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ScrumMaster's role

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  • amr_samadisy
    One of the articles under review for the upcoming issue of the agile journal describes the ScrumMaster s role as follows: the ScrumMaster s duties to the
    Message 1 of 19 , Apr 1, 2009
      One of the articles under review for the upcoming issue of the agile journal describes the ScrumMaster's role as follows:

      the ScrumMaster's duties to the Product Owner are more clearly defined and limited in scope. Rather than "putting fires out," the ScrumMaster's support work with the Product Owner tends to be more easily anticipated and performed on a regular, ongoing basis. In essence, this work can be summarized as assisting the Product Owner with various preparatory activities. These often include updating the Product Owner about the team's progress and successes, assisting in the preparation of the backlog for sprint planning (also known as backlog grooming), and radiating important status updates to all team members and stakeholders.

      In many ways, the ScrumMaster's role in regard to the Product Owner can be seen as a kind of liaison for the team, reinforcing its communication with the Product Owner. As such, he or she is an essential hub for communication, working to make sure that everyone involved in the project is on the same page.

      That is not my understanding - in fact, that sounds like a problem and advice I wouldn't want to give to the readers. At the same time, I realize that there are many opinions/definitions/etc... of how Scrum really should work.So, I'm doing some due diligence and fact checking. Does this description sound right to you?
    • Jim Schiel
      I would say that this is a weak definition of the Scrum Master. Describing the role, in its entirety, relative to the Product Owner is a bad idea. A better
      Message 2 of 19 , Apr 1, 2009
        I would say that this is a weak definition of the Scrum Master. Describing the role, in its entirety, relative to the Product Owner is a bad idea.

        A better description comes from the Scrum Guide, available on the Scrum Alliance web site. It says:

        The ScrumMaster is responsible for ensuring that Scrum values, 
        practices and rules are enacted and enforced. The ScrumMaster 
        is the driving force behind all of the Scrum and helps the Scrum 
        Team and the organization adopt and use Scrum to produce a 
        higher quality product. The ScrumMaster is not the manager 
        but leads by coaching, teaching and supporting the team. 
        The ScrumMaster helps the Team understand and use self- 
        management and cross-functionality. 

        There's much more beneath this, but the essence of the Scrum Master's responsibilities are reflected here.

        Jim Schiel, CST



        On Apr 1, 2009, at 9:32 AM, amr_samadisy wrote:

        One of the articles under review for the upcoming issue of the agile journal describes the ScrumMaster' s role as follows:

        the ScrumMaster' s duties to the Product Owner are more clearly defined and limited in scope. Rather than "putting fires out," the ScrumMaster' s support work with the Product Owner tends to be more easily anticipated and performed on a regular, ongoing basis. In essence, this work can be summarized as assisting the Product Owner with various preparatory activities. These often include updating the Product Owner about the team's progress and successes, assisting in the preparation of the backlog for sprint planning (also known as backlog grooming), and radiating important status updates to all team members and stakeholders.

        In many ways, the ScrumMaster' s role in regard to the Product Owner can be seen as a kind of liaison for the team, reinforcing its communication with the Product Owner. As such, he or she is an essential hub for communication, working to make sure that everyone involved in the project is on the same page.

        That is not my understanding - in fact, that sounds like a problem and advice I wouldn't want to give to the readers. At the same time, I realize that there are many opinions/definition s/etc... of how Scrum really should work. So, I'm doing some due diligence and fact checking. Does this description sound right to you?


