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Scrum master Rotation

Last post 05:06 pm August 12, 2014
by Anonymous
4 replies
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09:28 pm August 6, 2014

I work in an organisation with 3 of us as scrum masters, a recently appointed Agile Practice Director and a potential new scrum master to join in a month's time. At present, the 3 scrum masters handle 2 teams each. Our Director has suggested that when the 4th scrum master joins, we might consider moving from the teams we're currently working with and facilitate for different teams instead.

Personally, I am not in favor of this. When I joined 8 months ago, I was assigned a newly formed team with some of the members new to scrum. We've had a lot of upheaval in our team with a lot of comings and goings, changes to our workstream, etc. But now finally we've started to gel together and work successfully as a team. I'm not sure I want to walk away from that yet to a new team where it'll be starting from scratch building up trust. Especially since I'm not sure what benefit the teams are going to get from having their scrum masters shuffled around.

I would be interested to hear what everybody else thinks the pros and cons of this exercise might be.

Thanks in advance!

02:41 am August 7, 2014

> Our Director has suggested that when the 4th
> scrum master joins, we might consider
> moving from the teams we're currently
>working with and facilitate for different teams instead. 

Why isn't the new Scrum Master being allocated to these other teams, thereby containing the risk of change?

What is the Director's reasoning behind making this suggestion? What opportunities does this new Agile Practice Director see?

Discuss this suggestion with the other Scrum Masters in terms of risk and opportunity, and see if you can arrive at a consensus of opinion. Be discrete with your teams, if it isn't too late, as you don't want the rumor mill potentially demoralizing team members.

Have this discussion with the other Scrum Masters as quickly as possible, as you need clear answers to give. Remember that in Scrum it is the Scrum Masters who are responsible for the correct application of the Scrum framework, and not an "agile practice director".

03:04 am August 7, 2014

> Remember that in Scrum it is the Scrum
> Masters who are responsible for the correct
> application of the Scrum framework, and not
> an "agile practice director".

Clarification: I am not criticizing the idea of having an "agile practice director". Sometimes this kind of invented agile role, with a clear executive remit, is the best way to sponsor wider organizational change beyond the Development Teams.

04:44 am August 9, 2014

Product owner is appointed by a line organization
Scrum master is appointed by the team.
If a Agile director is appointing a SM to the team doesn't really add up.
There would be more value in seeing how a new SM does in forming teams, doing the job so to speak.
New team, new environment and new challenges they will be in, not have been in.
Value gained in getting it to working would exceed any drop in to a team set up for them.
Also gives time to evaluate if he or she are the right person for the team and the job.
You have clearly mastered this as SM's so don't agree with the Agile Directors approach.
Get all the SM together with the AD and see what the vision is, any good vision should have the +/-
points already worked out, could be your missing a trick or equally confirmed right.
You wont know unless you ask, could be a success or equally could be an averted disaster ;-)

Michael

05:06 pm August 12, 2014

A fresh pair of eyes, is what was briefly mentioned. We haven’t had a proper discussion about it as that is being deferred to when the new SM joins in September. I feel the other 2 SMs are more open to the idea (one is struggling a bit with her teams who moved from Kanban to Scrum only a couple of months ago). Both SMs have been with their teams for over a year and I feel they are very familiar with the working of the teams, the challenges they face, their strengths and weaknesses as am I. If we were to be moved around, there would definitely be a period of ramping up for all of us. I suppose it’ll come out all right eventually. I’m just not convinced it has to happen.