Do we really need a ScrumMaster?
As organizations get on to the Scrum bandwagon there is a cacophony of advice on what is the role of a ScrumMaster and how to best leverage this position within “our organization”
Regardless of the strategy the question still remains, how do we fill the new positions of ScrumMaster? Among various options the most common are the following?
Make one of these “leadership” roles into ScrumMasters and lets send any one of the following roles from the organization to the Certified ScrumMaster Certification
The ScrumMaster is responsible for teaching, coaching and facilitating the implementation of Scrum within an organization. They are expected to leverage “Servant Leadership” style of management to be successful. That means they work closely with the team and ensuring it is successful in being better in self organization and management while delivering value during the sprint.
In a nut shell like any other coach who works very closely with the team, build alliances, works with individuals and the whole team issues to make sure that the team is successful. So apart from understanding the principles of Scrum the ScrumMaster role is heavily dependent on the personality of the individual to work closely with the team.
A lot of organizations mistake the role of the ScrumMaster to that of a Project Manager or a team lead. Hence, expecting the ScrumMaster to be responsible for the technical delivery by the team. Therefore, the ScrumMaster acts as a pseudo manager and starts dictating every aspect of the delivery during the sprint. This is daimetrically opposite from what is expected from a ScrumMaster.
By confusing a ScrumMaster with a Manager/Project Manager the organization should not expect any radical change in the delivery cadence or expect product value to be delivered earlier. This cosmetic change to some Scrum ceremonies is not enough to take full advantage of the potential of delivering value earlier by self-organizing and managing teams.
Bottom line is that an organization needs to understand what it entails to be successful with Scrum and the cornerstone is to have a ScrumMaster who understand what needs to be done to make the team successful and is empowered to make the changes within the organization and team.