      • amr_samadisy
        ... Agreed. This is an excerpt, not the whole definition. I was asking about this part of the definition. Do you see the ScrumMaster as being the conduit
        Message 3 of 19 , Apr 1, 2009
          >
          > I would say that this is a weak definition of the Scrum Master.
          > Describing the role, in its entirety, relative to the Product Owner is
          > a bad idea.
          >

          Agreed. This is an excerpt, not the whole definition. I was asking about this part of the definition. Do you see the ScrumMaster as being the conduit between the team and the product owner?
        • banshee858
          ... The Scrums that I have seen be the most successful are the Scrums that have the Product Owner as part of the Team. If we wanted to talk about conduits, I
          Message 4 of 19 , Apr 1, 2009
            >
            > >
            > > I would say that this is a weak definition of the Scrum Master.
            > > Describing the role, in its entirety, relative to the Product Owner is
            > > a bad idea.
            > >
            >
            > Agreed. This is an excerpt, not the whole definition. I was asking about this part of the
            > definition. Do you see the ScrumMaster as being the conduit between the team and the
            > product owner?
            >
            The Scrums that I have seen be the most successful are the Scrums that have the Product Owner as part of the Team. If we wanted to talk about conduits, I would say the ScrumMaster is helping the stakeholders get information they normally would not get.

            Carlton
          • Keith Ray
            ... A single person acting as hub of communication for the team is generally a bad idea for any agile project. Developers, Testers, Product Owner, etc.,
            Message 5 of 19 , Apr 1, 2009
              > In many ways, the ScrumMaster's role in regard to the Product Owner
              > can be seen as a kind of liaison for the team, reinforcing its
              > communication with the Product Owner. As such, he or she is an
              > essential hub for communication,

              A single person acting as "hub of communication" for the team is
              generally a bad idea for any agile project. Developers, Testers,
              Product Owner, etc., should be talking directly to each other. A
              coach or scrum-master would help make sure this communication occurs
              by facilitating some parts of the process, and reminding people to
              have conversations when helpful or necessary. Interested stake-holders
              should be attend demo meetings instead of just receiving progress
              reports.

              --
              C. Keith Ray, IXP Coach, Industrial Logic, Inc.
              http://industriallogic.com 866-540-8336 (toll free)
              Groove with our Agile Greatest Hits: http://www.industriallogic.com/elearning/
              http://agilesolutionspace.blogspot.com/
            • Dan Rawsthorne
              I don t like it. For one thing, the PO doesn t need a liaison to the team, the PO is part of the team and does most of the stuff described here himself. Second
              Message 6 of 19 , Apr 1, 2009
                I don't like it. For one thing, the PO doesn't need a liaison to the
                team, the PO is part of the team and does most of the stuff described
                here himself. Second of all, the SM doesn't work for the PO, the SM
                works for the team. I teach that one of the major responsibilities is to
                help the relationship between the PO and the rest of the team, and being
                under the PO's thumb (as it is described here) doesn't seem helpful.

                Dan Rawsthorne, PhD, CST
                Senior Coach, Danube Technologies
                dan@..., 425-269-8628



                amr_samadisy wrote:
                >
                > One of the articles under review for the upcoming issue of the agile
                > journal describes the ScrumMaster's role as follows:
                >
                > the ScrumMaster's duties to the Product Owner are more clearly
                > defined and limited in scope. Rather than "putting fires out," the
                > ScrumMaster's support work with the Product Owner tends to be more
                > easily anticipated and performed on a regular, ongoing basis. In
                > essence, this work can be summarized as assisting the Product
                > Owner with various preparatory activities. These often include
                > updating the Product Owner about the team's progress and
                > successes, assisting in the preparation of the backlog for sprint
                > planning (also known as backlog grooming), and radiating important
                > status updates to all team members and stakeholders.
                >
                > In many ways, the ScrumMaster's role in regard to the Product
                > Owner can be seen as a kind of liaison for the team, reinforcing
                > its communication with the Product Owner. As such, he or she is an
                > essential hub for communication, working to make sure that
                > everyone involved in the project is on the same page.
                >
                > That is not my understanding - in fact, that sounds like a problem and
                > advice I wouldn't want to give to the readers. At the same time, I
                > realize that there are many opinions/definitions/etc... of how Scrum
                > really should work. So, I'm doing some due diligence and fact
                > checking. Does this description sound right to you?
                >
              • mike.dwyer1@comcast.net
                This smacks of a PMBoK mindset and Dan, Jim and others are being too kind Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T ... From: Dan Rawsthorne
                Message 7 of 19 , Apr 1, 2009
                  This smacks of a PMBoK mindset and Dan, Jim and others are being too kind

