In this article, Steve Hunton explains that, even if people expect that the shift to Agile practices includes a wholesale shift of roles,, the ScrumMaster does not play the part of the traditional project manager. He thinks that the project manager role is more filled by the product owner. The project manager is a decision maker accountable to the business for accomplishing the project objectives. The ScrumMaster is a coach and facilitator that sits between the project and the customer. He isn’t responsible for the project or managing the development team. If you have questions about the product, then you should ask it to the product owner. He concludes that if the ScrumMaster is making decisions about a product, then Scrum has not been properly implemented and there’s going to be confusion and conflict about who does and owns what.
This short blog post by Len Lagestee provides some advice on how to coach a ScrumMaster with a struggling team. You first observe and ask questions to the ScrumMaster to understand the situation. Based on his answers, you can assess your options and determine if you need to teach, mentor or encourage him.
Utpal Vaishnav shares with us his experience as a new ScrumMaster in this article titled “Seven Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started out as a ScrumMaster“.
The Scrum of Scrums is the key for scaling large, multidimensional projects that cross departments, teams, and traditional boundary lines so that can be managed using the same protocols and logic of a fundamental, small-team project. Bryan Zarnett explains that where most ScrumMasters fail in this large-scale environment is in the nuances of communicating and coordinating multiple teams. The same tool set used to run a small Scrum team cannot be used for a collective of teams. He defines the role of an Agile Program Manager (APM) that will coordinate the program portfolio and its dependencies and manage collective activities, issues, and risks. Regardless of design, the APM cannot operate 100 percent according to a Scrum textbook. Minor modifications to the tool set and the introduction of key new responsibilities will adapt and influence Scrum in minor ways that will allow the larger program context to be applied — and will allow teams to remain Agile even as size and interdependencies increase.
In this article, Elton Gao starts by giving us the definition of a good ScrumMaster: someone who knows Scrum well. He or she understands the do’s and don’ts and is familiar with related artifacts and tools. He or she knows how to run a daily Scrum, a planning/review/retrospective meeting and how to take advantages of related tools and so on. But is this enough?
The ScrumMaster is dealing daily to remove the issues that the team face. If he keeps in mind the role of the ScrumMaster as a servant leader, he will be better able to keep the team members motivated toward the goal, which will lead to better customer satisfaction in the end. On the other hand, if he follows the traditional role of a manager trying to ensure that he gets the work done, things may work out in the short term.
“An adequate ScrumMaster can handle two or three teams at a time. If you’re content to limit your role to organizing meetings, enforcing timeboxes, and responding to the impediments people explicitly report, you can get by with part time attention to this role. The team will probably still exceed the baseline, pre-Scrum expectation at your organization, and probably nothing catastrophic will happen.