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The 8 Stances of a Scrum Master, 2nd Edition

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The 8 Stances of a Scrum Master, 2nd Edition

Since 8 Stances of a Scrum Master proved so popular, the Scrum Master behind them has decided to offer some additions and edits to his original list. Read on for more!

· Agile Zone ·
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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.

Learn more about the myths about Scrum and DevOps. Download the whitepaper now brought to you in partnership with Scrum.org.

scrum ,agile ,scrum master

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