What Scrum Masters wish their leaders knew

This is a summary of a webinar by Lonnie Weaver-Johnson, an agile coach from ScrumAlliance. In her 30 minutes talk, she discusses the three most important feedbacks that she hears repeatedly from scrum masters as she coach from teams to teams in different companies. These three things are:

  • Scrum Masters wish their leaders know what the Scrum Master role really is. There are frequent misinterpretation what a Scrum Master should do. A lot of managers still regards Scrum Master as an administrative role, the “jira police”, “meeting organizers” or the managers of the developers. This stems from managers not understanding the scrum roles and how scrum team works. As the team grows, the Scrum Master needs to spend his/her time on identifying impediments on all levels. Scrum Masters need the time to educate people around them on how to work better. This activities take time and energy. To get a glimps of what Scrum Masters in your organization should be spending their time doing, read Michael James’s Checklist for Scrum Master.
  • Scrum Masters wish their leaders understand and implement the culture shift needed to be agile. What are the culture shift needed for everyone, managers and teams? This is the soft side of agile and the hardest. Organization cannot be successful in implementing agile when decisions made on the top breaks the agile manifesto because bossess do not know it. Here are the list of the culture shift that everyone, from top managers to the scrum teams, should know and be mindful of when making decisions:
  • Scrum Masters wish their leaders know that Scrum is NOT a la carte. You cannot pick and choose the rules of Scrum that you like, leave out the rules that you do not like, feel it is too hard to implement for the organization and still say you are doing Scrum. One of the biggest mistake lots of companies do whey they start with agile transformation is to “customize” the Scrum Framework to align with the “old” organization and old way of working. When you do this you are not doing Scrum.

Watch the webinar to hear her explain these three feedbacks. It is 30 minutes well spent for anyone who wish to know what good Scrum Masters are thinking about.


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