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Prospective Scrum Master

Last post 05:22 pm October 22, 2021 by Margis Degefe
3 replies
04:01 pm October 21, 2021

Hello, any advice would greatly be appreciated. I was always interested in Scrum but never really decided to move forward until recently. I have been studying and will take the PSM1 any day now. 

So no background in IT project management. However, I managed a business for quite a while and structured the whole company into adopting scrum like practices of self reliance and promoting accountability. The more I studied scrum, the more it made sense that it could be applied on everyday things even personal life and currently using scrum practices on a home renovation construction project. My contractor asked me to coach him about agile management techniques and wants me to coach his other employees for a discounted price on my home renovation, he is aware of my experience but is very happy on how work was being done that he didn’t mind my lack of experience. Thankfully, the construction workers were on board and were thankful how clear their tasks were. Applying it helped me greatly understand the theory and it’s uses.

My question is how do you demonstrate to recruiters that you have what it takes to be a good scrum master with no experience. I feel like I would make a great scrum master, due to my business experience as well as leadership qualities and a deep understanding of scrum and many transferable skills. Most importantly, I am really eager and really believe in the scrum theory...


Please help on next steps...

06:35 pm October 21, 2021

My question is how do you demonstrate to recruiters that you have what it takes to be a good scrum master with no experience. 

What complexities were faced in the renovation project you described, and how was empiricism used to manage the associated risks?

If I was a recruiter I suppose I might ask something like that, and thereby consider the experience you do have.

06:37 pm October 21, 2021

I don't want to say it's easy. It'll most likely take time. But being able to tell such a story about yourself already gives you an advantage. It says a lot about your character and passion, and that will set you apart from other candidates.

You might even strengthen this by becoming involved in a Scrum community, perhaps by participating regularly on this forum, joining other online groups, or attending virtual or in-person events.

There will be some employers that demand a certain candidate profile, and are unwilling to compromise. But there are others that are more flexible, and will perhaps moderate their expectations in some areas, if the candidate has other qualities and demonstrates the right mindset and passion to be able to grow into the role.

Work- and regional- culture may heavily influence how receptive employers are to hiring based on an individual profile, rather than a specific set of skills and experience, so if you don't find opportunities in your local area, you might consider applying for online roles in other locations.

When you do apply to employers and recruiters, you should probably let them know what it is about you that sets you apart, in order for them to look past your limited experience, and give you a chance. This might require you to write a good cover letter, or try extra hard to get an introductory call with employers and recruiters.

Don't be afraid to apply for positions that ask for more experience than you have. You should be up-front and honest if you lack certain skills or experience, but you can use it as an opportunity to describe what unique qualities you do bring, and how these may compensate for a lack of experience.

10:28 pm October 21, 2021

Thank you Ian and Simon. Both answers were super helpful. 

Ian, the complexities that were faced in the project included late delivery of items which affected the sprint goal immensely. But since the contraction workers were cross-functional, they were able to accomplish a lot of other items on the list that didn’t require the delayed materials. Another complexity I will add and one that thought me a lot is unanticipated issues arising that needed to be fixed for the work to continue. That’s how I learned the empirical aspect of scrum. Half a day had to be dedicated to rewiring the electrical system, which was not planned but needed to be done; adaptation.


Simon, thank you for the tips, I will definitely be straightforward about my experience as I don’t want to be in a situation where I let the employers and myself down by over commiting. But like you said, I will highlight my other skills that will definitely be useful in the scrum framework. Communications, and being passionate about challenges and putting small fires out before they get big. And being trilingual won’t hurt either. 

I appreciate both of you and wish me luck.

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