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Scrum Master Isn't Scrum

I just recently saw someone joking about Scrum on the Twitter. He wasn't very fond of Scrum because by his own words, "What kind of methodology is it, when it needs a single dedicated person to enforce it?" We are talking about Scrum Master role here. I'm having many problems with this statement.

First things first, we need to specify the size of company we are talking about. Sure, a massive company needs a dedicated person in a same way as, for example, an HR role. Or someone who is responsible only for marketing (hi Veronika). If you can justify having dedicated Project Manager, having a dedicated Scrum Master is hardly an issue and it shouldn't be held against Scrum.

But let's say we are talking about a small company, maybe even a startup. You absolutely don't need a dedicated person, it can be someone from your team. It's not that there is a sharp border between your coders and Scrum Master which is doing Scrum. Your whole team should do the Scrum. The Scrum Master is just an element which lowers the friction between Product Owner and rest of the team. Which makes sure sub-tasks are moving smoothly through sprint and no one is stuck for too long with one. Which can say no to adding more features to already started sprint. But if the team itself is apathetic to daily stand-ups and Scrum Master has to enforce them every time, you aren't doing Scrum right then. From time to time, I hear negative things about Scrum but it usually boils down to three problems.

  • You're enforcing Scrum even though you don't really need a Scrum

  • You treat Scrum as a religion which cannot be even slightly bend to your needs

  • You bend Scrum so much to the point it's not even Scrum

The last point is actually pretty usual. Someone heard Scrum is "the thing" so the company switched to this methodology. On the surface level. Team is probably doing all types of meetings but new stories are added to the sprint when Product Owner tells without any estimation. Backlog is planned at the start of the project and is treated as sacred relic during the project lifespan. And project manager is complaining the Scrum doesn't work. No wonder when you do waterfall under the hood.

If you happen to be from Czech Republic and this kind of situation is familiar to you or even when you're still at the university and want experience the real development process with Scrum, consider visiting our FeelScrum workshop. There are many misconceptions about Scrum we will address and you will also be able to try the development process with commonly used tools like Jira, Confluence or Jenkins.

This short article features 23 mentions of word Scrum. I'm so sorry about that :-)

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