How sacred is the role of Scrum Master?

The sort answer is not sacred at all – in fact any perceived “power” should be diluted so as to not cause opacity in the Agile Framework.

The Scrum Master is not a Project Manager and is not your manager if you’re in an Agile Team. The Scrum Master is there to facilitate the daily scrums, to work closely with the Product Owners and to help facilitate all Agile ceremonies as well as helping with any escalations to Stakeholders and the management Team.

If a Scrum Master starts project managing, that’s a danger sign.

If a Scrum Master starts telling you what to do or how to prioritise your work, that’s a danger sign.

One way around this is to rotate the role of Scrum Master within the Agile Team – ideally with an Agile consultant helping out once or twice a week to make sure it’s all running well. The benefit of this is that everyone gets to understand what the role is and how to facilitate all the meetings required to make the Agile Team fire on all cylinders.

Each Agile Team member can take on the role for one Sprint then pass on the batton.

Sharing the role helps to demystify the role and also helps each Agile Team member to better engage with Stakeholders.

Of course, it should never be compulsory for every Agile Team member to take on the role.

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