The Scrum Master Stances – 2nd Edition

By Barry Overeem

The previous weeks I’ve taken some time to re-write the white paper “The 8 Stances of a Scrum Master“. Given my sessions at Scrum Day London, Scrum Day Warsaw and Scrum Day Europe I wanted to offer the participants a paper with my latest insights and lessons learned. In this blog post I’ll share the changes in this 2nd edition. I hope you enjoy the result!

In the first edition of the paper the main focus was describing the 8 preferred stances of a Scrum Master. These are not the ultimate truth, they’re based on my personal experiences and how I prefer to fulfil the role. In the paper I describe the Scrum Master as a Servant Leader, Coach, Facilitator, Teacher, Mentor, Manager, Impediment Remover and Change Agent. Every chapter contains my lessons learned acting as a Scrum Master and my findings while studying books, articles and videos.

The three major changes in the second edition of the white paper are:

  • The most common misunderstandings about the Scrum Master
  • Why I’ve changed my title from Agile Coach to 100% Scrum Master
  • Visualizations to increase the readability

Change #1: Scrum Master Misunderstandings

After being a (not so successful) Project Manager for some time I started experimenting with the Scrum Master role. Although I thought the role wasn’t that difficult to understand, I surely didn’t gave it the desired follow-up. I was mostly acting as a Scribe, Secretary, Scrum Police Officer, Team Boss, Tooling Administrator, Chairman, Hero and Coffee Clerk. As a result the Scrum team wasn’t self-organizing, didn’t owned the process and seemed to get Zombie-Scrum characteristics. I had to change the way I fulfilled the Scrum Master role drastically. By following courses, reading books, watching videos and learning from other Scrum Masters I slowly improved myself. After a couple of years I became a Scrum Master who acted according the 8 preferred stances.

During these years I also learned I definitely wasn’t the only Scrum Master fulfilling the role according to these misunderstandings. Therefore I decided to share my lessons learned and hopefully create a better understanding of the Scrum Master role.

Change #2: 100% Scrum Master

A couple of months ago I removed Agile Coach and replaced it with Scrum Master. 100% Scrum Master. Although it seems a small change, it raised quite some concern:

  • “You should stick with Agile Coach. As a freelancer, that’s a far more popular job title.”
  • “No, don’t change it to Scrum Master, you’ll get paid less!
  • All the cool stuff is done by Agile Coaches, as a Scrum Master you’re stuck within your Scrum Team.”

But really, don’t call yourself a Scrum Master, your freelance career will be doomed!

So why did I change my title from Agile Coach into Scrum Master? In the white paper I’ve added a chapter in which I explain this change by using the values of Scrum.

Change #3: Cool Visualizations

From a visual perspective, the first edition of the white paper was pretty boring. A lot of text, hardly any pictures. Especially for the upcoming workshops, trainings en Go to the full article.

Source:: Business2Community

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