Can a Scrum Master raise voice on Scrum Team?

Last post 06:13 pm November 10, 2019
by Mark Adams
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08:58 pm November 6, 2019

I am part of a newly formed Scrum team (3 months old) where our Scrum Master comes from a senior manager background, Often we observe that Scrum master try to manage (micro manage) scrum team and recently Scrum master has raised her voice on the scrum team during a team brainstorming event.

Reason Scrum Master is acting like subject matter expert and guiding team what to do and what not to do.

My question for the community is, is it ok for Scrum Master to put an SME hat whenever she feels and start jumping and controlling Scrum team work? Further is it ok if Scrum Master gets aggressive on the team.

If not, is there anything which Scrum Master qualification says around the behaviour and how to behave in the team?



09:22 pm November 6, 2019

You're putting it subjectively. "whenever she feels", "jumping and controlling", "getting aggressive". And you know just as well as I do that the Scrum Guide says nowhere "thou shalt keep a maximum of 60 decibel". So I get the feeling you are leading (and maybe answering) your own question.

Just as an exercise in respect, you could:

  • step 1) take a moment to try and put yourself in the place of the Scrum Master. Assume that her intentions are good and that you and her are both trying to make the best of things.
     
  • step 2) and then rephrase your question, but ask it from the perspective of your Scrum Master.

As a general suggestion... Have your team discussed behavior rules, norms and values? Generally, you can't fault each other for things you have no transparency and openness about and no agreements on :)

09:48 pm November 6, 2019

My question for the community is, is it ok for Scrum Master to put an SME hat whenever she feels and start jumping and controlling Scrum team work? Further is it ok if Scrum Master gets aggressive on the team.

Is that a question the team would be comfortable asking itself?

10:13 pm November 6, 2019

My question for the community is, is it ok for Scrum Master to put an SME hat whenever she feels and start jumping and controlling Scrum team work? Further is it ok if Scrum Master gets aggressive on the team.

If not, is there anything which Scrum Master qualification says around the behaviour and how to behave in the team?

@Druv Arora, Quite a common theme where a previous middle manager takes on the role of a Scrum Master and thinks the previous way of working is okay. The Command & Control side acting up. However, there is nothing that says a Scrum Master cannot be a SME, but the thing that the Scrum Master should understand and improve upon is, is he/she truly enabling  a team to be self-organizing and self-managing if he/she comes to the team's rescue every time?

A Scrum Master with a Do this, Do that attitude needs to really step back and truly understand the stance which they should be taking.

 

06:13 pm November 10, 2019

Many Scrum Masters these days are reformed Project and Program Managers. What their certification body (you know which one) teaches them is in conflict with the new world of business agility. They are new to working on empowered Scrum teams. "You mean a junior developer can help make a decision without a Director signing off? That's preposterous!" They come from a command and control structure where there is little to no room for innovation and decision-making at a team member level. 

Is it possible that the Scrum Master is stressed out and learning with the team? Maybe she was having a bad day. Try having a lunch or coffee conversation with her privately. Respectfully express your concerns with her. If she comes from a senior background, she will appreciate the feedback. Scrum or waterfall, you're dealing with people here.