ScrumMaster: Role Or Job???

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My presentation at London Scrum Gathering 2011 on the growing trend or more part-time ScrumMaster and the potentials pitfalls than can result.

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  • Introduce myself. And why I’m here in this big room.
  • I wanted to test a hypothesis (which basically allows me to be wrong without being incriminated).Back up my argument - new ScrumMasters I train regular believe the job doesn't require constant attention. To me, in my experience, it’s wrong.I’m not arrogant enough to claim this to be true without some evidence. Asked 100 scrummaster’s using a variety of social networking tools. I’ve collated them as follows.
  • If you ever think you are done – check this out. You would be surprised.
  • We asked 100 activescrummasters…“What responsibilities does a ScrumMaster focus on?”Ding or ER-ER.Offer
  • Who in the room is the longest serving ScrumMaster in the room? Who was been in the “role” the longest? Stand-up, sit down if…Ask the winner, how long?
  • Meaning that in a typical sprint, ScrumMaster were expected or were doing “other stuff”.Only 12% percent of SMs surveyed dedicated 80%-100% of their sprint time to SM-ing the team.
  • Some else I suspected would be true and the survey stats backed it up. This may be by choice, but I suspect it’s more requested by the organisation.14% of ScrumMasters were supporting 3 or more teams.This is probably possible and in some respects a “logical, economical” business decision. But is it the best thing for each individual teams in the longer term?
  • What I believe we are effectively seeing know is process compliance. People are concentrating on conformity, box-ticking rather than freedom of thought, being creative and innovating new products.
  • It is a lack of understanding of the role?I wanted to hear what people though the role was…Some of the best, and some of the worst.
  • It is a lack of understanding of the role?I wanted to hear what people though the role was…Some of the best, and some of the worst.
  • It is a lack of understanding of the role?I wanted to hear what people though the role was…Some of the best, and some of the worst.
  • It is a lack of understanding of the role?I wanted to hear what people though the role was…Some of the best, and some of the worst.
  • It is a lack of understanding of the role?I wanted to hear what people though the role was…Some of the best, and some of the worst.
  • It is a lack of understanding of the role?I wanted to hear what people though the role was…Some of the best, and some of the worst.
  • It is a lack of understanding of the role?I wanted to hear what people though the role was…Some of the best, and some of the worst.
  • It is a lack of understanding of the role?I wanted to hear what people though the role was…Some of the best, and some of the worst.
  • It is a lack of understanding of the role?I wanted to hear what people though the role was…Some of the best, and some of the worst.
  • It is a lack of understanding of the role?I wanted to hear what people though the role was…Some of the best, and some of the worst.
  • Project Management, Software Development, Testing, Line Management, Technical Leadership, Product OwnershipOnly 12% of the 100 scrummasters asked said they don’t have time to do anything else other than ScrumMaster their team.Could be that they are not given the time or expected to be “the hero”.Or is It complacency.
  • Two different volunteer families.We asked 100 activescrummasters…“What additional role/responsibilities do you have beyond the ScrumMaster role?”Ding or ER-ER.Offer to other person.
  • As well as some individuals not understanding “scrummaster” well, I don’t think it’s understood well organisational either.HR don’t understand it (only 2 out of 850 CSMs I have trained have been from HR). It’s not in their interests to hire ScrumMasters into roles. There are too many project managers around. It’s a vicious circle. Will the term ScrumMaster thrive while the Agile Project Manager exists?Searching jobserve for “scrum master” in the UK returns 754 matching jobs. Searching for “agile project manager” returns 8,370 jobs. I beliieve HR have created this role to fill the void Scrum leaves.Agile Project Manager (Scrum Master)As Agile Project Manager (Scrum Master) you will be responsible for managing small-to-medium sized software development projects and development teams for this leading media company. They are at the forefront of the digital media space and you would be integral to managing the development of their cutting edge applications. Agile experience is compulsory and you must also be a Scrum Master. You will be conversant with all technologies but you will not be expected to code. Java, Hadoop and Jackrabbit are among some of the technologies that your teams would be using so knowledge of these is key. Fundamentally you must be a very Agile Project Manager who has worked on Real Time, dynamically changing websites. You must be an astute communicator who can manage personalities with ease.
