Why is this even a thing?

Last post 05:31 pm January 25, 2021
by Simon Mayer
2 replies
03:54 pm January 23, 2021

I'm certain I am not the only one who has been on the job hunt over the last year or so. During my job hunt, I have noticed time and time again on job descriptions from companies the following requirements...

Blah blah company is looking for a Scrum Master!

Must have X years of industry experience, examples being Healthcare / Banking / Finance / Retail etc. 

Must have Y years of product specific experience, examples being Big Data / Credit Processing / Cloud

Then they basically copy the scrum guide description of a Scrum Master:

Coaching the team members in self-management and cross-functionality;

Helping the Scrum Team focus on creating high-value Increments that meet the Definition of Done;

Causing the removal of impediments to the Scrum Team’s progress; and,

Ensuring that all Scrum events take place and are positive, productive, and kept within the timebox.

Helping find techniques for effective Product Goal definition and Product Backlog management;

Helping the Scrum Team understand the need for clear and concise Product Backlog items;

Helping establish empirical product planning for a complex environment; and,

Facilitating stakeholder collaboration as requested or needed.

Leading, training, and coaching the organization in its Scrum adoption;

Planning and advising Scrum implementations within the organization;

Helping employees and stakeholders understand and enact an empirical approach for complex work; and,

Removing barriers between stakeholders and Scrum Teams.

My personal favorite, is must have experience with scaled frameworks / distributed teams / managing multiple teams at once across multiple projects.

Must have Project Management experience and a PMP is preferred LOL...


Okay, so, what have we learned about these companies?

  1. They don't have a good understanding of their own market or product, and they need an expert to come in and explain it to them.
  2. They don't want to follow the agile values or principles, much less the scrum guide.
  3. They want a project manager who knows scrum and can give them the benefits of it without changing their organization or approach.
  4. They expect a single person to wear a PM/PO/SM hat all at once for the cost of a SM.

Exactly what in the hell could you possibly pay someone who is essentially a product owner who already understands the solution to a market problem, has the ability to organize teams to achieve this objective, and even has the ability to guide them through the process of doing it... This is a CEO of a start up, why would they work for a company, when they're perfectly capable of starting their own and taking all the profits?

How the hell are companies still this out of touch with reality in 2021, when scrum is like 20+ years old? How do we Scrum Masters help educate these companies?

05:31 pm January 23, 2021

This is a CEO of a start up, why would they work for a company, when they're perfectly capable of starting their own and taking all the profits?

Well, maybe the previous Scrum Master left to form a start-up. Now managers have told HR to back-fill the role, but without inspecting and adapting to understand the skills they have truly lost, or why.

How do we Scrum Masters help educate these companies?

It's a slow and tortuous process. It can be much faster and sometimes more rewarding to train the Scrum Masters who leave.


05:31 pm January 25, 2021

When I was looking for my first full-time appointment, I appreciated these descriptions because you could spot them a mile away.

They helped me quickly narrow down my search, by giving good insights into what an organization wanted from a Scrum Master.

If I felt the organization was unwilling to change, then I avoided wasting our time by putting my name forward.