                  Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


                  From: Dan Rawsthorne
                  Date: Wed, 01 Apr 2009 18:42:24 -0700
                  To: <scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com>
                  Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] ScrumMaster's role

                  I don't like it. For one thing, the PO doesn't need a liaison to the
                  team, the PO is part of the team and does most of the stuff described
                  here himself. Second of all, the SM doesn't work for the PO, the SM
                  works for the team. I teach that one of the major responsibilities is to
                  help the relationship between the PO and the rest of the team, and being
                  under the PO's thumb (as it is described here) doesn't seem helpful.

                  Dan Rawsthorne, PhD, CST
                  Senior Coach, Danube Technologies
                  dan@..., 425-269-8628

                  amr_samadisy wrote:

                  >
                  > One of the articles under review for the upcoming issue of the agile
                  > journal describes the ScrumMaster' s role as follows:
                  >
                  > the ScrumMaster' s duties to the Product Owner are more clearly
                  > defined and limited in scope. Rather than "putting fires out," the
                  > ScrumMaster' s support work with the Product Owner tends to be more
                  > easily anticipated and performed on a regular, ongoing basis. In
                  > essence, this work can be summarized as assisting the Product
                  > Owner with various preparatory activities. These often include
                  > updating the Product Owner about the team's progress and
                  > successes, assisting in the preparation of the backlog for sprint
                  > planning (also known as backlog grooming), and radiating important
                  > status updates to all team members and stakeholders.
                  >
                  > In many ways, the ScrumMaster' s role in regard to the Product
                  > Owner can be seen as a kind of liaison for the team, reinforcing
                  > its communication with the Product Owner. As such, he or she is an
                  > essential hub for communication, working to make sure that
                  > everyone involved in the project is on the same page.
                  >
                  > That is not my understanding - in fact, that sounds like a problem and
                  > advice I wouldn't want to give to the readers. At the same time, I
                  > realize that there are many opinions/definition s/etc... of how Scrum
                  > really should work. So, I'm doing some due diligence and fact
                  > checking. Does this description sound right to you?
                  >

                • Adam Sroka
                  ... The Scrummaster needs to be the channel of communication between the team and the business. Otherwise, many hours of important porn surfing would be
                  Message 8 of 19 , Apr 2, 2009
                    On Wed, Apr 1, 2009 at 8:18 AM, amr_samadisy <amr@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >>
                    >> I would say that this is a weak definition of the Scrum Master.
                    >> Describing the role, in its entirety, relative to the Product Owner is
                    >> a bad idea.
                    >>
                    >
                    > Agreed. This is an excerpt, not the whole definition. I was asking about
                    > this part of the definition. Do you see the ScrumMaster as being the conduit
                    > between the team and the product owner?
                    >

                    The Scrummaster needs to be the channel of communication between the
                    team and the business. Otherwise, many hours of important porn surfing
                    would be interrupted by actual conversations about the software that
                    developers are getting paid six-figure salaries to produce.

                    This is *very* important for the same reasons that it is important
                    there be a waiter between me and the chef to make sure I don't
                    actually get what I ordered, or that there be a staffer between me and
                    my elected representative so that my position is never considered or
                    even heard.

                    On this list there have been threads about: can the Scrummaster be a
                    coach? Can the Scrummaster be a manager? Can the Scrummaster be the
                    PO? And that's just in the past few months. I think we're asking the
                    wrong questions. The right question, IMO, is what is the Scrummaster's
                    job if it isn't any of these other things?

