve your daily job as a Scrum Master

As a Scrum Master I like to always be looking for new ideas, experiences or resources to improve my work. This goes through learning from other professionals, tools that help me in the flow of tasks and simply creative tricks.

A Scrum Master, as a change agent, should be an example of inspection and adaptation. Do not be afraid to try new tools. Always in search of a better, more creative or efficient way of doing things.

Today I want to share four simple resources to help in the day to day of any Scrum Master or Agile Coach. Some are well known but, especially if you’re just starting out, maybe they can give you some clues.

Learning

Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast is a daily podcast hosted by  Vasco Duarte. It is structured so that it has a different theme for each day of the week. Learning, experiences and tricks from other Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches are shared in interviews.

I like the format because having different guests brings the freshness of many different points of view. Also the duration of each episode is short. This makes it ideal to listen to in a break or in the car on the way to work.

Tools

I guess that nowadays everyone knows Trello, but I thinks it worths talking about it.

It is a very powerful tool for the creation of visual panels in which to organize ideas, tasks and workflows.
Depending on your work system or that of your team, it can even be the main tool to visualize and control the information. It is a good resource to work with Kanban, but beware of the fact that having visual panels doesn´t  means that you work with Kanban. Kanban are more things than just putting cards in columns.

I sometimes use Trello to organize tasks and blog ideas and to plan stages of some milestones that I want to achieve in the agile transformation. It works well to follow the status of some objectives with the teams.

In its free version is quite powerful or allows collaborative work. You also have it in both web version and mobile applications for Android and iOS.

Vanesa Tejada has a whole section in her blog explaining many things, tips and ideas on how she uses Trello.

Plan retrospectives

Retromat is the online tool par excellence to look for ideas when proposing dynamics for retrospectives. In English it is the most complete version, but it has activities in six languages, including Spanish. It seems to me a great resource to raise the whole structure of a retrospective session.

Journaling

Bullet journal is the technique, the format and also a complete notebook that you can buy for this activity, but the truth is that I use more normal and cheaper notebooks.

I do not use it exactly as they say in the original video, I have modified the way I use it a lot, but I have recently incorporated it into my work as a Scrum Master and by now I am very happy. It allows me to keep a good daily record of activities, notes about people and teams, gather ideas during meetings or have notes for retrospectives and have it all in one place.

When I have a more polished and defined system I will write about how I am using the journaling bullet in my work as a Scrum Master.

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