  • People are getting cocky. This scrum stuff has been around for a while now, it must be easy then. It doesn’t take much time to set up meetings and facilitate a daily scrum for 15 mins. So no point - we don’t need a ScrumMaster full time.
  • Two different volunteer families.We asked 100 activescrummasters…“What activity or responsibility is the ScrumMaster most likely to forget about or ignore?”Ding or ER-ER.Offer to other person.
  • Something for new scrummasters to read as refer to. I will be updating it at the gathering based on real practitiioners experience and guidance.Depending on numbers and tables: take my original attempt and improve it,
  • Something for new scrummasters to read as refer to. I will be updating it at the gathering based on real practitiioners experience and guidance.Create 3 words principles for a new ScrumMaster to refer to and improve themselves. Split across tables, stick on wall as they get finished.
  • I will put all the survey results on my blog
  • Giving people more depth on the job and filling some of the gaps left by CSM.
  • What are the consequences?More people seeing ScrumMasters as the process controller (which is easy and short-term) rather than team facilitator (which is harder, and long-term)
  • Quality, product, creativity, innovation.You may miss out on the spirit of Scrum.
  • Giving people more depth on the job and filling some of the gaps left by CSM.
  • ScrumMaster: Role Or Job???

    1. 1. ScrumMaster – role or job? #sglon@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    2. 2. Is there growing trend in the belief that the ScrumMaster is NOT a full time position? #worrying@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    3. 3. www.scrummasterchecklist.org@michaeldotjames 13 November, 2009 03:54
    4. 4. “We asked 100 ScrumMasters…” #familyfortunes #UKTV #gold@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    5. 5. Who is the most famous person on your table?@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    6. 6. Open Envelope 1@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    7. 7. Write how many days the ScrumMaster of a 1-month old team should dedicate to the activity in a 10-working day sprint@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    8. 8. ScrumMaster Awards for Great Achievements (SAGA)@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    9. 9. Repeat for team ages: 3, 9 and 24 months…@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    10. 10. Stick the cards on the wall under the 4 trends using blu tack provided@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    11. 11. Is the ScrumMaster out of a job?@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    12. 12. 75% of ScrumMasters dedicate less than half of their time to being a ScrumMaster for their current team@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54 * 100 ScrumMasters, September 2011
    13. 13. 45% of ScrumMasters support 2 or more different Scrum teams@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54 * 100 ScrumMasters, September 2011
    14. 14. It’s easy to manage multiple Scrum teams to compliance, but harder to lead one team to self- organisation@geoffcwatts September 12, 2012 03:54
    15. 15. But why? #language@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    16. 16. I (or we) believe the ScrumMaster is a full-time job for one person on one Scrum team – and I (or we) want to help others understand that.@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    17. 17. Define a ScrumMaster in a single logical sentence using no more than 100 chars@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54 * 100 ScrumMasters, September 2011
    18. 18. Open Envelope 2@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    19. 19. Define a ScrumMaster in a single logical sentence using no more than 15 words #peerconsensus@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    20. 20. “I help the team to become as good as they can be - individually as well as as a team. Same for the organisation.” #like@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54 * 100 ScrumMasters, September 2011
    21. 21. “Being a sheepherder, keeping the team on point and shielding them from the wolves…” #like@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54 * 100 ScrumMasters, September 2011
    22. 22. “Whitewater riverguide; The invisible gorilla watcher; Uber Facilitator; Chaos Controller; Team whisperer; Team system Mirror;” #like@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54 * 100 ScrumMasters, September 2011
