Jeff Sutherland | Shock Therapy

Scott Downey, MySpace Agile Coach, has a way of bootstrapping Scrum teams to a high performing state in a company that is about 1/3 waterfall, 1/3 ScrumButt with project managers, and 1/3 pure Scrum with only Scrum roles. Scott consistently takes teams to 240% of the velocity of MySpace waterfall teams in an average of 2.9 days per team member where the team includes the ScrumMaster and Product Owner. — read more on Jeffs Blog: Jeff Sutherland

And further Downey says …

It’s a fairly large culture shock for most teams and doesn’t yield a lot of “let’s go to lunch” invitations at first. But, per feedback from my VP of Engineering, “They only hate [me] for about 2-3 weeks. Then they’re indifferent to [me] for another few weeks. Then they scream bloody murder if [he tries] to take [me] away from them.” I do stay in touch with teams that I’ve kick-started like this and, with one notable exception, they have all continued their trend of improvements in my absence.

What we see here is a very clear message – show people by driving them into what Scrum is. Teach them, let them feel it but be very clear that you are the boss.

In my own coaching experiences I found that most of the time the problem is that teams don’t have a ScrumMaster who is good. He does not follow the practices and does not do Scrum-By-the-Book. His excuse is far too often: “I am not empowered!”

I don’t know if Doney’s approach will work for all of us – but one thing is clear – a ScrumMaster must know his role and that he is a leader who drives change.

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