Triple Scrum Master – a Three in One Role

The old-fashioned scrum master would be limited to a thought process of getting the team more productivity, improve impediments, coaching the stakeholders on the value system of Scrum and so on … 

With the changing environment, the new demands of the customers and also the market, with the technology changing rapidly, the approach of Scrum Master should also change and adopt new ideas and be an evangelist thought leader and an idea generating machine. Having said all this does not mean nor am I endorsing the idea the role is to be done away or the earlier responsibilities are no longer needed, what I am proposing is taking the role to the next level of operations.

The new concept of 3 in 1 should be as follows:

Expect the Scrum Master to act and behave like a CEO for his / her projects, at times, the role would demand the nature of a CFO to be seen and finally the original job of a Scrum Master

I am sure all of us would be wondering what is this concept of CEO and CFO in the business of Scrum. As we say “Management has no role in Scrum, but Scrum Master is a management role”

I would and always like to consider a Project like a mini organization, which means that there would be a need to have CEO and CFO to manage the operations and costing of the project. With this understanding, I propose the triple role of CEO, CFO Cum Scrum Master for all our existing Scrum Masters.

It is a unique thought and may be a little ahead of its time in the market right now, but it is always important to be a trend setter rather than a follower of a best practice

Scrum Master in the shoes of the CEO

One needs to think at high strategic level for which the thinking process needs to change from the current behaviour patterns, The following would be the elements to practice and demonstrate:

As a CEO Scrum Master should:

The Multiplier Effect

  • Display the ability to energize people, Build a team of high energy professionals who would always play to win the game (read … Successful deliveries of sprint, adding business value to the customer)by choac
  • Translate complex business strategies into motivating goals and objectives
  • Make the team self-sustainable coaching the team and mentoring the individuals at regular intervals

Assume Responsibility

  • Display the ability to mobilise the organization, Work vertically and horizontally and diagonally with different stakeholders and establish credibility and respect from others
  • Understand the situation, take responsibility and respond quickly and effectively
  • Have a strong sense of ownership / passion and see things through till the very end
  • Have the ability to turn diversity into synergy, Synthesize the positive elements of each culture, gender and nationality, Be effective in cross culture and a multi-functional environment
  • Adapt to own style and approach as needed and required

Translate ideas into reality

  • Innovate, Execute and be decisive
  • Get ready to spark a change
  • Demonstrate ingenuity and creativity – think through ideas, build on them, display advocacy and gain buy-in
  • Develop innovative strategies that help build the team competitive edge and / or create the desired change and transformation
  • Encourage ‘Calculated risk’ – Foster a culture where people generate and implement new ideas

Display People centricity , empathy and listening

  • Listen deeply and objectively to what is said / unsaid and with an open mind , empathise and build trust
  • Proactively engage and collaborate with customers and partners to add value and create a winning partnership
  • Build a culture of constructive feedback. See out and act on both internal and external feedback. Give critical feedback in a polite manner

As a CFO Scrum Master should:

Think and Act with focus on profit

  • Manage elements for short and long terms
  • Identify and capitalize on opportunities to optimise resources, reduce cost, reduce waste and create sustainable value
  • Think like and investor
  • Drive higher financial results by improve the team performance, improving the quality of deliverables, maximizing the revenues (improvement in velocity)

As a Scrum Master, Scrum Master should:

  • Perform and conduct the role of the Scrum Master to the highest level as needed and demanded by the situation

By performing 3 different roles, the idea, is to expand the thought process and thinking approaches. The concept is not to wait for the results to come, but to create an approach, where results would be as per requirements.

Just like what we have a retrospective for the team at the end of each sprint, there needs to be a concept of Self-Retrospective performed by the Scrum Master of what he or she could have done differently and have the results behave in the manner and fashion as required.

There should be a regular forum in the organization for the Scrum Masters, where in they can come and discuss the issues and challenges in the system and seek ideas and opinion of other Scrum Master to see what can be applied from the learnings of others. It is great and a noble idea to learn from your own mistakes, but in the competitive world today to move forward , one needs to learn from the mistakes of others and ensure that we do not repeat them.

Let’s change the Phrase “History repeats itself”. It high time now !!!

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