Friday, January 25, 2008

Attributes of a true Scrum Master

As per Tao Te Ching
The worst leader is who people despise, a good leader is who people worship. A great leader is he who makes people say "we overselves did it"

If you really look at the responsibilities of a true Scrum Master, he is supposed to be a great leader. One of the key responsibilities of a Scrum Master is to create a Self organizing team, where team is empowered to make decisions, lead the project towards the goal.
* A true Scrum Master(SM) won't spend time micro managing activities of the team and instead, he/she would be working towards creating a space for the team to express themselves.
* SM steps out observing the team, coaching them to move in the right direction. This process of empowerment ultimately makes the team feel possessive about the project and creates an image that "they" did everything.
* A true Scrum Master would stay as an angel not in the view of the team, but keeping a watchful eye on every movement of the team.

So, going back to the quote from Tao Te Ching, the Scrum Masters should not consider themselves as "transformed project managers" but work towards becoming great leaders, satisfying the true meaning of "Scrum Master".

Even though no body is born as a leader, I firmly beleive that some of the leadership skills could be developed by observing other leaders.


Michael Vizdos said...


Great posting! You may also want to check out the following cartoon and blog entry based on this topic:

Thank you.

- mike vizdos

Oliver McPhee said...

Interesting stuff...

Ensuring that the Scrum Master & other scrum roles are well understood is crucial for new teams starting scrum.

I found a nice model on the responsibilities of a scrum master that you maybe interested in...

7 Responsibilities of a Scrum Master

Venkatesh Krishnamurthy said...

Thanks Oliver for posting comment and sharing the link.