Being a software developer and scrum master at the same time is bound to have conflicting interests at times, even worse when a product owner is also a manager, but that’s for another time. At one moment you’re happily coding on a complex issue, requiring all your focus, and then a team member requires the help of the scrum master to solve something as he/she cannot continue with the task they’re working on.
Of course, you’re a scrum master first, so the team takes precedence over your own work. However, this does not mean that you alone need to work on solving the impediment, it is also your responsibility to educate and/or coach the team member in being able to solve things on their own.
Diverting your attention away from your own work, try to let the other person explain their problem and let them elaborate on what they’ve tried to solve it, and/or where the cause could be. In about half of the cases a solution has now presented itself in the persons mind, where for you as scrum master only required a bit of attention and patience. The other half of the cases are more complex, usually requiring actions of people outside your team.
Continuing in the path of the former half; this approach can be learned and taught to your team members, and even works when trying to explain your problem to a dummy. Exploring problems from different angles contributes to the way people approach them, letting them grow in their own right. Don’t expect this to be the silver bullet, it isn’t! This just helps your team members, and isn’t that the role of a scrum master?
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