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Can the team replace the Scrum Master?

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  • Joshua Partogi
    Hi, In related to the discussion on the other thread about whether a Scrum Master should have a technical knowledge in software development, can the team
    Message 1 of 30 , Feb 14, 2012
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      Hi,

      In related to the discussion on the other thread about whether a Scrum Master should have a technical knowledge in software development, can the team decide to replace the Scrum Master if they found that the Scrum Master is not effective? Also considering that the team now has full authority with the project at tactical level.

      Thanks heaps.

      --
      @jpartogi
    • Pierre Neis
      Theoretically yes Pierre Neis Mobile Device ... Theoretically yes Pierre Neis Mobile Device Le 14 févr. 2012 à 09:10, Joshua Partogi
      Message 2 of 30 , Feb 14, 2012
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        Theoretically yes 

         Pierre Neis
        Mobile Device

        Le 14 févr. 2012 à 09:10, Joshua Partogi <joshua.java@...> a écrit :

         

        Hi,

        In related to the discussion on the other thread about whether a Scrum Master should have a technical knowledge in software development, can the team decide to replace the Scrum Master if they found that the Scrum Master is not effective? Also considering that the team now has full authority with the project at tactical level.

        Thanks heaps.

        --
        @jpartogi

      • Michael James
        IMO we d see better results if more teams chose their ScrumMasters, which would include replacing them with one who can facilitate breakthroughs in other
        Message 3 of 30 , Feb 14, 2012
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          IMO we'd see better results if more teams chose their ScrumMasters, which would include replacing them with one who can facilitate breakthroughs in other areas.  Generally I like to keep teams stable, but term limits for ScrumMasters might be a good idea.

          --mj

          On Feb 14, 2012, at 12:10 AM, Joshua Partogi wrote:

           

          Hi,

          In related to the discussion on the other thread about whether a Scrum Master should have a technical knowledge in software development, can the team decide to replace the Scrum Master if they found that the Scrum Master is not effective? Also considering that the team now has full authority with the project at tactical level.

          Thanks heaps.

          --
          @jpartogi


        • Nicholas
          I think it works best when the team and product owner have a large voice in the selection but, I think management has to play a role too because the Scrum
          Message 4 of 30 , Feb 14, 2012
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            I think it works best when the team and product owner have a large voice in the selection but, I think management has to play a role too because the Scrum Master has a delivery responsibility. I could see some teams turning it into a popularity contest and the politics of the selection might take on a life of its own - a bad thing.

            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Michael James <mj4scrum@...> wrote:
            >
            > IMO we'd see better results if more teams chose their ScrumMasters, which would include replacing them with one who can facilitate breakthroughs in other areas. Generally I like to keep teams stable, but term limits for ScrumMasters might be a good idea.
            >
            > --mj
            >
            > On Feb 14, 2012, at 12:10 AM, Joshua Partogi wrote:
            >
            > > Hi,
            > >
            > > In related to the discussion on the other thread about whether a Scrum Master should have a technical knowledge in software development, can the team decide to replace the Scrum Master if they found that the Scrum Master is not effective? Also considering that the team now has full authority with the project at tactical level.
            > >
            > > Thanks heaps.
            > >
            > > --
            > > @jpartogi
            > >
            >
          • Abhilash c
            Scrum Master doesn t have any authority over the feature team. It helps to reinforce this idea if the team has the power to choose/replace the Scrum Master.
            Message 5 of 30 , Feb 14, 2012
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              Scrum Master doesn't have any "authority" over the feature team. It helps to reinforce this idea if the team has the power to choose/replace the Scrum Master. But how will you define the effectiveness? The teams ( & the company's) perception about the role is very important before some action is taken. Agile enthusiasts should help creating a correct job profile for the scrum master.

               
              Regards
              Abhilash


              On 14 February 2012 13:40, Joshua Partogi <joshua.java@...> wrote:
               

              Hi,

              In related to the discussion on the other thread about whether a Scrum Master should have a technical knowledge in software development, can the team decide to replace the Scrum Master if they found that the Scrum Master is not effective? Also considering that the team now has full authority with the project at tactical level.

              Thanks heaps.

              --
              @jpartogi


            • Ron Jeffries
              Hi Nicholas, ... Um, well, no. The Scrum Master does not have delivery responsibility. The Product Owner has the sole delivery responsibility. The Scrum Master
              Message 6 of 30 , Feb 14, 2012
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                Hi Nicholas,

                On Feb 14, 2012, at 12:36 PM, Nicholas <nxidis@...> wrote:

                > I think it works best when the team and product owner have a large voice in the selection but, I think management has to play a role too because the Scrum Master has a delivery responsibility. I could see some teams turning it into a popularity contest and the politics of the selection might take on a life of its own - a bad thing

                Um, well, no. The Scrum Master does not have delivery responsibility.
                The Product Owner has the sole delivery responsibility. The Scrum
                Master is a servant leader whose responsibilities are to the team, not
                to the larger organization.

                Therefore, if the team finds the SM is not serving them well, they
                should replace the SM.

                Regards,

                Ron
              • Joshua Partogi
                Nice. This is quite contrary to popular beliefs where a Project Management cannot be replaced by the team. In related to Nicholas comment, has anyone been in
                Message 7 of 30 , Feb 14, 2012
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                  Nice. This is quite contrary to popular beliefs where a Project Management cannot be replaced by the team. In related to Nicholas' comment, has anyone been in a situation where the team want to replace the SM but the management is reluctant to replace the SM? 