                    Why would you want someone on your team who contributes nothing from
                    either a technical or business/domain perspective? I think everyone
                    should be the Scrummaster and there should be no Scrummaster!
                  • davenicolette
                    Velocity is a measure of a team s production capacity per iteration. It isn t a direct measure of value. I ve encountered quite a few PMs who misunderstand
                    Message 9 of 19 , Apr 2, 2009
                      Velocity is a measure of a team's production capacity per iteration. It isn't a direct measure of value. I've encountered quite a few PMs who misunderstand velocity to be a measure of value. I've also encountered some PMs who try to use velocity as a "target" and whip their teams into trying to reach an arbitrary velocity number. Unfortunate.

                      With due respect to you and Roy, I think the word "metric" applies to any sort of measurement used for tracking or planning any sort of work. It doesn't only pertain to measurements used for employee assessment.

                      Cheers,
                      Dave

                      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Adam Sroka <adam.sroka@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > On Wed, Apr 1, 2009 at 8:18 AM, amr_samadisy <amr@...> wrote:
                      > >
                      > >>
                      > >> I would say that this is a weak definition of the Scrum Master.
                      > >> Describing the role, in its entirety, relative to the Product Owner is
                      > >> a bad idea.
                      > >>
                      > >
                      > > Agreed. This is an excerpt, not the whole definition. I was asking about
                      > > this part of the definition. Do you see the ScrumMaster as being the conduit
                      > > between the team and the product owner?
                      > >
                      >
                      > The Scrummaster needs to be the channel of communication between the
                      > team and the business. Otherwise, many hours of important porn surfing
                      > would be interrupted by actual conversations about the software that
                      > developers are getting paid six-figure salaries to produce.
                      >
                      > This is *very* important for the same reasons that it is important
                      > there be a waiter between me and the chef to make sure I don't
                      > actually get what I ordered, or that there be a staffer between me and
                      > my elected representative so that my position is never considered or
                      > even heard.
                      >
                      > On this list there have been threads about: can the Scrummaster be a
                      > coach? Can the Scrummaster be a manager? Can the Scrummaster be the
                      > PO? And that's just in the past few months. I think we're asking the
                      > wrong questions. The right question, IMO, is what is the Scrummaster's
                      > job if it isn't any of these other things?
                      >
                      > Why would you want someone on your team who contributes nothing from
                      > either a technical or business/domain perspective? I think everyone
                      > should be the Scrummaster and there should be no Scrummaster!
                      >
                    • Adam Sroka
                      ... Fair enough. Velocity does meet the definition of a metric. However, we recommend that it not be used in the manner that traditional Project Management
                      Message 10 of 19 , Apr 2, 2009
                        On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 3:24 PM, davenicolette <dnicolet@...> wrote:
                        > Velocity is a measure of a team's production capacity per iteration. It
                        > isn't a direct measure of value. I've encountered quite a few PMs who
                        > misunderstand velocity to be a measure of value. I've also encountered some
                        > PMs who try to use velocity as a "target" and whip their teams into trying
                        > to reach an arbitrary velocity number. Unfortunate.
                        >
                        > With due respect to you and Roy, I think the word "metric" applies to any
                        > sort of measurement used for tracking or planning any sort of work. It
                        > doesn't only pertain to measurements used for employee assessment.
                        >

                        Fair enough. Velocity does meet the definition of a metric. However,
                        we recommend that it not be used in the manner that traditional
                        Project Management folks use metrics. If you chose to ignore that
                        recommendation be aware that you are not likely to learn anything
                        useful from the exercise.
                      • davenicolette
                        Sounds like you didn t read the first paragraph of my last message...unless you meant the generic you and not specifically the second-person personal
                        Message 11 of 19 , Apr 2, 2009
                          Sounds like you didn't read the first paragraph of my last message...unless you meant the generic "you" and not specifically the second-person personal pronoun.

