The need of a new kind of Scrum Master

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

Around 5 years ago, I read for the first time a book in spanish called “Por un Scrum Popular”.

Before that moment, I had already started my path as Scrum Master but it was until I read that book that I understood the real power and responsibility of a Scrum Master. It was a breath of fresh air. It showed how noble, people oriented and unselfish the profession could be. I wanted to be part of it.

Unfortunately after 5 years this “movement” appears to have stopped. The authors of the book became more quiet and the Scrum that has gain popularity is the one in which the Scrum Master is only a transitory role to becoming an Agile Trainer, Coach or even consultant. It seems that the focus is to leave that role as soon as possible instead of growing and developing it. This is not the Scrum role I signed for.

Reemergence of the Scrum Master

The Scrum Master I am talking about is the one that cares about people, that understands that there are many ways to reach a goal but the way we do them actually matters. A role that knows that every single person can achieve unbelievable things and we are there to suppor them. A role that lives in the shadows, because even a small spark might steal it from the others. A role that knows that we all are imperfect and yet, capable of creating beauty. A role that is not trying to “fix” things but to experience with others the creation of new environments. A role in which learning and growing never stops to be exciting. A role of experimentation and discovery of people within the people. This is the role I am talking about.

How to become that Scrum Master?

In short, accept and embrace our human nature. We are made of feelings, we are not even close of being perfect, we get easily distracted, we repeat mistakes, we have fears and we have hopes, we have people we love and people we hate. All those attributes make us be who we are and that is by itself beautiful. A Scrum Master does not try to change others or criticises or even tries to teach people something. A Scrum Master accepts and works inside all those human attributes, embraces them and works with others to discover new possibilities. A Scrum Master is curious about each person, about each direction and is brave to work with uncertainty.

Once you start working on this way you’ll see a huge difference on what happens around you and you’ll feel complete. And once you have that feeling for the first time you’ll never want to let it go.

What’s next?

It is up to you how you want to continue. From my side I was never happy with the way the role of Scrum Master was moving. I tried to get angry, to ignore it, to protest. But the reality is that each person should be able to decide how they want to act. For me, and I know that for many others out there, a Scrum Master is a role for the people, a role that represents a movement against command and control schemes and traditional managerial processes. A role that brings hope and commits to the team. A role that by itself means learning. It doesn’t matter if you are starting or you have many years of experience, the role is the same and the purpose remains. It is a role to dream and allow people to dream, a role to grow together, and most important to respect each other’s humanity. A role that places people first and then results, which paradoxically helps to highlight and improve results.

I’ll continue working on this, to bring it everywhere I work, to share it with my colleagues and the people I know and to write more about it. Perhaps a community will be built? It doesn’t matter at least you should know that if you think like this, you are not alone.

Thanks for reading!



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