scrum master delegate

Last post 03:05 pm April 9, 2021
by flavia ferlito
7 replies
09:07 pm April 8, 2021

hi all,

if the PO may delegate the responsibility to others, but remains still accountable, what about Scrum master?

can anyone else do their work, but the Scrum master still remains accountable for establishing scrum as defined in the scrum guide?



09:54 pm April 8, 2021

Considering that Product Owner and Scrum Master are roles and not job descriptions I have always felt that your assessment is correct.  Having said that I want to point that there is only 1 Scrum Master and 1 Product Owner in a Scrum Team.  And the Scrum Guide does say that the Product Owner is not a committee.  So that same would hold true in my opinion of the Scrum Master.

Also note that the Scrum Master role does a lot of facilitating.  Merriam-Webster defines facilitate as 

to make easier help bring about

It doesn't say anything about doing all the work.  The Product Owner is responsible for providing specific information and specific activities.  So it seems that delegating Product Owner work is more useful.  For example, as a Scrum Master you can facilitate that the events occur by reminding someone to schedule the event on people's calendars.  You can facilitate the Daily Scrum by reminding people to attend or having technology in place to share the Sprint Backlog. So I see less delegating and more facilitating from the Scrum Master.  I am not even sure what a Scrum Master would delegate. 


10:34 pm April 8, 2021

I agree with Daniel, especially about not being sure what a Scrum Master would delegate to someone else.

Looking through the ways that the Scrum Master serves the different stakeholders, there's a running theme of coaching, helping, facilitating, training, and advising. As the Scrum Master teaches the organization and team about agility and Scrum, I would expect the team to be able to do more on their own without the active involvement of the Scrum Master. However, even if the Scrum Master becomes less active and hands-on, I don't see how they can delegate their accountability for effectiveness.

04:09 am April 9, 2021

The Scrum Master is a Servant Leader, but not necessarily the only Servant Leader for a team and organization. He or she should be an exemplar and inspire others to higher greatness.

07:19 am April 9, 2021

Hi all,

for instance, I was thinking to delegate some coaching. what if they have to coach different groups at the same time?

it could be both organization and scrum team need some coach sessions in the same day, could the scrum master delegate the PO to coach the business team to learn scrum framework and be present in person to coach the developers in have a 15mins daily scrum meeting because it has been requested ?

or is it just better to postpone an event due to the conflict so that scrum master can do both in person?


another scenario came into in my mind, can they delegate a specific developer to send the retrospective invite meeting?




12:37 pm April 9, 2021

To answer, "or is it just better to postpone an event due to the conflict so that scrum master can do both in person?"

Instead of postponing it is better to send PO to coach the business team. But Scrum Master need to make sure PO knows everything about the coaching. A PO may not be aware of all the details which Scrum Master is aware of. The Scrum Master may need to coach PO first for this, which may or may not be possible. 

If both Scrum Team and Organization need coaching, Scrum Master can ask both of them to sit together and coach both of them at the same time, isn't it?


"another scenario came into in my mind, can they delegate a specific developer to send the retrospective invite meeting?" - Depends on developer's availability and willingness to do this. 

02:36 pm April 9, 2021

I still have a hang up on the word "delegate".  Scrum Masters are servant leaders, facilitators and coaches.  Servant leaders lead by example for the most part, facilitators make things possible to occur and coaches help people how to do things for themselves.  In your scenarios, I don't see that as delegating as much as it being facilitation.  You are making it possible for activities to occur. 

I will also say that your last scenario of having someone send a meeting invitation is what should be happening anyway.  As a Scrum Master I never send invitations for the events or any meeting.  They are usually intended for the attendees and I am not even required to be there.  So from the very beginning I tell my teams that I won't send invitations. If they need help determining who should attend, I will aid in that.  But they are the ones that are gaining from the gathering and such should be in control of the event. 

03:05 pm April 9, 2021

so the answer should be in theory yes, as Scrum guide doesn't exclude,

but in practice no,

because they work as example and guide most of time (facilitator and leader who serves the team) and in case of coaching someone can coach if needed on behalf of team scrum master but they would have been coached by the team scrum master?