                  On Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 12:13 PM, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
                   

                  Hi Nicholas,



                  On Feb 14, 2012, at 12:36 PM, Nicholas <nxidis@...> wrote:

                  > I think it works best when the team and product owner have a large voice in the selection but, I think management has to play a role too because the Scrum Master has a delivery responsibility. I could see some teams turning it into a popularity contest and the politics of the selection might take on a life of its own - a bad thing

                  Um, well, no. The Scrum Master does not have delivery responsibility.
                  The Product Owner has the sole delivery responsibility. The Scrum
                  Master is a servant leader whose responsibilities are to the team, not
                  to the larger organization.

                  Therefore, if the team finds the SM is not serving them well, they
                  should replace the SM.

                  Regards,

                  Ron



                  --
                  @jpartogi
                • Ron Jeffries
                  Hi Joshua, ... Scrum Master is not, repeat not, a project management position. R
                  Message 8 of 30 , Feb 14, 2012
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                    Hi Joshua,

                    On Feb 14, 2012, at 1:23 PM, Joshua Partogi <joshua.java@...> wrote:

                    > Nice. This is quite contrary to popular beliefs where a Project Management cannot be replaced by the team. In related to Nicholas' comment, has anyone been in a situation where the team want to replace the SM but the management is reluctant to replace the SM

                    Scrum Master is not, repeat not, a "project management" position.

                    R
                  • Pierre Neis
                    Ron Project Management is 2 parts: - product - process Management position is only a role not a function. If you consider PM as only blaming then this not PM.
                    Message 9 of 30 , Feb 14, 2012
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                      Ron

                      Project Management is 2 parts:
                      - product
                      - process

                      Management position is only a role not a function.

                      If you consider PM as only blaming then this not PM.
                      If you consider that a project without purpose is a project then you're wrong.
                      If you consider engineering as project then you're wrong.

                      According that we want to create a system where social dynamics are managing then you're right. A system can be seen as a Cloud, a project is then like an Application.

                      If you want to start Scrum in a company (not a start'up) where you can find a lot of different cultures (Management, Engineering, etc) and where people are convinced that a dedicated team is not possible and that a project manager is in place just to manage resources timesheets, then you have to start to teach them Project Management.
                      When this is done, you got a loom to start agile and scrum.

                      In other emerging countries, where there is not PM culture, companies are starting agile and scrum. And step by step, they want to know more about management (i.e. PM).

                      But this is my POV.

                      Following the discussions about agile on different forums, I think that we all are talking about the same thing.

                      Making the same in PM forums, I've collecting facts that nobody is closer to real PM that agile and scrum people.

                      Pierre E.  NEIScsp

                      Operational Excellence Consultant @ coPROcess S.A. │ Scrum & Lean Coach   

                      M: +352 / 661 727 867│ Meet with me: http://meetwith.me/pierreneis

                      Owner of the "Product Owner's Help Desk"


                      Blogger Twitter LinkedIn SlideShare
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                      Save a tree - kill a beaver


                      On 14 February 2012 13:26, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
                       

                      Hi Joshua,

                      On Feb 14, 2012, at 1:23 PM, Joshua Partogi <joshua.java@...> wrote:

                      > Nice. This is quite contrary to popular beliefs where a Project Management cannot be replaced by the team. In related to Nicholas' comment, has anyone been in a situation where the team want to replace the SM but the management is reluctant to replace the SM

                      Scrum Master is not, repeat not, a "project management" position.

                      R


                    • Malcolm Anderson
                      +1 The Product Owner has delivery responsibility. Specifically, the PO is responsible for choosing the right things to be built first, not pushing the team
                      Message 10 of 30 , Feb 14, 2012
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                        +1

                        The Product Owner has delivery responsibility. 

                        Specifically, the PO is responsible for choosing "the right" things to be built first, not pushing the team to ever higher output.

                        Malcolm



                        On Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 4:13 AM, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
                         

                        Hi Nicholas,



                        On Feb 14, 2012, at 12:36 PM, Nicholas <nxidis@...> wrote:

                        > I think it works best when the team and product owner have a large voice in the selection but, I think management has to play a role too because the Scrum Master has a delivery responsibility. I could see some teams turning it into a popularity contest and the politics of the selection might take on a life of its own - a bad thing

                        Um, well, no. The Scrum Master does not have delivery responsibility.
                        The Product Owner has the sole delivery responsibility. The Scrum
                        Master is a servant leader whose responsibilities are to the team, not
                        to the larger organization.

                        Therefore, if the team finds the SM is not serving them well, they
                        should replace the SM.

                        Regards,

                        Ron


                      • Abhilash c
                        I have seen few occasions when the team wanted to replace the SM but management didn t allow. In one of teams @ my company , the SM was new to the job. Team
                        Message 11 of 30 , Feb 14, 2012
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                          I have seen few occasions when the team wanted to replace the SM but management didn't allow. In one of teams @ my company , the SM was new to the job. Team was resisting the outsider. Being new to the SM job also didn't help our new guy. Management didn't allow the team to change (or choose) the SM. Over a period of time our new SM improved a lot & team also started adjusting to the new guy.
                           
                          Personally I believe an SM ( or anyone else) should be removed from the team if they become a serious impediment to the development of the team.  A good SM will not wait for the teams feedback; if he/she feels that they have become an impediment to the teams further progress  then they should voluntary move out of the team. Such decisions shouldn't be based on someones feelings but should be based on metrics.
                           
