A day in the life… of a scrum master

Welcome to ‘a day in the life of’, a series of blogs going behind the scenes in Registers of Scotland (RoS) where we speak to staff in various departments across the organisation to find out a bit more about what they do. First up is Adam Elghazi, scrum master!

Hi Adam, thanks for agreeing to tell us a bit about what you do here!

Q. How long have you been with RoS and what team are you in?

A. I joined in May 2017 and I am the scrum master in Team Odyssey, which is developing ScotLIS, Scotland’s land information service, which will be launching in October.

Q. So, scrum master sounds interesting – can you tell us what that entails and what are you responsible for?


Q. Everyone always asks about a typical day. What does yours entail?

A. A typical day for me is all about facilitation; removing impediments to the team or what we call ‘blockers’. I will also support the product owner with prioritising and creating an effective product backlog, working with the team to make them as effective as possible and ensuring quality practices and disciplines are embedded within the team.

Q. Working in ‘sprints’ I am guessing there must be an a-typical day every few weeks – could you talk us through how that day goes?

A. Sure, we call that ‘events’ day. I’m based in Glasgow and while events day is no different in that respect it is in many others. It would always start with a coffee and go something like this:

8:30am – Get to the office, log in and check my emails to see that everything is ok.

9:30am – Finish my second coffee of the morning and signal the start of the first of two daily stand ups by honking the daily stand up horn (yup, we do actually have a horn). Today is a good day, only one minor blocker to manage. The stand-up ends with the sound of a bell (we actually have that too).

9:45am – Facilitate the 2nd stand up of the day.

10am – A member of the user experience (UX) team was carrying out usability sessions the day before so I arrange for a catch up with them, the product owner (PO) and business analyst (BA) to discuss how it went and assess any new requirements which may need to be added to our product backlog.

12pm – Skype meeting with PO, BA, UX, SRO (senior responsible owner) and PM (project manager) to discuss pre-development tasks such as preparing for the upcoming digital first assessment.

1pm – LUNCH

2pm – Facilitate a retrospective and sprint planning meeting with one of my two scrum teams.

4:30pm – Back to my desk to catch up with emails and write up the actions from our retrospective.

5:30pm – Log off, say my goodbyes and usually grab my umbrella and set off out into the rain!

Q. Ah now, the mention of rain takes us neatly into our next question! Agile v waterfall? Help us out here and explain the key differences and your preference / reason(s) why.


Q. What is the most challenging aspect of your role?

A. Managing conflict within the team I would say.

Q. Apart from the title, what is the best part of your job and why?

A. Being able to influence and coach the team in a positive way which ultimately leads to the creation of a quality, fit for purpose, valuable product.

Thanks very much for taking the time out to talk to us Adam, we had better let you get back to the day job!

If you would you like to know more about the work going on within the ScotLIS team you can sign up to receive free blog alerts by entering your email into the ‘Subscribe to InsideRoS’ box or contact scotlis@ros.gov.uk.

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