The previous weeks I’ve taken some time to re-write the white paper "The 8 Stances of a Scrum Master." Given my sessions at Scrum Day London, Scrum Day Warsaw, and Scrum Day Europe I wanted to offer the participants a paper with my latest insights and lessons learned. In this blog post, I’ll share the changes in this 2nd edition. I hope you enjoy the result!
In the first edition of the paper, the main focus was describing the 8 preferred stances of a Scrum Master. These are not the ultimate truth, they’re based on my personal experiences and how I prefer to fulfill the role. In the paper, I describe the Scrum Master as a Servant Leader, Coach, Facilitator, Teacher, Mentor, Manager, Impediment Remover, and Change Agent. Every chapter contains my lessons learned acting as a Scrum Master and my findings while studying books, articles, and videos.
The three major changes in the second edition of the white paper are:
- The most common misunderstandings about the Scrum Master.
- Why I’ve changed my title from Agile Coach to 100% Scrum Master.
- Visualizations to increase the readability.
Change #1: Scrum Master Misunderstandings
After being a (not so successful) Project Manager for some time, I started experimenting with the Scrum Master role. Although I thought the role wasn’t that difficult to understand, I surely didn’t give it the credit it deserved. I was mostly acting as a Scribe, Secretary, Scrum Police Officer, Team Boss, Tooling Administrator, Chairman, Hero, and Coffee Clerk. As a result, the Scrum team wasn’t self-organizing, didn’t own the process, and seemed to get Zombie-Scrum characteristics. I had to change the way I fulfilled the Scrum Master role drastically. By following courses, reading books, watching videos, and learning from other Scrum Masters, I slowly improved myself. After a couple of years, I became a Scrum Master who acted according to the 8 preferred stances.
During these years, I also learned I definitely wasn’t the only Scrum Master fulfilling the role according to these misunderstandings. Therefore I decided to share my lessons learned and hopefully create a better understanding of the Scrum Master role.
Change #2: 100% Scrum Master
A couple of months ago, I removed Agile Coach from my resume and replaced it with Scrum Master. 100% Scrum Master. Although it seems like a small change, it raised some concerns:
- “You should stick with Agile Coach. As a freelancer, that’s a far more popular job title.”
- “No, don’t change it to Scrum Master, you’ll get paid less!“
- “All the cool stuff is done by Agile Coaches, as a Scrum Master you’re stuck within your Scrum Team.”
But really, don’t call yourself a Scrum Master, your freelance career will be doomed!
So why did I change my title from Agile Coach to Scrum Master? In the white paper, I’ve added a chapter in which I explain this change by using the values of Scrum.
Change #3: Cool Visualizations
From a visual perspective, the first edition of the white paper was pretty boring. A lot of text, hardly any pictures. Especially for the upcoming workshops, training sessions, and presentations, it was necessary to enrich my story visually. Luckily, I’ve got a girlfriend with outstanding drawing skills. She created some awesome visualizations! These visuals alone are already a good reason the read the white paper!
Since I published the first edition of this white paper in 2016, it triggered quite a response in the Scrum community. I got asked to be a trainer, workshop facilitator, and public speaker. This encouraged me to improve the white paper into this new edition, create new training material, and re-think what I wrote earlier. Together with the Scrum community, I want to share lessons learned and collaboratively create a better understanding of the Scrum Master role.