                          Abhilash

                          On 14 February 2012 17:53, Joshua Partogi <joshua.java@...> wrote:
                           

                          Nice. This is quite contrary to popular beliefs where a Project Management cannot be replaced by the team. In related to Nicholas' comment, has anyone been in a situation where the team want to replace the SM but the management is reluctant to replace the SM? 



                          On Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 12:13 PM, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
                           

                          Hi Nicholas,



                          On Feb 14, 2012, at 12:36 PM, Nicholas <nxidis@...> wrote:

                          > I think it works best when the team and product owner have a large voice in the selection but, I think management has to play a role too because the Scrum Master has a delivery responsibility. I could see some teams turning it into a popularity contest and the politics of the selection might take on a life of its own - a bad thing

                          Um, well, no. The Scrum Master does not have delivery responsibility.
                          The Product Owner has the sole delivery responsibility. The Scrum
                          Master is a servant leader whose responsibilities are to the team, not
                          to the larger organization.

                          Therefore, if the team finds the SM is not serving them well, they
                          should replace the SM.

                          Regards,

                          Ron



                          --
                          @jpartogi


                        • srinivas chillara
                          Hello Nicholas, Who selects the selectors? The management and the PO. Well the SM is supposed to guide all the rest of the surrounding organisation, if the PO
                          Message 12 of 30 , Feb 14, 2012
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                            Hello Nicholas,
                            Who selects the selectors? The management and the PO.
                            Well the SM is supposed to guide all the rest of the surrounding organisation, if the PO can select/de-select... SM will find it very difficult to guide the higher up. Also, who'll protect the team from external interference? 

                            We are really discussing how to have a conducive environment for Scrum and key players (SM+PO) to function well. Since someone has to select, it will, by default be the management. I think the brightest chance is there when, a senior manager sees the light, and then leads in selecting/coaching and indeed playing the role of SM (servant leader style) at a higher level. This is top down, but I dont see how a bottom up approach can work in an organisation with multiple Scrum teams, some of them possibly working for the same project. Unless, the management is already inclined to a servant leader style rather than command and control. Which is similar to the conditions for a top down success story. In conclusion, it is the people who run the show will almost surely determine the way and extent to which Scrum is implemented. I don't think a system itself will create magic. People trump processes. QED.

                            About team choosing the Scrum master, I think it would depend on the maturity of the team, if it wasn't reasonably mature, then they can make a very poor selection. But I've coached a team that was very mature, and there were three relatively experienced team members, who rotated among themselves for each release (3 months). It worked really well. Not exactly choosen by all team members, but also not imposed by management.

                            cheers
                            Srinivas
                            ceezone.wordpress.com




                            From: Nicholas <nxidis@...>
                            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Tuesday, 14 February 2012 5:06 PM
                            Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Can the team replace the Scrum Master?

                             
                            I think it works best when the team and product owner have a large voice in the selection but, I think management has to play a role too because the Scrum Master has a delivery responsibility. I could see some teams turning it into a popularity contest and the politics of the selection might take on a life of its own - a bad thing.

                            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Michael James <mj4scrum@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > IMO we'd see better results if more teams chose their ScrumMasters, which would include replacing them with one who can facilitate breakthroughs in other areas. Generally I like to keep teams stable, but term limits for ScrumMasters might be a good idea.
                            >
                            > --mj
                            >
                            > On Feb 14, 2012, at 12:10 AM, Joshua Partogi wrote:
                            >
                            > > Hi,
                            > >
                            > > In related to the discussion on the other thread about whether a Scrum Master should have a technical knowledge in software development, can the team decide to replace the Scrum Master if they found that the Scrum Master is not effective? Also considering that the team now has full authority with the project at tactical level.
                            > >
                            > > Thanks heaps.
                            > >
                            > > --
                            > > @jpartogi
                            > >
                            >



                          • Charles Bradley - Scrum Coach CSM PSM I
                            Ron, I m going to have to take issue with you here. ... The SM serves the Dev Team, the PO, *and* the organization, so if your standard is to let those being
                            Message 13 of 30 , Feb 14, 2012
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                              Ron,

                              I'm going to have to take issue with you here.

                              > The Scrum Master is a servant leader whose responsibilities are to the team, not to the larger organization.

                              The SM serves the Dev Team, the PO, *and* the organization, so if your standard is to let those being served choose the SM, then it would be a joint decision by all three of those entities.

                              > The Product Owner has the sole delivery responsibility.

                              I have to pick a fine point on this.  The Dev team has the primary responsibility to *deliver* a done increment, while the PO has the sole responsibility of ensuring the *value* of the delivered increments, as well as deciding *when* those increments are delivered.  As such, I don't think it is accurate to say that the PO has the sole delivery responsibility.

                              As to the original question, IMO, I'd like to see all three entities agree on the SM.  (I'm making the assumption that a single person will represent the interests of the wider organization -- so I'm not suggesting some sort of "everyone in the company has to approve" solution) If any of the entities wants to voluntarily delegate that authority to any of the other entities, that's ok so long as the delegating entity realizes there is risk in doing so.

                              Also back to the original question, No, I do not feel as if the Dev Team has the sole power to replace the ScrumMaster.
                               
                              -------
                              Charles Bradley
                              http://www.ScrumCrazy.com




                              From: Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...>
                              To: "scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com" <scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 5:13 AM
                              Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Can the team replace the Scrum Master?

                              Hi Nicholas,

                              On Feb 14, 2012, at 12:36 PM, Nicholas <nxidis@...> wrote:

                              > I think it works best when the team and product owner have a large voice in the selection but, I think management has to play a role too because the Scrum Master has a delivery responsibility. I could see some teams turning it into a popularity contest and the politics of the selection might take on a life of its own - a bad thing

                              Um, well, no. The Scrum Master does not have delivery responsibility.
                              The Product Owner has the sole delivery responsibility. The Scrum
                              Master is a servant leader whose responsibilities are to the team, not
                              to the larger organization.

