Does the team still need scrum master? -After the team matures (transfer)


This article is reproduced from the official account of WeChat, “the North Ming tangerine”. The author: Guan Tingting.

When can we get rid of this

As team members become more familiar with the scrum process, the work of Scrum master gradually decreases. Many people have a question: do mature scrum teams still need a scrum master? Or at least, do they need a full-time scrum master?

I have two views on this issue

  1. need. Even the best team will benefit from having a good scrum master. But with the team’s agile maturity, the focus of Scrum master’s work is changing.

  2. Long term needs. The team actually needs scrum master tutoring time, which is much longer than most people think.

Many teams that have just come into contact with Scrum adopt the form of part-time scrum master. In addition to coaching the team to comply with the scrum process, Scrum master also undertakes part of the delivery work as a team member, or undertakes part of the management work as a PM. To make such a decision is to have no understanding of what scrum and agile are.

After continuous practice, the team is gradually familiar with Scrum process, can skillfully facilitate all scrum meetings, and has established a more direct and closer working relationship with PO. They can communicate effectively and resolve conflicts by themselves. Scrum master can gradually withdraw from these fields.

However, this does not mean that the team no longer needs scrum master. Because a very important practice of agile is continuous improvement.

The more mature the scrum team is, the more the scrum master needs to dig out and study the details, make the team aware that there is still room for improvement, and use innovative methods to guide the team. At this stage, the work difficulty of Scrum master increases significantly, and the requirements for the ability of Scrum master coach also rise to the level of professional coach.

Therefore, as the maturity of Scrum team improves, the focus of Scrum master’s task also changes.

I have discussed with my agile coaches that it is easy to be a scrum master in a new scrum team or a mature scrum team. The conclusion is that although the focus of the task has changed and the skills used are slightly different, it is not easy. If this position is set as a part-time job, it is difficult to guarantee the maximum value to the team.

It is worth noting that the maturity of Scrum team is not a slowly rising curve, but ups and downs. Sometimes, even when the team seems to be highly mature, it will still break the original rhythm because of a small event, or break the established trust and transparency, and return to the pre liberation overnight.

A scrum master shared a story. As a scrum master, she spent 24 iterations with the team, and the agile maturity of the team was quite good. However, shortly after she left, the team quickly returned to the state before scrum was used at first. The review meeting was not held every iteration, and the only station meeting was reserved, but it was just acting.

This is because the team, in addition to skillfully following the scrum process, has not developed into a self-discipline and self-organizing team with the help of the process. The communication, cooperation and conflict resolution abilities of team members are not really cultivated. After the absence of Scrum master, such a team soon disintegrated, because in the way forward, the process is secondary and the talent is the core.

Therefore, the maturity of Scrum team should not be measured by familiarity with the process, but by deeper things, such as scrum values.

Scrum Values

If we measure the maturity of Scrum team from the unity of knowledge and practice of values, it will take a longer time for a team to really mature from the beginning of using scrum, and it will take a longer time for scrum master to coach.

So do you understand the role of Scrum master in the team? Is a part-time job OK for scrum master?

Welcome to ask questions and discuss below.

This article first appeared inBob Jiang’s blogFor reprint, please contactBob Jiang