At the agile unconference in Zürich on November 4th Peter Stevens and myself hosted a session where we exchanged on what is the Ideal Scrum Master.
- the mission is to make the team perform and develop continuously
- they don’t need status. They are respected based on their experience and behaviour
- they are always present in order to observe what is going on and how things evolve. As such they need to be dedicated to one team and to their role.
- they will know from experience what to do next to create the conditions for the team to succeed and when to try something else.
the scrum master does not need to understand the technical details of what the team does in order to recognize that something is not going in the right direction as this requires mostly empathy and observation of behaviors and communication patterns.
they are the guardian of the values of scrum (courage, respect, openness, trust, commitment to which I add self-discipline and passion ), they will refer to them as the navigation guides and reflection points.
I would like to finish by adding a few personal thought on the scrum master’s role :
- I see them as a catalyst in the sense that they trigger reactions and enhance their intended effects on the team
- they are like a gardener that takes care of the environment and provide the conditions for the team to deliver and flourish
they are un-managers in that they foster smooth collaboration which eliminates the need for processes and bureaucracy.
Nikolaos Kaintantzis and Rick Janda provided great feedback to make this short and sweet, Peter Stevens helped facilitate the session, all participants of the agile unconference provided all the insights.
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