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53461Re: [kanbandev] Re: [leanagile] Scrum without a ScrumMaster

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  • Pierre Neis
    Dec 3, 2011
      According to the latest Scrum Guide (07/11), a Scrum without a Scrum Master is not a Scrum.

      Pierre E.  NEIScsp

      Head of Lean Competence Centre @ coPROcess S.A. 
      │ Scrum & Lean Coach   

      M: +352 / 661 727 867  - Skype: pierre.neis  
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      On 3 December 2011 19:07, Andrew Pham <andrewpham74@...> wrote:


      Excellent post! We are on the same page...


      Author of
      Scrum in Action, Agile Project Management and Development in the Real-World

      and of "Business-Driven IT-Wide Agile (Scrum) and/or Kanban (Lean) Implementation" (reviewed and upcoming)

      On Sat, Dec 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM, alshalloway <alshall@...> wrote:

      I was asked this question by a viewer of my intro to kanban webinar.

      We are planning to use scrum with a pilot. Our company is small, so the scrum team is about 5 members. We cannot assign one person for Scrum Master and another one for Product Owner. Could we still apply scrum without Scrum Master?

      Do you have experiences in a similar scenario?

      Yes, Scrum can still be used. In fact, Scrum is particularly useful for small teams like this. I would suggest reading The New New Product Development Game. http://www.sao.corvallis.or.us/drupal/files/The%20New%20New%20Product%20Development%20Game.pdf
      It is the article that inspired Scrum in the first place and provides great insights.

      I would suggest that the whoever is the current team lead now play the role of the Scrum Master (assuming it isn't the Product Owner as these two roles conflict at times.

      In my mind the role of the ScrumMaster is twofold:
      1) help identify the challenges the team is having
      2) do something about them

      The first requires the ability to step back and times and reflect. The standups and retrospections are supposed to do this, but, in my mind, are somewhat challenged in the ability to sustain this.

      A way to extend Scrum and lower the need of a ScrumMaster is to have explicit workflow policies so everybody knows the rules of the game so to speak of the team. These can change at any time, of course - and they will as you proceed down this path. This is a Kanban practice and is very valuable. If you further have this explicit workflow mirrored on the Scrum board (you now have a Kanban board) anyone on the team will easily see impacts. This somewhat diminishes the need for a ScrumMaster, but in my opinion, someone who acts as lead/coach of the team is always important.

      Hope this helps.
      Alan Shalloway
      CEO, Net Objectives

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