Change Scrum Master to Scrum Guide...or something...
Wanted' Scrum Master to lead our Three Ring Circus, or, Is the term “Scrum Master” a Misnomer that needs to be updated?
Published on May 9, 2017
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Agile Business Analyst / Product Owner
"The Show Must Go On"...must it, really? Let's save our servant leaders! If you visit http://www.indeed.com/ today and search for “Scrum Master”, you will find the job roles to be almost universally riddled with anti-patterns, one painfully amalgamated listing after another. Take a seasoned PM, add a CSM certification, some product management experience, MS Project, and just add waterfall. Poof, you've found your new a Scrum Master, right?
Wrong. I don't remember it being this bad, and it's getting worse. Are they just getting work history and role confused? I don't think so. Agile has gone mainstream, with more people who simply do-not-know-what-they-do-not-know finding themselves with an Agile directive in one hand, and an Agile check book in the other. They read big “A”Agile, and see only agile. They read Scrum Master, see only MASTER, so they think...get a PM with a CSM, who they deem will do both.
“ She will fit nicely on this PM line item in my budget, an oh, she's got P.O. experience too...what a bargain... we have a three-for-one here...”
Applicants may indeed have all of the requisite experience, but convoluted expectations are set for them right in the job description, and the whole team is doomed to pain before their laptop and badge are issued. The circus is already set, with trapeze, flying knives, and elephants. Just because you know how to be a Scrum Master, a Product Owner, a Developer and even a PM, does not mean you should agree to take on multiple roles serving a single team.
I don't have a solution I but I do propose a step towards that, a signal to the Agile universe. A statement that the distinct roles on an Agile team are distinct for good reason. The scrum guides are changed periodically, even to simply deprecate regionally unfortunate slang (ex. backlog grooming becomes refinement).
Let's simply change the title. Scrum Master becomes Scrum Guide. Sure it is the same name as the “scrum guide”, but much worse things can happen than people actually discovering that there is actually a scrum guide, and that its authors felt it necessary to change the name of one of the three roles precisely because it is so frequently misconstrued.
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Wayne Linksman commented
How about Scrum LEADER? Some SMs take the word MASTER quite literally.