Scrum Master, a management position?

by Sampath Prahalad

Time and again in my Agile and Scrum journey, I get asked “So, is Scrum Master a management position or not?”

Here is what I think.

Scrum Master is definitely a management position, but of a different kind.

The Scrum Master does not manage people. The people are already self managed and self organized. Any attempt to manage the people in the team causes hurdles and does not help the team or their productivity.

So, what does the Scrum Master manage?

The Scrum Master manages

  • Resources: No.. No, not the human resources, but other physical and hardware resources. Ensures that the product development environment is in perfect condition. All licences and certificates taken care of, none of them expiring during the ongoing Sprint, etc.
  • Impediments and Risks: Manages the impediments effectively and keeps hacking at them to create a path forward for the team. Encourages the team to bring up any potential risks that could deter them from the Sprint goal.
  • Dependencies: Manages any dependencies with other product teams or other people external to the team.
  • Process adherence: Adherence to what process? The Scrum process framework that the team tailored to their advantage. Ensuring that the process is continuously tweaked for the benefit of the team.

So, the Scrum Master manages anything and everything that comes in the way of the product development team and threatens to deter them from focusing on their core strength: product development.

Let me know what you think.

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3 Responses to “Scrum Master, a management position?”

  1. Scrumguru, this is good post. fresh thoughts around this, a scrum master assess critical path and ensures possible failure points are detected well in advance. A scrum master is someone like Dr. detection & prevention, playing a very critical path of not only ensuring success of sprint but also owns communications and logistics which allows engineering to have focus on what they know best, develop product.

    @mathurabhay

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