Are You a Scrum Master? Be a Gardener.

I have recently been reading Jurgen Appelo’s book Management 3.0: Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders. For those wondering what management’s role in an Agile organization should be then this is a good read.

In my current consulting gig I am coaching someone to replace me as a scrum master so we spend a great deal of time talking about Agile, Scrum and what it means to be a scrum master.

One of the things I have always used as a metaphor is the concept of Scrum Master (and managers) as gardeners. Though I may have heard it somewhere and forgot it or it may have reached my subconscious somehow, I came up with the metaphor of gardener because my in-laws live with me and are retired. They spend a great deal of time gardening. It is from their work bringing forth trees, flowers and mountains of vegetables that I took my cue.

Continue reading “Are You a Scrum Master? Be a Gardener.”

Can We Call it Something Other Than Scrum Master?

I have become what I cannot stand a Scrum Master. Not that I believe that what I do for a living is not valuable. It is highly valuable as I spend my whole entire existence in support of creating and delivering high-quality, high-impact software on a regular basis. In fact, my mantra for my scrum teams is “We provide business value.” There is nothing better in my mind than delivering solid business value. It is worth the money they spend on me (and much more). The problem I have with my job is the title Scrum Master. It is the second most pretentious job title I have ever had the pleasure of knowing (that of web master predates it so wins the pretentious gold medal by a nose). Every time I tell someone what I do for a living, I die a little inside.

What is it about software development that leads us to such titles? And the job search terms. Why is it that only cults and IT would use the term guru all the time? Do we have a problem with self-importance? I wasn’t always titled as such – in the past I have been Software Development Manager, Director of Software Development, etc. even while I ran multiple scrum teams. It hasn’t been too long that I finally became a full time Scrum Master. I like the job. I just want a new title.

Here are some suggestions for replacing the title Scrum Master: Software Delivery Manager, Software Delivery Facilitator, Software Process Technician, Software Delivery Practitioner, Software Process Manager, Software Process Improvement Manager. Of course, we can always go completely the other way: Software God, Doctor of Software Goodness, Master of Software Universe, Super Software Man.