    23. 23. “Making sure that all the scrum meetings happen, making sure that issue tracking software data is up to date ” #dislike@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54 * 100 ScrumMasters, September 2011
    24. 24. “Help team on planning maintain work breakdown structure & artifacts ” #dislike@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54 * 100 ScrumMasters, September 2011
    25. 25. “Monitoring daily situation on weekly meetings. Checking hours, buffers and peoples availabilities” #dislike@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54 * 100 ScrumMasters, September 2011
    26. 26. “Standard scrum master role, see any scrum guide” #funny #missedthepoint@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54 * 100 ScrumMasters, September 2011
    27. 27. “Helping defend team members from management bullshit.” #funny #true@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54 * 100 ScrumMasters, September 2011
    28. 28. 88% of ScrumMasters take on additional responsibilities beyond that of a ScrumMaster@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54 * 100 ScrumMasters, September 2011
    29. 29. Project Management 24Software Development 14I dont have time to do anything else 12Technical Leadership 8Software Testing 7Line Management 7Business Analysis 4Agile Coaching 4Product Ownership 2Architecture 2Operation Support 2Design / UX 1Sprint Change Management Duties (???) 1Office Management 1Software Configuration 1Hero (Multiple Roles) 8 Total 98 (skipped) 2
    30. 30. Project Management 24Software Development 14I dont have time to do anything else 12Technical Leadership 8Software Testing 7Line Management 7Business Analysis 4Agile Coaching 4Product Ownership 2Architecture 2Operation Support 2Design / UX 1Sprint Change Management Duties (???) 1Office Management 1Software Configuration 1Hero (Multiple Roles) 8 Total 98 (skipped) 2
    31. 31. A ScrumMaster is not an agile project manager@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    32. 32. Project Management 24Software Development 14I dont have time to do anything else 12Technical Leadership 8Software Testing 7Line Management 7Business Analysis 4Agile Coaching 4Product Ownership 2Architecture 2Operation Support 2Design / UX 1Sprint Change Management Duties (???) 1Office Management 1Software Configuration 1Hero (Multiple Roles) 8 Total 98 (skipped) 2
    33. 33. Project Management 24Software Development 14I dont have time to do anything else 12Technical Leadership 8Software Testing 7Line Management 7Business Analysis 4Agile Coaching 4Product Ownership 2Architecture 2Operation Support 2Design / UX 1Sprint Change Management Duties (???) 1Office Management 1Software Configuration 1Hero (Multiple Roles) 8 Total 98 (skipped) 2
    34. 34. The average ScrumMaster thinks they are an above average ScrumMaster #shu #ha #ri@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    35. 35. Open Envelope 3@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    36. 36. Order the cards with the “least popular” activity at the top@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    37. 37. Appropriate balance between end-to-end system test and unit tests 11All tests roll up into the continuous integration results 11Redefining career paths and goals to be more scrum focussed 12Missing product backlog Items 14Team issues arent being discussed because they are too uncomfortable 17Team members realise the benefits of refactoring 18Pair programming is being utilised 19Playing back the teams progress against the proposed release plan 20Code is regularly peer reviewed 20Definition of done is being expanded 24
    38. 38. The ScrumMaster Manifesto http://bit.ly/iyM2Y7@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    39. 39. The ScrumMaster Manifesto: Pocket Principles http://bit.ly/iyM2Y7@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    40. 40. Full Survey Results @The ScrumMaster’s Diary http://bit.ly/iyM2Y7@Agilify_UK September 12, 2012 03:54
    41. 41. How do I take my ScrumMaster skills to the next level? http://bit.ly/oJe4h1@Agilify_UK September 12, 2012 03:54
    42. 42. Teams will take longer to truly become self-organising without a catalyst. Some teams may never achieve it.@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    43. 43. If you compromise the ScrumMasters position from the outset, you are more likely to compromise Scrum in the future.@PaulKGoddard September 12, 2012 03:54
    44. 44. All of today’s findings and advice will be uploaded to www.scrummastermanifesto.org@ScrumMasterS September 12, 2012 03:54

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