                          Cheers,
                          Dave

                          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Adam Sroka <adam.sroka@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 3:24 PM, davenicolette <dnicolet@...> wrote:
                          > > Velocity is a measure of a team's production capacity per iteration. It
                          > > isn't a direct measure of value. I've encountered quite a few PMs who
                          > > misunderstand velocity to be a measure of value. I've also encountered some
                          > > PMs who try to use velocity as a "target" and whip their teams into trying
                          > > to reach an arbitrary velocity number. Unfortunate.
                          > >
                          > > With due respect to you and Roy, I think the word "metric" applies to any
                          > > sort of measurement used for tracking or planning any sort of work. It
                          > > doesn't only pertain to measurements used for employee assessment.
                          > >
                          >
                          > Fair enough. Velocity does meet the definition of a metric. However,
                          > we recommend that it not be used in the manner that traditional
                          > Project Management folks use metrics. If you chose to ignore that
                          > recommendation be aware that you are not likely to learn anything
                          > useful from the exercise.
                          >
                        • Roy Morien
                          Thank you for your due respect . I was trying to differentiate the situation. I did ask for understanding about my attempt at differentiation. Roy Morien To:
                          Message 12 of 19 , Apr 2, 2009
                            Thank you for your 'due respect'. I was trying to differentiate the situation. I did ask for understanding about my attempt at differentiation.
                             
                            Roy Morien
                             

                            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                            From: dnicolet@...
                            Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2009 22:24:03 +0000
                            Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: ScrumMaster's role

                            Velocity is a measure of a team's production capacity per iteration. It isn't a direct measure of value. I've encountered quite a few PMs who misunderstand velocity to be a measure of value. I've also encountered some PMs who try to use velocity as a "target" and whip their teams into trying to reach an arbitrary velocity number. Unfortunate.

                            With due respect to you and Roy, I think the word "metric" applies to any sort of measurement used for tracking or planning any sort of work. It doesn't only pertain to measurements used for employee assessment.

                            Cheers,
                            Dave

                            --- In scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com, Adam Sroka <adam.sroka@ ...> wrote:
                            >
                            > On Wed, Apr 1, 2009 at 8:18 AM, amr_samadisy <amr@...> wrote:
                            > >
                            > >>
                            > >> I would say that this is a weak definition of the Scrum Master.
                            > >> Describing the role, in its entirety, relative to the Product Owner is
                            > >> a bad idea.
                            > >>
                            > >
                            > > Agreed. This is an excerpt, not the whole definition. I was asking about
                            > > this part of the definition. Do you see the ScrumMaster as being the conduit
                            > > between the team and the product owner?
                            > >
                            >
                            > The Scrummaster needs to be the channel of communication between the
                            > team and the business. Otherwise, many hours of important porn surfing
                            > would be interrupted by actual conversations about the software that
                            > developers are getting paid six-figure salaries to produce.
                            >
                            > This is *very* important for the same reasons that it is important
                            > there be a waiter between me and the chef to make sure I don't
                            > actually get what I ordered, or that there be a staffer between me and
                            > my elected representative so that my position is never considered or
                            > even heard.
                            >
                            > On this list there have been threads about: can the Scrummaster be a
                            > coach? Can the Scrummaster be a manager? Can the Scrummaster be the
                            > PO? And that's just in the past few months. I think we're asking the
                            > wrong questions. The right question, IMO, is what is the Scrummaster' s
                            > job if it isn't any of these other things?
                            >
                            > Why would you want someone on your team who contributes nothing from
                            > either a technical or business/domain perspective? I think everyone
                            > should be the Scrummaster and there should be no Scrummaster!
                            >




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                          • Adam Sroka
                            ... Yes. Sorry. I wasn t referring to *you* specifically, Dave ;-)
                            Message 13 of 19 , Apr 2, 2009
                              On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 3:39 PM, davenicolette <dnicolet@...> wrote:
                              > Sounds like you didn't read the first paragraph of my last message...unless
                              > you meant the generic "you" and not specifically the second-person personal
                              > pronoun.
                              >

                              Yes. Sorry. I wasn't referring to *you* specifically, Dave ;-)
                            • davenicolette
                              Thanks. I feel much better now.
                              Message 14 of 19 , Apr 2, 2009
                                Thanks. I feel much better now.