                              Therefore, if the team finds the SM is not serving them well, they
                              should replace the SM.

                              Regards,

                              Ron


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                            • AN
                              I have experienced this aspect in few teams I have coached (regarding who selects SM). Though I agree with Charles that all three have a say, I would prefer to
                              Message 14 of 30 , Feb 14, 2012
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                                I have experienced this aspect in few teams I have coached (regarding
                                who selects SM).
                                 
                                Though I agree with Charles that all three have a say, I would prefer to
                                put *Team* as most priority. They preference should be given utmost importance.
                                 
                                 
                                Rgds-AN
                                (A Narasimhan, Agile Coach and Trainer, Bangalore)
                                 
                                Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 12:08 PM
                                Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Can the team replace the Scrum Master?
                                 
                                 

                                Ron,

                                I'm going to have to take issue with you here.
                                 
                                > The Scrum Master is a servant leader whose responsibilities are to the
                                team, not to the larger organization.

                                The SM serves the Dev Team, the PO, *and* the organization, so if your standard is to let those being served choose the SM, then it would be a joint decision by all three of those entities.
                                 
                                > The Product Owner has the sole delivery responsibility.

                                I have to pick a fine point on this.  The Dev team has the primary responsibility to *deliver* a done increment, while the PO has the sole responsibility of ensuring the *value* of the delivered increments, as well as deciding *when* those increments are delivered.  As such, I don't think it is accurate to say that the PO has the sole delivery responsibility.

                                As to the original question, IMO, I'd like to see all three entities agree on the SM.  (I'm making the assumption that a single person will represent the interests of the wider organization -- so I'm not suggesting some sort of "everyone in the company has to approve" solution) If any of the entities wants to voluntarily delegate that authority to any of the other entities, that's ok so long as the delegating entity realizes there is risk in doing so.

                                Also back to the original question, No, I do not feel as if the Dev Team has the sole power to replace the ScrumMaster.
                                 
                                -------
                                Charles Bradley
                                http://www.ScrumCrazy.com

                                 


                                From: Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...>
                                To: "scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com" <scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com>
                                Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 5:13 AM
                                Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Can the team replace the Scrum Master?

                                Hi Nicholas,

                                On Feb 14, 2012, at 12:36 PM, Nicholas <nxidis@...> wrote:

                                > I think it works best when the team and product owner have a large voice in the selection but, I think management has to play a role too because the Scrum Master has a delivery responsibility. I could see some teams turning it into a popularity contest and the politics of the selection might take on a life of its own - a bad thing

                                Um, well, no. The Scrum Master does not have delivery responsibility.
                                The Product Owner has the sole delivery responsibility. The Scrum
                                Master is a servant leader whose responsibilities are to the team, not
                                to the larger organization.

                                Therefore, if the team finds the SM is not serving them well, they
                                should replace the SM.

                                Regards,

                                Ron


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                              • RonJeffries
                                AN, ... Yes. And in the context of the original notion that the SM is responsible for the delivery, I felt that was particularly important to bring out. Ron
                                Message 15 of 30 , Feb 14, 2012
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                                  AN,

                                  On Feb 15, 2012, at 8:11 AM, AN wrote:

                                  Though I agree with Charles that all three have a say, I would prefer to
                                  put *Team* as most priority. They preference should be given utmost importance.

                                  Yes. And in the context of the original notion that the SM is responsible for the delivery, I felt that was particularly important to bring out.

                                  Ron Jeffries
                                  www.XProgramming.com
                                  Everything that needs to be said has already been said.
                                  But since no one was listening, everything must be said again. -- Andre Gide

                                • Michael James
                                  ... Not sure what you mean by delivery responsibility, but it seems to clash with the definition of ScrumMaster I learned from Ken Schwaber. A huge part of
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Feb 15, 2012
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                                    On Feb 14, 2012, at 3:36 AM, Nicholas wrote:

                                    I think it works best when the team and product owner have a large voice in the selection but, I think management has to play a role too because the Scrum Master has a delivery responsibility.

                                    Not sure what you mean by "delivery responsibility," but it seems to clash with the definition of ScrumMaster I learned from Ken Schwaber.  A huge part of the ScrumMaster's job is to address impediments caused by the outer organization, which may involve asking management* to change some of its habits.

                                    I could see some teams turning it into a popularity contest and the politics of the selection might take on a life of its own - a bad thing. 

                                    From what I've seen, people are respected by their immediate collaborators for good reasons, such as being good at doing their jobs and helping others do their jobs.  People may be good at impressing bosses for similar reasons, or less good reasons.  Who would you believe if my boss said I was a great guy, but the people who actually worked with me didn't trust me?

                                    --mj

                                    * As an aside, the idea of a "management" caste isn't a necessary part of an unimpeded organization.


                                  • Pierre Neis
                                    Here a best world example. Assumptions: each PO works in pair with her/his SM and vice versa Story: Senior Management didn t choose a SM because they choose
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Feb 15, 2012
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                                      Here a "best world" example.

                                      Assumptions: each PO works in pair with her/his SM and vice versa

                                      Story:
                                      Senior Management didn't choose a SM because they choose a project. According to that, the 1st person chosen is the PO. Else wise, it's a Change Coach Manager coming from HR Department.

