Scrum Master or Zen Master?

Another Scrum-Master Anti-Pattern

Well – of course there is not one Scrum-Master anti-pattern. There are dozens.

Let’s look at a special one today: The Scrum-Master as the Ruler, the Projectmanager, the Sovereign of the project.

To cut it short – Scrum-Masters are not.
Originally weren’t meant to be at least.
Maybe sometimes they actually are – but they should not.

It is about the verb ‘master’

Here is what the dictionary on my computer has to say about the verb master:

2 it took ages to master the technique:
learn, become proficient in, know inside out, know (frontward and) backwards; pick up, grasp, understand; informal get the hang of.

If you look at it that way, a scrum master becomes to scrum what a zen master is to zen: someone who has mastered scrum and now is able to help others – at their request to become more proficient in what they do.

Of course he also has a lot of other duties as well, but the fundamental idea of ‘mastering the process framework‘ in contrast to being the ‘Master of the team’ is really a big difference in the attitude.

The Scrum Guide explicitly states that ‘The Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Scrum Team’, perhaps this is worth taking into consideration from time to time.

till next time
  Michael Mahlberg

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