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Confused: Join as SM to a new team or as a SM for 2 established teams?

Last post 01:13 pm May 16, 2023 by Harshavardhan Chinchore
5 replies
07:25 pm May 11, 2023


I am being offered a Scrum Master role in 2 orgs in a company. 1st team (Team A) is being newly formed, has all new members (including PO) with varied levels of Agile knowledge and is a new project altogether. There will be an Agile coach to teach the team initially. 2nd offer is to be a Scrum Master for 2 established teams.  They have another Scrum Master working temporarily for them right now.

I have been a Developer/Scrum Master in my previous role and company and have not been a full-fledged Scrum Master. I want to be a Scrum Master going forward but don't know which will be better for me from learning and growth perspective.

Considering that the location, pay and job levels are same for both these offers, what factors should I take into consideration while choosing between the 2 offers?? Is there an obvious choice here that I am missing?

Thanks in advance.

08:26 pm May 11, 2023

Consider the possibility that Scrum is not being implemented in either case and that the framework is misunderstood. In which team would you be most likely to secure the necessary sponsorship for deep and systemic organizational change?

06:49 pm May 12, 2023

Since none of us benefit from the decision it is really up to you to decide the best choice.  As @Ian did, we can suggest questions to ask yourself but we can't provide answers.  

The best suggestion I can give is that you decide what it is you want as a Scrum Master?  What would you like to experience?  What skills would you like to learn or use?  Based on those answers and the one that @Ian asked you should be able to make some progress on the decision.

07:11 pm May 12, 2023

I can't tell you what to do. I can tell you that I would not care about where the Scrum is implemented more properly, or even what team creates more value.

From that perspective team A is better because you will be their first guru, introducing scrum to them, so their framework will be your clay and you will be their Michelangelo.

From another hand it is good to pick up the team with experience knowledge of Scrum so you would not cope with storming, forming, norming and performing stages of team maturing...

But this is all important if you have your financial life secured.

Otherwise do what common prescribes-go for a value(and follow the$$$$)

Try to establish if CEO's like team A or team B more, and where you have better chances to raise within the company ranks, and get better paycheck and then choose the team accordingly.

Good luck

01:41 pm May 15, 2023

Thank you for the helpful insights everyone. These will definitely guide me in choosing between the two options. 

01:13 pm May 16, 2023

Hi Hrsh, 

The experts have already given you food for thought. But here are my two cents.

I've thrived as a scrum master in environments where there is support for its adoption and my role was empowered. I have failed in those environments where the leadership or the management did not do so.  

If you can get a better understanding of mentality of the orgs, that might give you additional points to make your decision and be successful in your role. 

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