                                      1. We want to do this project because we are the sponsors
                                      2. We choose the right person who can manage that (or a team of 2)
                                      3. This person can select the team and the methodology to deliver on time and on scope (a/o budget) the project
                                      4. the rest ist well known Scrum (if you want to deliver in batches)

                                      If your organization is mature, they want to have 4 eyes management: PO+SM.

                                      If you're wanting that this adoption is emerging bottom-up then it takes much longer to settle up your Scrum.

                                      Pierre E.  NEIScsp

                                      Operational Excellence Consultant @ coPROcess S.A. │ Scrum & Lean Coach   

                                      M: +352 / 661 727 867│ Meet with me: http://meetwith.me/pierreneis

                                      Owner of the "Product Owner's Help Desk"


                                      Blogger Twitter LinkedIn SlideShare
                                      Contact me: Google Talk pierreneis@... Skype pierre.neis
                                      TwitterLatest tweet: @YvesHanoulle @chrissbaumann @lassekoskela +1 consider my friend the manager Follow @elPedroMajor Reply Retweet   13:24 Feb-14
                                      Save a tree - kill a beaver


                                      On 15 February 2012 09:34, Michael James <mj4scrum@...> wrote:
                                       

                                      On Feb 14, 2012, at 3:36 AM, Nicholas wrote:

                                      I think it works best when the team and product owner have a large voice in the selection but, I think management has to play a role too because the Scrum Master has a delivery responsibility.

                                      Not sure what you mean by "delivery responsibility," but it seems to clash with the definition of ScrumMaster I learned from Ken Schwaber.  A huge part of the ScrumMaster's job is to address impediments caused by the outer organization, which may involve asking management* to change some of its habits.

                                      I could see some teams turning it into a popularity contest and the politics of the selection might take on a life of its own - a bad thing. 

                                      From what I've seen, people are respected by their immediate collaborators for good reasons, such as being good at doing their jobs and helping others do their jobs.  People may be good at impressing bosses for similar reasons, or less good reasons.  Who would you believe if my boss said I was a great guy, but the people who actually worked with me didn't trust me?

                                      --mj

                                      * As an aside, the idea of a "management" caste isn't a necessary part of an unimpeded organization.



                                    • AN
                                      Ron, I agree. Also, in my experience, most times when management assigns, they look for SMs among PM/PMO members and also some kind of delivery responsibility
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Feb 15, 2012
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                                        Ron,
                                        I agree.
                                         
                                        Also, in my experience, most times when management assigns, they look for SMs among
                                        PM/PMO members and also some kind of delivery responsibility is expected from them (either
                                        directly or indirectly!) which makes it difficult for teams.
                                         
                                        Management with good Agile background would make sure they assign someone who is
                                        well accepted by team – which again shows *team* is given preference.
                                        Rgds-AN
                                         
                                         
                                        Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 1:06 PM
                                        Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Can the team replace the Scrum Master?
                                         
                                         

                                        AN,

                                         
                                        On Feb 15, 2012, at 8:11 AM, AN wrote:

                                        Though I agree with Charles that all three have a say, I would prefer to
                                        put *Team* as most priority. They preference should be given utmost importance.
                                         
                                        Yes. And in the context of the original notion that the SM is responsible for the delivery, I felt that was particularly important to bring out.

                                        Ron Jeffries
                                        www.XProgramming.com
                                        Everything that needs to be said has already been said.
                                        But since no one was listening, everything must be said again. -- Andre Gide
                                         
                                      • RonJeffries
                                        Hi Michael, ... Yes, SM is responsible for seeing that impediments are removed. (And for other things.) SM is not responsible for delivering any product, or
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Feb 15, 2012
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                                          Hi Michael,

                                          On Feb 15, 2012, at 9:34 AM, Michael James wrote:

                                          On Feb 14, 2012, at 3:36 AM, Nicholas wrote:

                                          I think it works best when the team and product owner have a large voice in the selection but, I think management has to play a role too because the Scrum Master has a delivery responsibility.

                                          Not sure what you mean by "delivery responsibility," but it seems to clash with the definition of ScrumMaster I learned from Ken Schwaber.  A huge part of the ScrumMaster's job is to address impediments caused by the outer organization, which may involve asking management* to change some of its habits.

                                          Yes, SM is responsible for seeing that impediments are removed. (And for other things.)

                                          SM is not responsible for delivering any product, or the best product.

                                          PO: Single wringable neck. And that's a good thing.

                                          Ron Jeffries
                                          If it is more than you need, it is waste. -- Andy Seidl

                                        • George Dinwiddie
                                          Joshua, ... If the Scrum Master is not effective, then it seems the team already does not have a Scrum Master. In what ways is the team finding the Scrum
                                          Message 20 of 30 , Feb 15, 2012
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                                            Joshua,

                                            On 2/14/12 3:10 AM, Joshua Partogi wrote:
                                            >
                                            > In related to the discussion on the other thread about whether a Scrum
                                            > Master should have a technical knowledge in software development, can
                                            > the team decide to replace the Scrum Master if they found that the Scrum
                                            > Master is not effective? Also considering that the team now has full
                                            > authority with the project at tactical level.

                                            If the Scrum Master is not effective, then it seems the team already
                                            does not have a Scrum Master.

                                            In what ways is the team finding the Scrum Master ineffective? What is
                                            the team currently doing about that?

                                            - George

                                            P.S. I've also known teams who wanted to get rid of their Scrum Master
                                            so they could continue to not do Scrum at all.

