Scrum Master is leaving

Last post 07:54 am May 9, 2014
by Ian Mitchell
3 replies
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05:44 am May 5, 2014

Hi All,

Scrum master is leaving the team in the middle of the sprint. What are difficulites the team and the new scrum master faces?

Thanks,
Tharmaraj

06:12 am May 5, 2014

Hi Tharmaraj,

How long has the team been lead by the Scrum Master and how long has the team been doing Scrum? What has he done throughout that time? Has he been managing/coordinating the team, babysitting the team or empowering the team to be mature and independent? There shouldn't be major issues if the previoius Scrum Master has been doing the latter.

04:38 pm May 5, 2014

The first thing I would check is the list of impediments and as a development team I would be keen to have those resolved as soon as possible. If the new scrum master is within the team then he/she might be aware of team dynamics and with the product owner which might make the things slightly easier. Anyone who is completely new to the team will take some time to settle into the role. The length of the sprint will also play a role - short sprints (2 weeks) should have less impact.

07:54 am May 9, 2014

> Scrum master is leaving the team in the middle of the sprint. What
> are difficulites the team and the new scrum master faces?

It's possible that the Scrum Master is leaving because of unforeseen personal circumstances that are completely non-work related. However, it's perhaps more likely that such a sudden departure is due to an underlying organizational problem. There could be something going on that has caused the SM to throw in the towel with minimal notice, or perhaps a reactive management style has caused the SM to be pulled from the project and assigned somewhere else.

If I was the replacement SM, I think I'd consider my greatest challenge to be getting overlap and knowledge transfer before my predecessor departs. I'd want to be appraised of the impediments and issues that Hims mentions, and I'd want enough time to observe the dynamics of the team so I can see how mature the team is as Joshua describes. However, I'd also be curious about the reason behind the departure, as there could be problems that are deeper and more profound - or politically sensitive - than those recorded in an impediments list or in a RAID log.