Is the ScrumMaster Full-Time?
In this version of Sound Notes, we sat down with Enterprise Transformation Consultant, Jann Thomas, to answer a question from Human Resources on the role of ScrumMaster:
Is the role of ScrumMaster a full-time position?
Jann Thomas intro :40
How long do transformation engagements last? 2:00
Why your Agile transformation will wither and die without retrospectives 3:27
Question from Student:
HR has asked me to provide an hour by hour breakdown of what a ScrumMaster does all day?… 4:20
Why it makes sense that an HR person would ask for that and how to reframe the question to focus on value 5:50
Do you actually need a full time dedicated ScrumMaster (and why)? 06:20
Lessons learned from doing it as a not full time dedicated role 8:30
What happens when you split the role 9:00
The impact to productivity splitting the role 9:30
Knowing when you need a fully dedicated ScrumMaster 9:45
The job of Scrum Master is about hacking people 11:00
Jann’s example of sharing the SM responsibility and making it work 11:50
…and the men on the team refused to take ScrumMaster role again 13:20
The job of ScrumMaster is different every day 14:40
What type of person to look for 15:15
How would a coach respond to HR’s question 16:20
Giving up the productivity to get something out of the team 17:40
One thing we completely underestimate 18:10
Seeing where the day takes you (as ScrumMaster) 18:50
How it impacts the output of the team 19:40
Blocking issues that won’t go away 20:05
Why it is hard to explain why ScrumMaster needs to be a full time dedicated role 22:00
That’s not the question you want to ask 22:50
What we’d really like the team to do 23:25
A simple ScrumMaster success story 24:50
Finding Jann 26:26
Jann’s work on teams’ sharing stories 26:50
Converting feelings to numbers 27:08
Thanks for a great podcast.
I have seen teams try to succeed without a dedicated Scrum Master and without a highly mature delivery organization that live by agile principles, then they have failed. Scrum Masters are not only shepherds of Scrum, but they are also integral in helping teams evolve in there agile maturity; they defend the team, they are looking out to the next sprint for healthy backlog items to meet their Definition of Ready, and be the advocate for building higher quality products by working with engineering & product leadership. In scaled agile delivery environments, they are ensuring that the work is aligned with features that driving strategic objectives.
Moreover, we want our engineers on their respective teams, to be writing code and delivering amazing products. The Scrum Master is the first-line servant leader to the team to help the teams accelerate. I would be concerned with an organizations’ dedication to Agile practices without dedicating someone to this role.