It's past midnight...now what?

Last post 05:38 pm January 13, 2022
by Urs Lässer
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06:35 pm January 9, 2022

So I fell more and more in love with Scrum and its rules the more I studied for my PSM. Every fake test I took...every time I read 'the bible'...every time I admonished myself for forgetting that the Product Owner has the ultimate responsibility if a stakeholder complains about a product's progress, or even if the PO just asks for help. 

Then I passed the test with a 92%. I understood. I loved the rules and learning the ways the relationships within a scrum team worked.

Then I started looking at jobs.

First job I looked at under the responsibilities tab I saw, "Must report to the Product Owner every day." Second job I looked at called for the Scrum Master to furnish a daily report to management about the Developers' work that day. Really? Was I being naiive for expecting companies to adhere to Scrum rules (and not just some of them?) Weren't we told that you can't pick or choose which scrum rules to observe?

So, to my fellow scrummers, what should I expect from this point on? And if it's this, I was just curious what the scrum founders say about job listings like this. Thanks...

05:48 am January 11, 2022

As a Scrum Master you manage the Scrum Framework, which means managing people's understanding of it. You manage what they have in their heads. So be good at wondering about the things you see going on, and how Scrum outcomes would be achieved by them.

11:44 am January 11, 2022

"Must report to the Product Owner every day."

"Scrum Master to furnish a daily report to management about the Developers' work that day"

How does these company operations impeding the delivery of value ? Scrum is purposefully incomplete and it is build upon the collective intelligence of the people using it. So it depends on each organisation how these responsibilities are distributed. There can not be strict rules to keep it or not, But doing it in Lean way as much as possible is what to be considered.

03:00 pm January 11, 2022

Unfortunately, you're seeing what many companies think is Scrum.  Personally, I do not know of a single company that is fully utilizing the Scrum framework.  Some are using parts of it better than others but as the Scrum Guide states:

While implementing only parts of Scrum is possible, the result is not Scrum. 

Companies have existed for so long in a command/control structure that it is extremely difficult for them to see any other way.  Job title and rank on the corporate ladder are part of your identity.  With Scrum, job titles and rank are not a factor. 

As @Ian Mitchell and @Balaji Dhamodaran state, today's Scrum Masters are more often faced with situations where they have to help their organization understand how the Scrum framework can be applied to help solve problems.  And often that is something you have work on by educating up the corporate ladder.  

My advice is to find a company that is in a situation where you feel you can work and provide some help to them in improving their understanding of Scrum.  Find one where your understanding and appreciation for the Scrum framework can help them to become more able to deliver solutions to complex problems.  Find one that will allow you to grow your knowledge and experience in helping the organization be more able to quickly adapt to changes.  Don't expect to find the perfect implementation of Scrum.  I don't believe it exists but would be thrilled to find out I am wrong.

03:54 am January 12, 2022

Yes...that is sage advice. Of course, my scrum master friend, who introduced me to Scrum, is much less of an idealist. (Just take the money and shut up!) 

05:38 pm January 13, 2022

If there was a company with an already existing perfect adaption of Scrum, why should the hire a (new) Scrum Master?

Being a good Scrum Master is really a tough job - my thinking is, companies most need you when they realise that they are less than perfect.