First scrum master job - remote

Last post 01:35 am August 31, 2021
by Ian Mitchell
2 replies
11:40 pm August 29, 2021

Hello to all,

I would appreciate some advices in regard to my situation. I’m a project manager with 3 years it experience. I just got a job offer as a scrum master. I’ve never been in a agile environment, but have always tried and implemented practices within the groups I’ve worked with.

During the interview I made it very clear that I was never a real scrum master, but mentioned the practices I’ve implemented and results it brought.

However, knowing scrum and doing scrum are very different things. Group I’ve joined has been using agile for the past three years and I am in a close contact with their agile coach who was answering all the questioned I had and promised to coach me once I’m on boarded. 

However, I’m still pretty nervous. Especially since a group is fully remote. As most of us I’ve gained some experience working remotely, but starting a new role is a bit different. Would you please share some advices on how to lean in? 

08:40 pm August 30, 2021

You took a job that has a job title of Scrum Master.  That job title is widely used and varies wildly from organization to organization on what work is actually done. I've seen many companies where the people with titles of Scrum Master or Agile Coach were doing basic project management. Other places they do more program management. And there are some where a Scrum Master is a glorified scribe and report generator. The official Scrum Guide does not provide any job titles/descriptions.  There are 3 roles described but a role can be done by individuals with any title and in some cases will be fulfilled by multiple people. 

They hired you so they obviously think you have the ability to do the job that they expect out of a Scrum Master title.  Don't panic about what you don't know.  Be confident in what you do know.  Take the opportunity to be agile and learn from what you are involved in doing. Do something, inspect, adapt.  That is the basic building block of agility. It sounds like you will have support when you join so take advantage of that.  Since you use the word "agile" instead of Scrum, I'm going to venture a guess that is how they explained it to you.  Chances are you are joining a company that uses some Scrum terms but is not utilizing the Scrum framework.  

To lean in, tell them that you are going to observe and learn how they work.  Don't plan or try to make any changes.  Just observe, ask questions and start to involve yourself in the places that make sense.  Meet with the team and ask them what they expect from someone with the Scrum Master job title.  After all, in a real self-managed, self-organized agile team that is the best way to identify how your skills are best needed.

01:35 am August 31, 2021

Group I’ve joined has been using agile for the past three years

Do you know what agile outcomes they've achieved so far?