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I often wonder how great a focus Jedis must have.  To be able to channel the Force and use it – to augment one’s physical capabilities, to have it affect physical objects, to be able to channel and release it as lightning, and to be able to influence the minds of others.  I assume it takes a great deal of focus.  The greater the focus a Jedi has, the greater his/her abilities are.  The same can be said for a Scrum Team.  The greater the focus a team has during a sprint, the better the work that comes out of that sprint.

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Focus.  It is like the Force for the Jedi.  We Scrum Masters put much faith in it and makes sure the team has it.  One of the core values in Scrum is that the team must be able to focus in a Sprint.  The Scrum Master is to protect them from any distractions which can impede their progress.  The team should focus on completing the Sprint Goal.

Here are some pointers we follow to keep the team as focused as they can be on the Sprint Goals:

  • Don’t introduce change into the sprint – no change in acceptance criterias for the items on the Sprint Backlog, don’t take out items from the Sprint, don’t add items into the Sprint.
  • Protect the team from distractions – don’t have long meetings which will keep them away from their work, have short daily standups, empower them to be able to concentrate on their work
  • The Scrum Master and Product Owner are the main point of contact for the stakeholders of the project, as much as possible the team should just concentrate on their work and should not be bothered by questions/requests from the clients
  • The Scrum Master should guide the team in being focused, to concentrate on the Sprint Goals.

It takes a lot of discipline to have focus and it is really hard to master.  Distractions have only been increasing now that everything seems to be connected by the internet.  But it is very rewarding when you achieve having that great focus.  It makes you feel you can take on anything.  As a Scrum Master, it makes me very proud of my team when we are able to get into that state when we are really focused and items from the backlog are getting done amazingly.


“Never.  I’ll never turn to the Dark Side.  You’ve failed, your highness.  I am a Jedi, like my father before me.” – Luke Skywalker, Episode 6 – Return of the Jedi

Jason Coppage, Co-Founder