                                            --
                                            ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                                            Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                                            Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                                            ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          • Joshua Partogi
                                            Hi George, The team have a Scrum Master, but he is a former traditional project manager with no technical background. In some cases the SM cannot help the team
                                            Message 21 of 30 , Feb 15, 2012
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                                              Hi George,

                                              The team have a Scrum Master, but he is a former traditional project manager with no technical background. In some cases the SM cannot help the team with technical impediments. That is why the team is thinking to replace the SM with someone who is more technical.

                                              On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, George Dinwiddie <lists@...> wrote:
                                              >  
                                              >
                                              > Joshua,
                                              >
                                              > On 2/14/12 3:10 AM, Joshua Partogi wrote:
                                              >>
                                              >> In related to the discussion on the other thread about whether a Scrum
                                              >> Master should have a technical knowledge in software development, can
                                              >> the team decide to replace the Scrum Master if they found that the Scrum
                                              >> Master is not effective? Also considering that the team now has full
                                              >> authority with the project at tactical level.
                                              >
                                              > If the Scrum Master is not effective, then it seems the team already
                                              > does not have a Scrum Master.
                                              >
                                              > In what ways is the team finding the Scrum Master ineffective? What is
                                              > the team currently doing about that?
                                              >
                                              > - George
                                              >
                                              > P.S. I've also known teams who wanted to get rid of their Scrum Master
                                              > so they could continue to not do Scrum at all.
                                              >
                                              > --
                                              > ----------------------------------------------------------
                                              > * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                                              > Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                                              > Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                                              > ----------------------------------------------------------
                                              >
                                              >

                                              --
                                              @jpartogi
                                            • Paul Hudson
                                              ... Why not? You don t need to be technical to assist the team in identifying impediments and implementing solutions. To take an example - if the lack of
                                              Message 22 of 30 , Feb 15, 2012
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                                                In some cases the SM cannot help the team with technical impediments. 

                                                Why not? 

                                                You don't need to be technical to assist the team in identifying impediments and implementing solutions.

                                                To take an example - if the lack of automated testing is causing issues, I don't expect the SM to ibe responsible for dentifying the appropriate tools, processes and implementing herself. I do expect her to assist the team in doing that, chase budgets/requisitions etc and generally help make it happen.

                                                I think the team need to step up.

                                                Paul
                                              • George Dinwiddie
                                                Joshua, ... Can you give me an example or three of a technical impediment? Several possibilities come to mind, but I d rather not assume what you mean. -
                                                Message 23 of 30 , Feb 15, 2012
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                                                  Joshua,

                                                  On 2/15/12 11:11 AM, Joshua Partogi wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Hi George,
                                                  >
                                                  > The team have a Scrum Master, but he is a former traditional project
                                                  > manager with no technical background. In some cases the SM cannot help
                                                  > the team with technical impediments. That is why the team is thinking to
                                                  > replace the SM with someone who is more technical.

                                                  Can you give me an example or three of a "technical impediment?" Several
                                                  possibilities come to mind, but I'd rather not assume what you mean.

                                                  - George

                                                  --
                                                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                                                  Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                                                  Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                                                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                • Abhilash c
                                                  i have heard this many times :(. If team feels that they need a technical SM then i believe that rather than removing the SM we should question the technical
                                                  Message 24 of 30 , Feb 15, 2012
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                                                    i have heard this many times :(. If team feels that they need a technical SM then i believe that rather than removing the SM we should question the technical capacity of the tech lead in the team. The primary job of the SM is to work on the impediments and help create a self sustaining team. If SM starts providing all the technical solutions, analysis and guidance then he/she will be the biggest impediment preventing the team from self organising and sustaining

                                                    On 15 February 2012 21:41, Joshua Partogi <joshua.java@...> wrote:
                                                     

                                                    Hi George,

                                                    The team have a Scrum Master, but he is a former traditional project manager with no technical background. In some cases the SM cannot help the team with technical impediments. That is why the team is thinking to replace the SM with someone who is more technical.



                                                    On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, George Dinwiddie <lists@...> wrote:
                                                    >  
                                                    >
                                                    > Joshua,
                                                    >
                                                    > On 2/14/12 3:10 AM, Joshua Partogi wrote:
                                                    >>
                                                    >> In related to the discussion on the other thread about whether a Scrum
                                                    >> Master should have a technical knowledge in software development, can
                                                    >> the team decide to replace the Scrum Master if they found that the Scrum
                                                    >> Master is not effective? Also considering that the team now has full
                                                    >> authority with the project at tactical level.
                                                    >
                                                    > If the Scrum Master is not effective, then it seems the team already
                                                    > does not have a Scrum Master.
                                                    >
                                                    > In what ways is the team finding the Scrum Master ineffective? What is
                                                    > the team currently doing about that?
                                                    >
                                                    > - George
                                                    >
                                                    > P.S. I've also known teams who wanted to get rid of their Scrum Master
                                                    > so they could continue to not do Scrum at all.
                                                    >
                                                    > --
                                                    > ----------------------------------------------------------
                                                    > * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                                                    > Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                                                    > Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                                                    > ----------------------------------------------------------
                                                    >
                                                    >

                                                    --
                                                    @jpartogi


                                                  • Joshua Partogi
                                                    Hi George, One obvious technical impediment is bugs that keeps showing up. The team doesn t know anything things TDD and neither does the Scrum Master. The SM
                                                    Message 25 of 30 , Feb 15, 2012
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                                                      Hi George,

                                                      One obvious technical impediment is bugs that keeps showing up. The team doesn't know anything things TDD and neither does the Scrum Master. The SM cannot suggest any improvement in related to this during sprint retro as he doesn't have tecnical background.

