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Scrum Master or Daily Stand-Up Facilitator?

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Scrum Master or Daily Stand-Up Facilitator?

Maybe it's time to reevaluate what companies look for in a Scrum Master, and adjust what you think of as a daily standup.

· Agile Zone ·
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“We Need a Scrum Master Who Will Run Our Daily Stand-Ups.”

Rarely have I talked to a recruiter, rarely have I seen a job specification, and rarely have I worked with managers where “running” or “facilitating the daily standup” is not mentioned as a key responsibility of the Scrum Master.

I’m not going to go into the fact that the term "running" is dangerous territory, that facilitation is a better choice, and I’m not going to go into the fact that really, the Scrum Master shouldn’t be participating in the daily standup at all so even facilitation is questionable, or that it’s actually called the Daily Scrum and not the daily standup, and that there are specific, carefully identified reasons for that. That’s not important here.

What’s important is to ask the question, is this really what the company needs of a Scrum Master? Does the company really have such little faith in its developers that it believes only a (usually expensive) Scrum Master can bring them together and facilitate a 15 minutes or less chat about their day’s plan? Surely not. Surely they’ve hired developers who can handle this relatively small task themselves, no?

Of course, there is usually no smoke without fire, so something more than just carelessness (I hope) must provoke such an expectation of a Scrum Master. Perhaps their Daily Scrums are inefficient, exceeding the 15-minute timebox, or straying off-topic, or never even covering the correct topic at all!

So what should employers be looking for? Consider rewriting the following found on a job specification:

"Facilitate daily stand-up meetings."


"Determine where inefficiencies lie in Daily Scrums, why they exist, and coach the team and organization to help remove those inefficiencies, leading to more valuable meetings."

The Scrum Master is no longer being paid to facilitate. Now she is being paid to thoroughly analyze the way a development team meets and what might be deeply rooted in the organization that prevents a valuable Daily Scrum.

scrum ,scrum master ,recruitment ,agile ,daily scrum

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