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Fire Your Scrum Master


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My keynote at AgileNCR2016 at Gurgaon, 9 Dec. In this talk, I explore the very basis of the role of scrum master, what happens when that jobs is done, and what should you do next?

Comments, objections and feedback welcome!

Published in: Software

Fire Your Scrum Master

  1. 1. Fire Your Scrum Master Why, When & How? (And Not Because Of What You Think Firing Means!) Tathagat Varma
  2. 2. Caveat •This Is Meant To Be An Exploratory Talk •Because Possibilities Are More Valuable In The Long Run…
  3. 3. Scrum Guide, 2016 The Scrum Team consists of a Product Owner, the Development Team, and a Scrum Master. Scrum Teams are self-organizing and cross-func?onal. Self-organizing teams choose how best to accomplish their work, rather than being directed by others outside the team. Cross-func?onal teams have all competencies needed to accomplish the work without depending on others not part of the team. The team model in Scrum is designed to op?mize flexibility, crea?vity, and produc?vity. Scrum Teams deliver products itera?vely and incrementally, maximizing opportuni?es for feedback. Incremental deliveries of “Done” product ensure a poten?ally useful version of working product is always available.
  4. 4. So What Does A Scrum Team Deliver?
  5. 5. “Working Software”
  6. 6. Scrum Guide, 2016 The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring Scrum is understood and enacted. Scrum Masters do this by ensuring that the Scrum Team adheres to Scrum theory, prac:ces, and rules. The Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Scrum Team. The Scrum Master helps those outside the Scrum Team understand which of their interac:ons with the Scrum Team are helpful and which aren’t. The Scrum Master helps everyone change these interac:ons to maximize the value created by the Scrum Team.
  7. 7. And What Does A Scrum Master Deliver?
  8. 8. “Self- Organizing Team”
  9. 9. So, Once The Team Is Capable Of Self- Organizing, What Should The Scrum Master Do?
  10. 10. “Get Fired!”
  11. 11. Not Your Grandpa’s Style Of Firing… Firing because You Have Done Your Job Well!
  12. 12. Scrum Master Is A Role, Right?
  13. 13. But What’s Happening Instead?
  14. 14. Creating Scrummaster Jobs!
  15. 15. Sample This…
  16. 16. Types of Scrummaster Jobs On LinkedIn… Confused Type Engineer Type Manager Type Career Type
  17. 17. Confused Type
  18. 18. Engineer Type
  19. 19. Manager Type
  20. 20. Career Type
  21. 21. So, The Goal Is… Self- Organization. Right? (So, How Does A Team Self-Organize When There Is Always a Scrum Master???)
  22. 22. Let’s Consider One Possible Way…
  23. 23. Stage 1: Team Comes Together F C E G A B D • Identify the key goals. Perform SWOT, etc. • Agree on what does the team need the Scrum master to do! • Every team is different, and so must the Scrum Master be!
  24. 24. Stage 2: Team elects Its Scrum Master! F E G A B D Candidate Votes A 0 B 1 C 4 D 2 E 0 F 0 G 0 CC
  25. 25. Stage 3: Scrum Master As Expert And Coach F C E G A B D • Training in Scrum • Directing / coaching the team on the process, as needed • Removing impediments
  26. 26. Stage 4: Scrummaster as Facilitator F C E G A B D • Encourage team members to take lead and directly work with each other • Gradually, remove himself / herself from the loop
  27. 27. Stage 5: The Whole Team Is A “Scrum Master”! F E G A B D • When the team has learnt to self- organise, take a back seat • The real test is when the team continues its normal functioning by itself! CC
  28. 28. Self-Organization Self-organization, also called spontaneous order (in the social sciences), is a process where some form of overall order arises from local interactions between parts of an initially disordered system. The process is spontaneous, not needing control by any external agent. It is often triggered by random fluctuations, amplified by positive feedback. The resulting organization is wholly decentralized, distributed over all the components of the system. As such, the organization is typically robust and able to survive or self-repair substantial perturbation.
  29. 29. On Paper, A Team Might Never Be 100% Self-Organising, But By Not Letting Go, They May Never…
  30. 30. In Fact, The Only Real Way To Know Might Be To “Inspect And Adapt”…
  31. 31. Recap • As Teams Mature, The Role of Scrum Master Would Expectedly Reduce • An Ideal Scenario Is When The Team “Fires” Its Scrum Master • The “Fired” Scrum Master Goes Back To His/Her Chosen Team Role • When The Team Encounters Significant New Challenges, It Might Elect A New Scrum Master
  32. 32. References • it-possible-to-run-scrum-without-a-scrum-master-If-yes-in- what-scenarios • • questions/99381/is-a-scrum-master-needed-on-a-high- performing-team • • scrummaster/ •