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Re: [scrumdevelopment] Should a Scrum Master be technical?

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  • Bachan Anand
    Number 5 in the wiki page , Expert of something , in this context Scrum framework and how it helps in implementing values and foundations of Scrum . I agree
    Message 1 of 53 , Aug 10, 2011
      Number 5 in the wiki page , Expert of something , in this context Scrum framework and how it helps in implementing values and foundations of Scrum . 

      I agree the term causes confusion , hope when Scrum is implemented in organizations where when there is lack of clarity , there is opportunity for discussion .

      Bachan Anand

      On Aug 10, 2011, at 11:31 PM, Adam Sroka <adam.sroka@...> wrote:


      Which of the definitions (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/master) fit the one you are using for master? 

      On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 11:26 PM, srinivas chillara <ceezone@...> wrote:

      It is quite straightforward, "Scrum Master" simply means master of "Scrum" the process, not the people who follow the process. So a well chosen term, especially if you are willing to respect people for their abilities.
      If SM was supposed to be the master for the team (as opposed to the process) the term would have been "Team Master". People need to really understand and realize how much difference a well thought out, simple process with a few simple rules can make.

      In addition the SM is also meant to remove impediments and protect the team.

      PS: Check this to understand  the sort  of things a SM will deal with:

      PPS: All that is said below w.r.t "servant leadership" is very relevant, and indeed worth absorbing 

      --- On Thu, 11/8/11, Adam Sroka <adam.sroka@...> wrote:

      From: Adam Sroka <adam.sroka@...>
      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Should a Scrum Master be technical?
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Thursday, 11 August, 2011, 9:33 AM


      Yes, the word "master" is unfortunate. It is wrong in almost every way, and I am not sure I could think of a worse word if I tried. However, hindsight is 20/20 and I wasn't there when they came up with it. 

      If I were you I would google "servant leadership." The concept does not come from software development, but it is the most critical skill that people who perform the SM role effectively have. 

      Also, a good SM is fully integrated into the Whole Team (Borrowing a term from XP so as to avoid any pedantic discussions about whether he is "on the team" or not.) What that means is that he is working with them closely day-to-day to remove impediments that get in the way of the work. He is a part of nearly every discussion and always knows what is going on including what is going well and what isn't. The people who do the work understand the work, and they don't need the SM to tell them how to do it. Still, over time the SM will develop an understanding of how the team works and would be able to help in ways that aren't normally part of the SM role per se. 

      If any of these concepts are new or unclear to you I would be happy to discuss them (perhaps in a separate thread.) 

      On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 8:46 PM, Joshua Partogi <joshua.java@...> wrote:

      Hi Ron,

      I have seen this several times. In some organisation I saw the role of Scrum Master is assigned to a Senior Programmer (or Team Leader or System Architect etc), yet that person is not actually clearing the impediments and serving the team. From their point of view, the role of "serving the team" does not make sense at all and seems to be "expensive". I've also seen several people is astonished when I explain the actual job description of a Scrum Master because they thought a Scrum Master is the master in the team. Maybe they just got confused with the word "master", because the word master can mean that the person is the person that knows everything.

      Kind regards,

      On Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 1:34 PM, RonJeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:

      Hello Joshua,

      On Aug 10, 2011, at 5:55 PM, Joshua Partogi wrote:

      Yet most people think that a Scrum Master is a "coding master". 

      What have you observed that makes you think most people think that? Scrum doesn't even talk about coding.

      Ron Jeffries
      I try to Zen through it and keep my voice very mellow and low.
      Inside I am screaming and have a machine gun.
      Yin and Yang I figure.
        -- Tom Jeffries


    • Michael James
      As I understand it, the questions people tended to miss were removed from the online exam! I don t think the online exam will ever be that great, so I ll
      Message 53 of 53 , Aug 11, 2011
        As I understand it, the questions people tended to miss were removed from the online exam!  I don't think the online exam will ever be that great, so I'll continue to administer a tougher one during my class.  Not everyone passes it the first time, and hardly anyone gets a perfect score (unlike the online exam).  Knowledge and understanding don't prove someone will be any good at doing Scrum; this also requires courage and skill.  But lack of knowledge and understanding are good indicators someone won't be good at doing Scrum yet, and it's pretty easy to test for that during class. 


        On Aug 11, 2011, at 10:42 PM, srinivas chillara <ceezone@...> wrote:


        Just wondering if the CSM online exam isn't too easy.
        I keep hearing of people scoring 90%+, and many of them are very confident in their opinions, but miss the point of a SM (for example). While exams cannot by themselves ensure quality, hopefully the  filtering can be better.


        --- On Fri, 12/8/11, jean@... <jean@...> wrote:

        From: jean@... <jean@...>
        Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Should a Scrum Master be technical?
        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Friday, 12 August, 2011, 4:36 AM


        I've started asking new CSM's specifically what they were taught in CSM training. The answers are sometimes quite concerning. Some courses seem to be strictly lecture with no hands-on exercises at all.

        -- Jean

        Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

        From: Michael James <mj4scrum@...>
        Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2011 13:29:19 -0700
        Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Should a Scrum Master be technical?


        And more moles are born every day.  Remember that awful 10 minute YouTube video reenforcing most of the popular misconceptions about Scrum?  A bunch of us watched it and concluded, "Wow, this Shojaee guy should probably take a Scrum class, assuming he'd listen."  Bas Vodde actually asked him to take down the video.  I just heard from folks at Agile 2011 that this company is *training* people in Scrum.  So brace yourself for further dilution of Scrum's accepted definitions.


        On Aug 11, 2011, at 6:37 AM, Jean Richardson wrote:


        I love that whack-a-mole analogy! -- Jean

        -----Original Message-----
        From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael James
        Sent: Thursday, August 11, 2011 6:07 AM
        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Should a Scrum Master be technical?

        On Aug 11, 2011, at 4:55 AM, RonJeffries wrote:

        > It seems to me that at least some people speaking here have not done their
        homework, or have forgotten it.

        Ron, I didn't see anything blatantly inconsistent with what you wrote here.
        Outside of this discussion group it seems the level of understanding is much
        lower. For example, LinkedIn discussion groups about Scrum often contain
        comments like the one below (from "Scrum Practitioners"):

        > Qasim Azhar . In my four years of experience with Scrum, most scrum
        masters lacked "project management" skills. Project management is not just
        controlling Time, Cost and Scope; there is quality, there is bickering
        between developers that a scrum master (many times a senior developer or
        architect or tech lead) is unable to resolve, there is stakeholder
        management and most importantly there is risk management. There are risks
        beyond just "feature" level risks that scrum can handle but rather more
        related to overall program/project/product/quality related.
        > You need people who can see things at macro level and project manager
        seems to be ideal for that. Yes, a development manager might be able to play
        these roles but product owner in a product development setting for any
        decent serious "product" is too busy with his "product management" duties to
        be able to play "project management" role too.
        > So yes you need a project management "role", if your scrum master can play
        it you are a happy man/woman.

        Correcting rampant misconceptions on LinkedIn groups is a never ending game
        of whack-a-mole. For my own sanity I tend to let this stuff go when I'm
        busy with the people who pay me to help them get it.



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