At SD West last week, one of the folks in my talks asked about how to hire a Scrum Master. First, don’t do this:
Don’t look for a CSM. A CSM means the person has taken a 2-day workshop where he or she may have practiced some pieces of Scrum. There is no guarantee that the candidate did get through an entire timebox or finish a project.
Ok, here’s what to do. Ask these kinds of questions:
- Give me a recent example of how you helped a team develop a drumbeat, a project rhythm.
- How do you know the project is on track? (Ask for examples)
- What have you done to help a project get back on track? (Ask for examples)
- How do you obtain status from people? (Ask for examples)
- Tell me about an obstacle you recently removed. … How long did it take?
- Have you ever been in a position where the product owner wanted to add a new item to the iteration backlog after you’d started the iteration? What happened?
Because a Scrum Master helps the team stick with the process and remove obstacles, you can start with questions such as these. Consider adding an audition such as facilitating a standup meeting, working with the product owner on the backlog.