                                --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Adam Sroka <adam.sroka@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 3:39 PM, davenicolette <dnicolet@...> wrote:
                                > > Sounds like you didn't read the first paragraph of my last message...unless
                                > > you meant the generic "you" and not specifically the second-person personal
                                > > pronoun.
                                > >
                                >
                                > Yes. Sorry. I wasn't referring to *you* specifically, Dave ;-)
                                >
                              • Adam Sroka
                                ... In other words: I agree.Velocity meets the first noun definition here: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/metric I also agree that it is an exceptionally poor
                                Message 15 of 19 , Apr 2, 2009
                                  On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 3:32 PM, Adam Sroka <adam.sroka@...> wrote:
                                  > On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 3:24 PM, davenicolette <dnicolet@...> wrote:
                                  >> Velocity is a measure of a team's production capacity per iteration. It
                                  >> isn't a direct measure of value. I've encountered quite a few PMs who
                                  >> misunderstand velocity to be a measure of value. I've also encountered some
                                  >> PMs who try to use velocity as a "target" and whip their teams into trying
                                  >> to reach an arbitrary velocity number. Unfortunate.
                                  >>
                                  >> With due respect to you and Roy, I think the word "metric" applies to any
                                  >> sort of measurement used for tracking or planning any sort of work. It
                                  >> doesn't only pertain to measurements used for employee assessment.
                                  >>
                                  >
                                  > Fair enough. Velocity does meet the definition of a metric. However,
                                  > we recommend that it not be used in the manner that traditional
                                  > Project Management folks use metrics. If you chose to ignore that
                                  > recommendation be aware that you are not likely to learn anything
                                  > useful from the exercise.
                                  >

                                  In other words: I agree.Velocity meets the first noun definition here:
                                  http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/metric

                                  I also agree that it is an exceptionally poor idea to use it this way:
                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GQM

                                  A person, whoever that might be, should not use the "Velocity metric"
                                  in the manner that the preceding suggests.

                                  My pedantry meter has gone straight to plaid.
                                • Adam Sroka
                                  ... P.S. I m not picking on you. We agree. I m just trying to be very (perhaps a little too, at this point) clear.
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Apr 2, 2009
                                    On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 4:07 PM, davenicolette <dnicolet@...> wrote:
                                    > Thanks. I feel much better now.
                                    >

                                    P.S. I'm not picking on you. We agree. I'm just trying to be very
                                    (perhaps a little too, at this point) clear.
                                  • Brad Appleton
                                    ... I think the Scrum-Master role is being confused with the Product-Owner role in the definition you cited (as evident by seeming to define the Scrum-Master
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Apr 2, 2009
                                      > In many ways, the ScrumMaster's role in regard to the Product Owner
                                      > can be seen as a kind of liaison for the team, reinforcing its
                                      > communication with the Product Owner. As such, he or she is an
                                      > essential hub for communication,

                                      I think the Scrum-Master role is being confused with the Product-Owner
                                      role in the definition you cited (as evident by seeming to define the
                                      Scrum-Master role in terms of the PO, rather than being about the *team*)

                                      The PO is supposed to be part of the team. If anyone is a conduit, it is
                                      the PO who acts as a conduit between the team and its customers.

                                      I can see how sometimes the Scrum-Master might need to act as a "buffer"
                                      and also a facilitator when tensions arise between technical stuff and
                                      business stuff (e.g., when the Scrum Master might need to tell the PO
                                      something the PO doesnt want to hear). I guess I see that as more of an
                                      extension of the role team leadership, where in any given "conflict" the
                                      "lead" (whoever it happens to be at that particular moment) may need to
                                      "step-up" and address an issue of communication, trust or adherence to
                                      values/principles between two or more individuals.

