Scrum Masters are People Too — Give ’Em a Break, and a Hand

by Dwight Kingdon

There are great Scrum Masters and lousy Scrum Masters.

Do you have obstacles (impediments) that continue to plague your team because the Scrum Master has not removed them? Or, is communication inside the team or external to the team poor and hampering your ability to get things done? Perhaps you feel like your team is stuck in a rut and your Scrum Master doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it. What do you do if your Scrum Master isn’t all you hoped they would be?

First, realize your Scrum Master is growing — hopefully. Remember that you too were a novice developer or tester at some point. Early on, you probably wrote lousy code and missed critical tests. Understand that your Scrum Master will eventually get better at coaching for Scrum adoption and growth, self-organization, and impediment removal. But it takes time, just as it took time for you to become the developer or tester that you are today.

Next, give them a helping hand. How do you do that? Here are six ideas:

Speak up when something doesn’t look right

Encourage your Scrum Master

Brainstorm with your Scrum Master

Quit pretending you understand everything

Ask your Scrum Master to teach or refresh your team on a specific subject

Finally, step up and lead

The perfect Scrum Master doesn’t exist. But guess what — you are not perfect either. So next time you want to complain about your Scrum Master, take a step back and try to understand where they are in their Scrum Master journey, and lend a helping hand to keep them moving along on that path. The Scrum Master will benefit, the team will benefit, and your working relationships will improve. That’s a win-win-win scenario.

This is an Agile Alliance community blog post. Opinions represented are personal and belong solely to the author. They do not represent opinion or policy of Agile Alliance.

Originally published at on March 11, 2020.

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