• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Whenever you search in PBworks or on the Web, Dokkio Sidebar (from the makers of PBworks) will run the same search in your Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Gmail, Slack, and browsed web pages. Now you can find what you're looking for wherever it lives. Try Dokkio Sidebar for free.



This version was saved 17 years, 6 months ago View current version     Page history
Saved by PBworks
on September 26, 2005 at 11:33:27 pm

What is a Scrum Master


Note: This page is not discussing the name of the Scrum Master role, but just the "job description". We have another page WhatsinaName to discuss the best name for the role. We also have DiscussScrummaster if you want to discuss before editing this page.


What does a Scrum Master do?


1. Provides initial training to a new Team

2. Provides initial training to Product Owner & Stakeholders


3. Provides team building to Team

4. Coaches the Product Owner & Stakeholders in their roles

5. Protects the Team and supports the Team in self-management

6. Manages the clearing of Blocks (or manages the overall Block clearing activities)


Note: Blocks can be a wide range of things. Including immediate hurdles, larger organizational blocks, etc.


7. Facilitates the Agile process (for the project)

8. Coaches the Team towards high performance (including leadership that is not command and control)

9. Provides advanced training in Agile to the Team


10. As a scrum of scrums, helps his area/the company overcome hurdles more quickly


NET NET: They make the projects more productive (return better ROI).


Editor's note: If you want to add to this ("and"), then just do so (after or in-between). If you disagree ("but"), then maybe add an "Alternate View 1" or "Alternate View 2" to the bottom of the page.


See below for further discussion of each area.

See also DayinthelifeofaScrummaster


General Observations


  • It takes a lot of listening to do this job.
  • It takes a completely different kind of leadership to be a SM.
  • It does not require agreeing that the Team "can do anything". (without consequences)


SM and self-management


Some have the notion that a Team can do anything, since it self-manages. Clearly there are limits to this notion. At the extreme, the PO could quickly see they are unproductive, and no longer pay for the Team.


More immediately, over certain areas of his expertise, the SM does not have to agree that the Team can self-organize (eg, not hold standups). In a sense, he can not stop the Team (not himself having a police force). But he can say that (a) he does not agree for these 3 reasons, and (b) he will need report X behavior to management. (Never wise to make idle "threats".)


It is useful for the SM to explain to the Team that he is only advising against the most obvious "bad" actions. He is already letting them scrape their knee. He will not sit idly by if they will break an arm (or worse).


Up to a point, it is useful for the Team to rebel. (Not all teams wish to do this.) In teenagers, it is part of re-setting the boundaries. And for Teams, some need to do this to determine if some words are true (eg, "the Team is wholly responsible for delivering the project and is authorized to take all reasonable actions").


Comments on the above list


1 & 2 - This initial training does many things. Among them, team building (in a usefully indirect way). We note ideally a difference in the training between the Team and the PO. And somewhat different also between the PO and the stakeholders.


3. Team building here includes leading the Team toward higher performance. Perhaps better stated this way, to some audiences.






Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.