                                      --
                                      Brad Appleton <brad {AT} bradapp.net>
                                      Agile CM Environments (http://blog.bradapp.net/)
                                      & Software CM Patterns (www.scmpatterns.com)
                                      "And miles to go before I sleep" -- Robert Frost
                                    • Tobias Mayer
                                      Leave it to Mike to call a spade a spade :-) Most people here seem to agree that the Scrum Master is no kind of liaison or conduit to anyone. I d like to add
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Apr 4, 2009
                                        Leave it to Mike to call a spade a spade :-)

                                        Most people here seem to agree that the Scrum Master is no kind of
                                        liaison or conduit to anyone. I'd like to add that there are no
                                        conduits at all in Scrum. A couple of posts have suggested that the PO
                                        is a conduit between team and customer. Bad idea. I have seen this
                                        happen, and it is generally a disaster. What we end up with is a
                                        disempowered, go-between PO afraid to make any decisions for fear of
                                        making the wrong one. We end up with a person who has all the
                                        responsibility (single wringable neck -- I hate that term) and no
                                        decison making ability.

                                        The extract Amr posted here from the article does, as Mike, Dan and Jim
                                        suggest, show a rather non-Scrum mindset. It is very, very difficult
                                        sometimes for people to fully grasp Scrum -- that it is not simply a
                                        veneer over existing ways of working. It is an entirely new way of
                                        thinking.

                                        Tobias


                                        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, mike.dwyer1@... wrote:
                                        >
                                        > This smacks of a PMBoK mindset and Dan, Jim and others are being too
                                        kind
                                        > Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
                                        >
                                        > -----Original Message-----
                                        > From: Dan Rawsthorne dan.rawsthorne@...
                                        >
                                        > Date: Wed, 01 Apr 2009 18:42:24
                                        > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                        > Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] ScrumMaster's role
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > I don't like it. For one thing, the PO doesn't need a liaison to the
                                        > team, the PO is part of the team and does most of the stuff described
                                        > here himself. Second of all, the SM doesn't work for the PO, the SM
                                        > works for the team. I teach that one of the major responsibilities is
                                        to
                                        > help the relationship between the PO and the rest of the team, and
                                        being
                                        > under the PO's thumb (as it is described here) doesn't seem helpful.
                                        >
                                        > Dan Rawsthorne, PhD, CST
                                        > Senior Coach, Danube Technologies
                                        > dan@..., 425-269-8628
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > amr_samadisy wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > One of the articles under review for the upcoming issue of the agile
                                        > > journal describes the ScrumMaster's role as follows:
                                        > >
                                        > > the ScrumMaster's duties to the Product Owner are more clearly
                                        > > defined and limited in scope. Rather than "putting fires out,"
                                        the
                                        > > ScrumMaster's support work with the Product Owner tends to be
                                        more
                                        > > easily anticipated and performed on a regular, ongoing basis. In
                                        > > essence, this work can be summarized as assisting the Product
                                        > > Owner with various preparatory activities. These often include
                                        > > updating the Product Owner about the team's progress and
                                        > > successes, assisting in the preparation of the backlog for
                                        sprint
                                        > > planning (also known as backlog grooming), and radiating
                                        important
                                        > > status updates to all team members and stakeholders.
                                        > >
                                        > > In many ways, the ScrumMaster's role in regard to the Product
                                        > > Owner can be seen as a kind of liaison for the team, reinforcing
                                        > > its communication with the Product Owner. As such, he or she is
                                        an
                                        > > essential hub for communication, working to make sure that
                                        > > everyone involved in the project is on the same page.
                                        > >
                                        > > That is not my understanding - in fact, that sounds like a problem
                                        and
                                        > > advice I wouldn't want to give to the readers. At the same time, I
                                        > > realize that there are many opinions/definitions/etc... of how Scrum
                                        > > really should work. So, I'm doing some due diligence and fact
                                        > > checking. Does this description sound right to you?
                                        > >
                                        >
                                      • davenicolette
                                        +1 to the group s consensus about the article.
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Apr 4, 2009
                                          +1 to the group's consensus about the article.

