Skip to main content

SM responsibilities

Last post 07:17 pm September 27, 2022 by Daniel Wilhite
7 replies
07:57 am September 24, 2019


As all of us know SM is responsible and serves for organization, PO and the DEV team. While SM is working for the team and organization the management is like a stakeholder. In our company one of the manager changed the resource without asking to any SMs, he contacted to developers directly and finally a change has been occured. And I heard this situation in an announcement. As far as i know we have to deal with this situation SM and the development team together.

I am not sure about the SM and management responsibilities and roles and their engagement. Can we summarize the SM's competenece areas to solve management problems? Moreover how can SM coach the upper management?



09:16 am September 24, 2019

The Scrum Guide says: "The Scrum Master helps those outside the Scrum Team understand which of their interactions with the Scrum Team are helpful and which aren’t. The Scrum Master helps everyone change these interactions to maximize the value created by the Scrum Team."

In addition, it says the Scrum Master's duties include leading and coaching the organization in its Scrum adoption.

Is there any evidence, in your company, that management want Scrum to be implemented well? If they claim they do, have you asked them what they think the consequences of their present behavior are likely to be in this regard?


09:39 am September 24, 2019

As far as i know we have to deal with this situation SM and the development team together.

Ideally, the Development Team is self organizing, they know best. So, changes in resources should come from the team itself, not be pushed to them.

That said, contacting the Dev team about this change directly is not a bad thing. It could add to the transparency to have the manager do this, because the manager can also account and elaborate on the decision. What is not tansparent, is to leave thr SM out of this, that sounds like an improvement point to me.

The SM is responsible 

The Scrum Guide says:

The Scrum Master helps those outside the Scrum Team understand which of their interactions with the Scrum Team are helpful and which aren’t. The Scrum Master helps everyone change these interactions to maximize the value created by the Scrum Team.

So, there you have it. 

The SG also give a nice list of SM subjects for you:

Scrum Master Service to the Organization

The Scrum Master serves the organization in several ways, including:

  • Leading and coaching the organization in its Scrum adoption;
  • Planning Scrum implementations within the organization;
  • Helping employees and stakeholders understand and enact Scrum and empirical product development;
  • Causing change that increases the productivity of the Scrum Team; and,
  • Working with other Scrum Masters to increase the effectiveness of the application of Scrum in the organization.



02:55 pm September 24, 2019

I experienced this exact situation multiple times with my past employer.  Everything that @Ian Mitchell and @Xander Ladage have said is correct.  As a Scrum Master you have the responsibility to help everyone in your organization understand how their interactions are most beneficial.

Since I was in the exact situation many times in the last year, let me share a couple of things that helped.  Myself and the other Scrum Masters asked to attend one of the Engineering Manager's staff meetings. In that meeting we explained to them how changes in team composition has the potential to put a high functioning team into chaos.  As Scrum Master the team dynamic falls into our domain.  We used actual examples of how some of the past changes that the Engineering Managers made without notifying anyone other than the developers had caused a dip in team performance and productivity.  We were able to convince them that by providing us information ahead of any changes would enable us to start preparing for possible circumstances so that we can minimize any impacts.  The key is to help them understand that you are not going to try and push back on their decisions but that you are trying to help them make the changes successful. 

09:41 am September 25, 2019

Hi All,


Thanks for all your replies and supports. The other scrum masters and i take in action to coach the managers and we have decide to take a small meeting to make everyone's understanding in the same direction.

07:20 am September 27, 2022

Recently, I took the role of the Scrum Master for a new project. The development team holds members with multiple skillsets namely DevOps, SAP, Power BI etc. 

As a SM, I could understand that my one of the responsibility is to control the interactions by external team ensuring that only the valuable discussions that results with a productive outcome is encouraged. 

In this new team, I am getting a request from a member with DevOps skillset to schedule a call with another member of SAP Skillset (within the same team)  to have an understanding on the requirement. To groom the team to be a self organized, I requested them to discuss among themselves rather than me interfering and bridging them.

Please comment on my approach.


04:59 pm September 27, 2022

Why are team members unable to collaborate effectively, without having you as an intermediary? What reason are they giving for this constraint?

07:17 pm September 27, 2022

A Scrum Master is not a secretary or assistant.  Why should you be expected to schedule a meeting?  If these individuals were in an actual office together, would they still expect you to schedule a meeting? Or would one of them walk across the floor and talk to the other? Being remote does not make the situation any different.  The two of them should be able to get together on their own.  

Please comment on my approach.

Ok, I see no reason you should have done anything different.  However, if in discovering the answer to @Ian's question, you uncover some reason (valid or not) you should as a Scrum Master help the team to overcome the impediment that is being used to prevent them from freely communicating with each other.

By posting on our forums you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.

Please note that the first and last name from your member profile will be displayed next to any topic or comment you post on the forums. For privacy concerns, we cannot allow you to post email addresses. All user-submitted content on our Forums may be subject to deletion if it is found to be in violation of our Terms of Use. does not endorse user-submitted content or the content of links to any third-party websites.

Terms of Use may, at its discretion, remove any post that it deems unsuitable for these forums. Unsuitable post content includes, but is not limited to, Professional-level assessment questions and answers, profanity, insults, racism or sexually explicit content. Using our forum as a platform for the marketing and solicitation of products or services is also prohibited. Forum members who post content deemed unsuitable by may have their access revoked at any time, without warning. may, but is not obliged to, monitor submissions.