Joining an already running team as a Scrum Master

If you are joining a scrum team as a scrum master there are a few things to think about.

Here are some questions to ask:


Who is on the team?

Are there any key person dependencies?
Where does the team sit?

If not together, can they move any closer to each other?
How well is the team working together?

Do team members often help each other out?

How is work allocated?

How is design discussed?
Who are the key stakeholders for the team?

What is their availibility?

How do they think the team is doing?
Is there any leave coming up? How is leave communicated?


How is the system deployed?

How can I access it?

How often is the system deployed?

How is the system tested?

Where are the tests results?

What kind of test coverage is achieved each sprint?

What is the automated test coverage?

How are defects recorded?

Are there any common types or patterns in the defects?

How is the system reviewed?

How is end-user feedback collected and recorded?

What sign-off proceedures are in place?

How is technical debt managed?

How is code reviewed?

What static code analysis is available?

What is the most complex part of the system?

How long does the automated build take to run?


Are there any current issues getting in the way of delivering this sprint?

How can we avoid, remove or reduce these obstacles?

When does the current sprint finish?

What is the sprint length?

When is the next sprint review scheduled?  Have the invites gone out? Is the room booked?

When is the daily scrum?

When is the next sprint planning scheduled?

Have the invites gone out? Is the room booked?

Where is the sprint backlog?

How is it updated?

Where is the burn down for this sprint?

When is the next sprint retrospective?

Are the results of previous retrospectives available?

Where is the product backlog?

What format are the requirements written in?

How is the product backlog prioritised?

How is the product backlog estimated?

What is the total estimated size of the remaining features? (e.g 200 points)

How and when are new features estimated?

How and when are changes estimated?

What is the definition of done for each backlog item?

What additional work is needed to make a feature production ready?

What is the teams delivery track record?

Is the team delivering against sprint committments? How often?

What size of features has the team been able to deliver over the last few sprints? (e.g 10 points)

Is there a baseline release plan that has been communicated to stakeholders?

If so what is the budget for this release?

What is the baseline scope & release date?

How does the current actual spend compare to the forecasted spend?

Based on the teams delivery track record how many features can the team deliver by the baseline planned release date?

If less than planned, how many additional sprints would it take to finish the project?

How much slack on average does the team have at the end of a sprint to implement improvements?