                                          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Tobias Mayer" <tobiasgmayer@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Leave it to Mike to call a spade a spade :-)
                                          >
                                          > Most people here seem to agree that the Scrum Master is no kind of
                                          > liaison or conduit to anyone. I'd like to add that there are no
                                          > conduits at all in Scrum. A couple of posts have suggested that the PO
                                          > is a conduit between team and customer. Bad idea. I have seen this
                                          > happen, and it is generally a disaster. What we end up with is a
                                          > disempowered, go-between PO afraid to make any decisions for fear of
                                          > making the wrong one. We end up with a person who has all the
                                          > responsibility (single wringable neck -- I hate that term) and no
                                          > decison making ability.
                                          >
                                          > The extract Amr posted here from the article does, as Mike, Dan and Jim
                                          > suggest, show a rather non-Scrum mindset. It is very, very difficult
                                          > sometimes for people to fully grasp Scrum -- that it is not simply a
                                          > veneer over existing ways of working. It is an entirely new way of
                                          > thinking.
                                          >
                                          > Tobias
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, mike.dwyer1@ wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > This smacks of a PMBoK mindset and Dan, Jim and others are being too
                                          > kind
                                          > > Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
                                          > >
                                          > > -----Original Message-----
                                          > > From: Dan Rawsthorne dan.rawsthorne@
                                          > >
                                          > > Date: Wed, 01 Apr 2009 18:42:24
                                          > > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                                          > > Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] ScrumMaster's role
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > I don't like it. For one thing, the PO doesn't need a liaison to the
                                          > > team, the PO is part of the team and does most of the stuff described
                                          > > here himself. Second of all, the SM doesn't work for the PO, the SM
                                          > > works for the team. I teach that one of the major responsibilities is
                                          > to
                                          > > help the relationship between the PO and the rest of the team, and
                                          > being
                                          > > under the PO's thumb (as it is described here) doesn't seem helpful.
                                          > >
                                          > > Dan Rawsthorne, PhD, CST
                                          > > Senior Coach, Danube Technologies
                                          > > dan@, 425-269-8628
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > amr_samadisy wrote:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > One of the articles under review for the upcoming issue of the agile
                                          > > > journal describes the ScrumMaster's role as follows:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > the ScrumMaster's duties to the Product Owner are more clearly
                                          > > > defined and limited in scope. Rather than "putting fires out,"
                                          > the
                                          > > > ScrumMaster's support work with the Product Owner tends to be
                                          > more
                                          > > > easily anticipated and performed on a regular, ongoing basis. In
                                          > > > essence, this work can be summarized as assisting the Product
                                          > > > Owner with various preparatory activities. These often include
                                          > > > updating the Product Owner about the team's progress and
                                          > > > successes, assisting in the preparation of the backlog for
                                          > sprint
                                          > > > planning (also known as backlog grooming), and radiating
                                          > important
                                          > > > status updates to all team members and stakeholders.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > In many ways, the ScrumMaster's role in regard to the Product
                                          > > > Owner can be seen as a kind of liaison for the team, reinforcing
                                          > > > its communication with the Product Owner. As such, he or she is
                                          > an
                                          > > > essential hub for communication, working to make sure that
                                          > > > everyone involved in the project is on the same page.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > That is not my understanding - in fact, that sounds like a problem
                                          > and
                                          > > > advice I wouldn't want to give to the readers. At the same time, I
                                          > > > realize that there are many opinions/definitions/etc... of how Scrum
                                          > > > really should work. So, I'm doing some due diligence and fact
                                          > > > checking. Does this description sound right to you?
                                          > > >
                                          > >
                                          >
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