Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Scrum vs "traditional spiral development"

Expand Messages
  • Paul Hodgetts
    ... I think of a ScrumMaster as the Master of Scrum more than the Master of the Team, as you mention. They are the facilitator, the coach and the process
    Message 1 of 15 , Dec 18 4:48 PM
    • 0 Attachment
      Tobias Mayer wrote:

      > On the subject of control, I actually find the term 'ScrumMaster' a
      > little misleading (potentially confusing), as the role is more of a
      > trusted servant than a master. I guess 'master' refers here to
      > 'mastery', but in a traditional control culture the term will be (and
      > is) easily misunderstood. But that is another thread altogether...

      I think of a ScrumMaster as the "Master of Scrum" more than
      the "Master of the Team," as you mention. They are the
      facilitator, the coach and the process conscience of the

      I agree it's easy for the role of ScrumMaster to become a
      management role. Many of the organizations that I've helped
      transition to Scrum assign a project manager or administrative
      manager to the ScrumMaster role. Or a manager that is involved
      with the adoption effort sees the ScrumMaster as a power role
      and grabs it.

      Unfortunately managers often take on the role of ScrumMaster
      from a management perspective, without the understanding that
      they need to be an active facilitator and really learn Scrum
      to pull it off, and that it's more than a part-time thing. I
      find that helping a team to have an effective ScrumMaster is
      one of the bigger challenges of coaching an adoption effort.

      While I'm at it, I wrote:

      > From the larger organizations I've helped transition to Scrum,
      > I've found that we need to create a structure that supports
      > the Scrum teams. Each Scrum team has a manager (perhaps the
      > ScrumMaster, although that can cause a conflict between the
      > coaching and manager roles). If we have a bunch of Scrum
      > teams, maybe we build a management hierarchy above that.

      I didn't mean to imply here that each Scrum team has its own
      administrative manager. Manager is not a role in Scrum. Each
      team needs a resource to go to when it needs those kinds of
      organizational things that an administrative manager usually
      handles, such as hiring a new team member, getting 21" LCD
      monitors and Aeron chairs for their new pairing stations ;-),
      dealing with health care plans, and so on.

      In a perfect world, the ScrumMaster(s) have the resources
      needed to facilitate all these kinds of things. But in most
      cases, I find organizations want someone appointed with some
      control over budgets and personnel and such, and it's usually
      not the ScrumMaster (except when a manager jumps into the role
      as I mention above). In my experiences, there is often an
      administrative manager of some sorts that handles this stuff
      for one or more Scrum teams.

      It's also hard for an organization to move towards a shared
      accountability model. Ideally, the entire Scrum team (and
      the folks they directly rely on) are held mutually accountable
      for delivering product with value. But it's a major shift
      for many to deal with that, so they still ask "Well, *who* is
      *the person* responsible for the Scrum team?" I think it's a
      bad idea to put that on the ScrumMaster, although some do.
      Some place a manager in there to be the accountability person
      for the Scrum team. IMHO, both of these approaches can lead
      to dysfunction, because then the ScrumMaster or manager feels
      the need to exert control to mitigate the risk of their
      individual accountability. A slippery slope...

      Happy Holidays,
      Paul Hodgetts -- CEO, Principal Consultant
      Agile Logic -- www.agilelogic.com
      Consulting, Coaching, Training -- On-Site & Out-Sourced Development
      Agile Processes/Lean/XP/Scrum -- Java/J2EE, C++, OOA/D, UI/IA, XML
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.