                                                      On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, George Dinwiddie <lists@...> wrote:
                                                      > Joshua,
                                                      >
                                                      > On 2/15/12 11:11 AM, Joshua Partogi wrote:
                                                      >>
                                                      >>
                                                      >> Hi George,
                                                      >>
                                                      >> The team have a Scrum Master, but he is a former traditional project
                                                      >> manager with no technical background. In some cases the SM cannot help
                                                      >> the team with technical impediments. That is why the team is thinking to
                                                      >> replace the SM with someone who is more technical.
                                                      >
                                                      > Can you give me an example or three of a "technical impediment?" Several
                                                      > possibilities come to mind, but I'd rather not assume what you mean.
                                                      >
                                                      >  - George
                                                      >
                                                      > --
                                                      >  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      >   * George Dinwiddie *                      http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                                                      >   Software Development                    http://www.idiacomputing.com
                                                      >   Consultant and Coach                    http://www.agilemaryland.org
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                                                      >
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                                                    • Ron Jeffries
                                                      Hello, Joshua, ... No SM knows everything. Everyone knows many things. If quality is too low, the PO needs to make this clear, if it isn t already clear. The
                                                      Message 26 of 30 , Feb 15, 2012
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                                                        Hello, Joshua,

                                                        On Feb 16, 2012, at 3:26 AM, Joshua Partogi <joshua.java@...> wrote:

                                                        > One obvious technical impediment is bugs that keeps showing up. The team doesn't know anything things TDD and neither does the Scrum Master. The SM cannot suggest any improvement in related to this during sprint retro as he doesn't have tecnical background.

                                                        No SM knows everything. Everyone knows many things. If quality is too
                                                        low, the PO needs to make this clear, if it isn't already clear. The
                                                        TEAM needs to solve this problem, using the full resources available
                                                        to them. The SM needs to nip at their heels until they solve it.

                                                        Cf. "Definition of Done"

                                                        The SM does not solve all problems. The SM sees to it that they get solved.

                                                        Ron
                                                      • Adam Sroka
                                                        Software people are, for some reason, obsessed with the notion of specialization. Yet, to Ron s point, we all know a whole bunch of stuff about a whole bunch
                                                        Message 27 of 30 , Feb 15, 2012
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                                                          Software people are, for some reason, obsessed with the notion of specialization. Yet, to Ron's point, we all know a whole bunch of stuff about a whole bunch of stuff. I know things about software, and agile, and video games, and cars, and sports, and the hobbies of my past girlfriends, among other things. All of those things are potentially valuable to my customers in ways that I know and ways that I have not yet considered. Specialization is a red herring. At the very least it is an oversimplification of an enormously complex reality. 

                                                          The best scrum masters are humans (As far as I know... there may be some very good Klingon scrum masters.) They know things about things, and, as Socrates opined, they are wise to know that they don't know other things. Therefore they ask questions. 

                                                          On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 12:32 AM, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
                                                           

                                                          Hello, Joshua,



                                                          On Feb 16, 2012, at 3:26 AM, Joshua Partogi <joshua.java@...> wrote:

                                                          > One obvious technical impediment is bugs that keeps showing up. The team doesn't know anything things TDD and neither does the Scrum Master. The SM cannot suggest any improvement in related to this during sprint retro as he doesn't have tecnical background.

                                                          No SM knows everything. Everyone knows many things. If quality is too
                                                          low, the PO needs to make this clear, if it isn't already clear. The
                                                          TEAM needs to solve this problem, using the full resources available
                                                          to them. The SM needs to nip at their heels until they solve it.

                                                          Cf. "Definition of Done"

                                                          The SM does not solve all problems. The SM sees to it that they get solved.

                                                          Ron


                                                        • AN
                                                          Joshua: Looks like the general exposure of SM is itself is a limitation here. SM may not know the specific details of practices or technical details but should
                                                          Message 28 of 30 , Feb 15, 2012
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                                                            Joshua:
                                                            Looks like the general exposure of SM is itself is a limitation here. SM may not know the
                                                            specific details of practices or technical details but should at least have the capability
                                                            to find out and learn and suggest the team ways to improve. SM should have the
                                                            capability to guide even if SM is not technically competent.
                                                             
                                                            I do not think SM is expected to help in debugging or explaining the team technical
                                                            details but should have some exposure to good practices or should know where to get them
                                                            at least and have the empowerment to get them. In short, SM should be, at a minimum, an
                                                            experienced person (even though not specifically in this domain or technology) to guide a team.
                                                             
                                                            Rgds-AN
                                                             
                                                            Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2012 7:55 AM
                                                            Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Can the team replace the Scrum Master?
                                                             
                                                             

                                                            Hi George,

                                                            One obvious technical impediment is bugs that keeps showing up. The team doesn't know anything things TDD and neither does the Scrum Master. The SM cannot suggest any improvement in related to this during sprint retro as he doesn't have tecnical background.

