ScrumMaster Overview – Part 2

July 16, 2006 — Posted by Jim Trott

Listen to the podcastAn Overview of ScrumMaster - Part 2

The Agile method called Scrum empowers the “Team” (the group of developers and the business workingLean-Agile Product Development Team together to produce product) to decide together how to do their work without lots of external influence. People who are used to working in a hierarchical, specification and deliverable-oriented environment may have a lot of trouble at first with this combination of freedom and responsibility. It can feel very disorienting.

So, within Scrum, there is a role called the “ScrumMaster” whose job it is to help the team with this transition, to stay healthy, and to stay focused on producing product (that's the "hand" in the diagram on the right).

It is a hard job!

I am running a little Scrum project for a relief and development organization I support. The team is composed of college interns editing and producing video training. They are quite uncomfortable with the freedom I am giving them, and appreciate why I am doing it. It has made for some involved conversations to help them see what they are supposed to do, how I am there to help but not to do and not to dictate. So, I really appreciate the difficulty that ScrumMasters face.

This podcast is Part 2 of a "ScrumMaster Overview" conversation I had with Doug Shimp, a Certified ScrumMaster Trainer and former senior consultant with Net Objectives. so if you haven’t listened to Part 1 yet, I’d encourage you to take a listen.

In Part 1, Doug covered these issues around being a ScrumMaster:

  • Where did the term “ScrumMaster” com from?
  • The qualifications and personality types and organizational origins of good ScrumMasters
  • How many teams one ScrumMaster can serve
  • Impediment removal

In Part 2, I continue my conversation with Doug, covering these issues:

  • Examples Doug has seen of both good ScrumMasters and those that have challenges
  • The partnership between the ScrumMaster and the Product Owner.
  • How to become a ScrumMaster. (which is quite similar to the process for becoming a Lean-Six Sigma Greenbelt)
  • Why every team member needs to take the CSM training.

Why is it so hard to find good ScrumMasters? Consider these characteristics that a ScrumMaster must have:

  • Humble enough to serve the team
  • Strong character and confident enough to stay in the background, promoting the team.
  • High integrity and high trust relationship with all the team.
    Politically savvy with a strong relationship with product owner
  • Able to understand both business and technical people

Note: This podcast jumps right in to the phone conversation I was having with Doug, so it might seem to start a little abruptly.

Recommendations - Training by Net Objectives

Recommendations - Reading

Recommendations - Tools

Recommendations - Online

Music used in this podcast:

For more information, contact info@netobjectives.com or visit us at www.netobjectives.com

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About the author | Jim Trott

Jim Trott is a senior consultant for Net Objectives. He has used object-oriented and pattern-based analysis techniques throughout his 20 year career in knowledge management and knowledge engineering. He is the co-author of Design Patterns Explained: A New Perspective on Object-Oriented Design, Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility, and the Lean-Agile Pocket Guide for Scrum Teams.



        

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