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Should a Scrum Master be assigned another task outside the specific duties and responsibilities as per the Scrum Guide?

Last post 02:58 pm March 13, 2023 by Daniel Wilhite
3 replies
10:35 pm March 12, 2023

I am curious to get your views. There is a slack thread in my Organization where some of the Developers feel that doing away with anyone that is not technical/an engineer is a good idea. As per the chat message and I quote "Developers can demonstrate added value easily, tickets closed, features developed etc. while PO/SM have a harder time saying, I did and it added this value" Obviously there is a lot of knowledge gap that needs to be filled and there is also a mindset that needs to be changed.

Just to add some more context, there are 7 teams with 3 Scrum Masters and some PO also feel that they do not need a Scrum Master yet we are using the Agile Scrum Framework. How best can I approach and contribute to educate the team with result oriented so that the PO/Developers and Organization as a whole can see the real value of a Scrum Master in any team or Organization given that I newly joined the organization?


12:02 am March 13, 2023

A Scrum Master and Product Owner are accountabilities described in the Scrum Guide. If the current SM and PO were disposed of, who would then be accountable?

12:50 am March 13, 2023

A Scrum master is both a facilitator and coach who helps the scrum team and broader organization understand and apply Scrum theory and practice. The Scrum master helps the scrum team work more effectively by skillfully removing obstacles and distractions that may impede the team from meeting goals.

02:58 pm March 13, 2023

I want to remind everyone that the Scrum Guide does not provide job titles or job descriptions. It provides 3 accountabilities that need to be recognized in order for the team to be effective.  The actual job title and job description for the individuals that fulfill those accountabilities can be anything that the organization wants them to be.  For example, no one seems to have a difficulty with Developers having titles like Software Engineer or Quality Assurance Engineer.  So someone fulfilling the Scrum Master accountabilities could have a different title with other duties assigned. However, if the organization wants to be successful with the Scrum framework, the individuals fulfilling the Scrum Master accountabilities need to be able to evangelize to the organization how to work within and support the Scrum framework.  They need to be able to focus on how things are done and not what is done.  They need to be able to support the entire organization in their learning and understanding of the Scrum framework and its empirical nature. 

Developers may not see the need for the non-technical.  But I have helped them understand by reminding them that without someone fulfilling the Product Owner and Scrum Master roles, they will be forced to interact with the business and customers who are mostly non-technical.  This usually helps them understand why those roles are needed and how they help the technical individuals focus on the work that they enjoy.

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