The Scrum Masters Role and Value

//The Scrum Masters Role and Value

The Scrum Master (SM) role facilitates the team practice of lean thinking and agile tenets by using the Scrum framework. Operating in this role without authority is difficult and can lead to questions of worth to the value delivered. The SM role is important for the outcome of team harmony and to enable self-organization.  People with diverse skills may work in this role and do not necessarily have to be a domain expert in a specific discipline.  For example, the SM does not have to be a technical expert to help a software team use Scrum to be successful.  The key is the facilitation skills that enables flow between Scrum ceremonies and activities during the development of a product.

Fundamentally, if the Scrum Master demonstrates the attributes of a servant leader, the team receives greater value.  One thing that I want you to be aware of is a Scrum Master is not a project manager.  A person with project management training may participate as a Scrum Master but must pursue the ways of a Scrum Master.  Much like a Jedi must pursue the way of the force.

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By |2017-08-19T02:53:50+00:00August 19th, 2017|KnolShare with Dr. Dave|3 Comments


  1. Dave Cornelius August 19, 2017 at 3:57 am - Reply

    Kevin P.: Do you see Scrum in conflict with traditional project management? Especially when PM is “plan it all out” vs. the Engineering deciding what to do as they go
    Dr. Dave: The reality is that Scrum is in conflict with a plan everything up front practice. The Product Owner defines the priority of customer requests and the teams determine how much can be done in a given sprint. The project manager (PM) never plans everything up front without input from the teams.

    Kevin P.: Isn’t that in conflict with Stakeholder planning, budgets & vision? How do you reconcile that reality?
    Dr. Dave: The stakeholder usually only cares about getting work done in a timely manner to respond to changes in market competition. Doing work incrementally does not go against planning, budget, and vision. The good news is that it allows the stakeholder the flexibility to inspect and adapt according to market conditions, which is a good thing.

  2. Dave Cornelius August 19, 2017 at 3:56 am - Reply

    Michael J.: What happens to items left on a backlog that have not been completed, but don’t form enough story point for a sprint?
    Dr. Dave: If work is not completed during a Sprint, then you discuss what happened and plan to get the work done in the next sprint. The goal is to complete work and not be too concerned about how many story points is planned for a sprint.

  3. Dave Cornelius August 19, 2017 at 3:56 am - Reply

    Alain C.: I see the Scrum practice useful only in software development activities. Can you please tell where else is it useful?
    Dr. Dave: Scrum can be used in many other areas besides software. If there is a team or group of people attempting to work together to achieve a specific goal, Scrum is applicable. For example, if you wanted to cook a meal for 100 students visiting during the Thanksgiving holiday you would need a team and incremental plan to get things done effectively without exhausting one person.

    Alain C.: I have no experience or knowledge of Scrum. Can you please give an example of metrics to be used?
    Dr. Dave: Many people like to measure team velocity to demonstrate how much work the team is achieving using story points. However, my preference is to measure how many features are completed and delivered to customers.

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