There is value in observing

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Tagged under agile scrum.

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My suspicions were true after all: most companies expect Scrum Masters to act as project managers or delivery managers, particularly when hiring. And they must manage Jira too.

One specific example of this common misunderstanding happened with me. After explaining to someone that the Scrum Master is a valuable leader that observes, teaches, mentors and coaches individuals, teams and organizations in agile values and principles, I got this comment:

Well if that’s the case and the Scrum Master is not overseeing the team’s performance daily, collecting status updates nor managing the delivery, then he/she is doing nothing and there’s no point in hiring one.

This leads me to conclude that the appreciation of having a person that leading through teaching, mentoring and coaching is underwhelming. A culture of self-management is hard for many companies to adopt because control is given away in lieu of service to others through observation, mentoring, probing and empowerment.

If you need a delivery manager for whatever reason, hire that. Not a Scrum Master. If you need a project manager, hire that. You’re probably not building an iterative product anyway so you might as well not adopt an agile culture to begin with — which is not a bad thing, it’s just different.