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Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 5 months ago

What's in a Name?


At some companies ("the company"), the role of Scrum Master is also referred to as coach, Agile coach, process facilitator or Agile project manager.


For most people, the role (by any name) is the same as classically defined by Ken Schwaber and others as the ScrumMaster. At the company one might argue there is (can be) a smaller responsibility for managing the blocks. This is partly because, at the company, a (regular) project manager is often also assigned to the project.


Some at the company do confuse the coach role with the mentoring role. That is, there is an expectation that senior coaches will mentor apprentice coaches, as part of the development of the apprentice coaches. Middle level coaches will do little if any mentoring.


Related discussion


See WhatisaScrummaster for further description of that role.


Below is further discussion of the name of that role.


Other names for Scrum Master


Note: Ken normally spells Scrum Master as a single word with "master" capitalized. This is not done here, because that form "creates" a new wiki page.


  • A role by any other name would smell as sweet. So, the first question is, what is the SM role exactly. And is that role what it should be at the company.


  • But, without getting into a long discussion of language, names are important too.


Some among us have proposed other names for the regular SM role. These include:


  • Senior SM - This is an experienced SM, who, in addition to acting as a SM to a Team(s), also has the mentoring role to one or more apprentices.


  • Coach


  • Please add others





In one area, some prefer SM to "coach". To them, coach implies the mentoring role to apprentices. SM also links back to all the literature on Scrum.


A some firms, a coach is (also) a mentor while a SM (to them) is a (mere) facilitator at the key Scrum meetings (eg, does relatively little in the way of Block management and removal).


One could guess that PMs generally prefer coach, because it may seem less authoritative than ScrumMaster.


Generally, people at the company are less aware of Scrum per se. They hear "agile". But calling the role "agile master" would be awkward at best.





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