                                                            On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, George Dinwiddie <lists@...> wrote:

                                                            > Joshua,
                                                            >
                                                            > On 2/15/12 11:11 AM, Joshua Partogi
                                                            wrote:
                                                            >>
                                                            >>
                                                            >> Hi George,
                                                            >>
                                                            >>
                                                            The team have a Scrum Master, but he is a former traditional project
                                                            >>
                                                            manager with no technical background. In some cases the SM cannot help
                                                            >> the team with technical impediments. That is why the team is
                                                            thinking to
                                                            >> replace the SM with someone who is more
                                                            technical.
                                                            >
                                                            > Can you give me an example or three of a "technical
                                                            impediment?" Several
                                                            > possibilities come to mind, but I'd rather not
                                                            assume what you mean.
                                                            >
                                                            >  - George
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            --
                                                            ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            >  
                                                            * George Dinwiddie *                      http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                                                            >  
                                                            Software Development                    http://www.idiacomputing.com
                                                            >  
                                                            Consultant and Coach                    http://www.agilemaryland.org
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                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
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                                                          • Ram Srinivasan
                                                            Joshua: Looks like you have a quality issue here. Is there an agreement between the stakeholders on definition of done ? TDD is a good practice, but what is
                                                            Message 29 of 30 , Feb 15, 2012
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                                                              Joshua:

                                                              Looks like you have a quality issue here. Is there an agreement between the stakeholders on "definition of done"?  TDD is a good practice, but what is the cause for the bugs that keep showing up? I don't exactly know your context, but might be the cause is something else, did you think about it ? Incompetent team? PO who is not fully committed? Something else? If I were you, I would do a root cause analysis

                                                              If you are a part of this dev team, why don't you suggest ATDD/TDD during your retrospectives ? I might be wrong, but the picture I get from this email chain is that even if the SM suggests a technical practice, the team might discount it as the SM does not have a technical background.

                                                              I had been SM for teams which did not practice TDD initially, but regardless, a good scrum master should solve problems for the team (either by helping the team solve the problem, or by using his positional authority ) or bubble up problems which he cannot solve to PO or management

                                                              Cheers,
                                                              Ram

                                                              --
                                                              Sent from a phone that often corrects words I tapped (or "swyped" )  to words I may not have meant.

                                                              On Feb 16, 2012 7:56 AM, "Joshua Partogi" <joshua.java@...> wrote:
                                                               

                                                              Hi George,

                                                              One obvious technical impediment is bugs that keeps showing up. The team doesn't know anything things TDD and neither does the Scrum Master. The SM cannot suggest any improvement in related to this during sprint retro as he doesn't have tecnical background.

                                                              On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, George Dinwiddie <lists@...> wrote:
                                                              > Joshua,
                                                              >
                                                              > On 2/15/12 11:11 AM, Joshua Partogi wrote:
                                                              >>
                                                              >>
                                                              >> Hi George,
                                                              >>
                                                              >> The team have a Scrum Master, but he is a former traditional project
                                                              >> manager with no technical background. In some cases the SM cannot help
                                                              >> the team with technical impediments. That is why the team is thinking to
                                                              >> replace the SM with someone who is more technical.
                                                              >
                                                              > Can you give me an example or three of a "technical impediment?" Several
                                                              > possibilities come to mind, but I'd rather not assume what you mean.
                                                              >
                                                              >  - George
                                                              >
                                                              > --
                                                              >  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              >   * George Dinwiddie *                      http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
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                                                              >   Consultant and Coach                    http://www.agilemaryland.org
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                                                            • George Dinwiddie
                                                              Joshua, ... Could the SM ask What have other Agile teams done to break the cycle of bugs? The SM does not need to teach the team technical skills. If the
                                                              Message 30 of 30 , Feb 15, 2012
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                                                                Joshua,

                                                                On 2/15/12 9:25 PM, Joshua Partogi wrote:
                                                                >
                                                                >
                                                                > Hi George,
                                                                >
                                                                > One obvious technical impediment is bugs that keeps showing up. The team
                                                                > doesn't know anything things TDD and neither does the Scrum Master. The
                                                                > SM cannot suggest any improvement in related to this during sprint retro
                                                                > as he doesn't have tecnical background.

                                                                Could the SM ask "What have other Agile teams done to break the cycle of
                                                                bugs?" The SM does not need to teach the team technical skills. If the
                                                                team cannot teach themselves technical skills, it is not the SM that is
                                                                not technical enough.

                                                                I presume that the issue of repeated or frequent bugs has been noticed
                                                                and perhaps mentioned in the retrospective. Both the SM and the
                                                                development team are currently ignorant of techniques to solve this
                                                                problem. If the answer to "How can we solve this problem?" is unknown,
                                                                the next logical step is to ask "How can we learn to solve this problem?"

                                                                I just tried googling "Agile prevent bugs" and came up with a number of
                                                                good hits. The first one (http://jamesshore.com/Agile-Book/no_bugs.html)
                                                                is a very good starting point.

                                                                I suggest that the Scrum Master does not need technical skills. What the
                                                                Scrum Master needs are problem solving skills. (It would be good if the
                                                                team members developed their problem solving skills, also.) Your Scrum
                                                                Master might benefit from reading Jerry Weinberg's book, Becoming a
                                                                Technical Leader (http://amzn.to/z1AyYG).

                                                                - George


                                                                >
                                                                > On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, George Dinwiddie
                                                                > <lists@... <mailto:lists@...>> wrote:
                                                                > > Joshua,
                                                                > >
                                                                > > On 2/15/12 11:11 AM, Joshua Partogi wrote:
                                                                > >>
                                                                > >>
                                                                > >> Hi George,
                                                                > >>
                                                                > >> The team have a Scrum Master, but he is a former traditional project
                                                                > >> manager with no technical background. In some cases the SM cannot help
                                                                > >> the team with technical impediments. That is why the team is thinking to
                                                                > >> replace the SM with someone who is more technical.
                                                                > >
                                                                > > Can you give me an example or three of a "technical impediment?" Several
                                                                > > possibilities come to mind, but I'd rather not assume what you mean.

                                                                --
                                                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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                                                                Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
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