Is Agile (= Scrum) failing? – I am an impediment – Bad ScrumMasters

On the Scrum Gathering Heiko presented the button “I am an impediment” during the Scrum Gathering. A funny button, or? But do you know what the history of this button is? A joke I make in all my classes when we talk about ScrumMasters who do more roles than the ScrumMaster role. I give the advice that the first entry of their impediment backlog shall be: “I am an Impediment.” 

Based on the comments about that Scrum is failing I must tell you that I see that a lot of ScrumMasters who are an impediment not only to Scrum, but also to their teams, the organization and to themselves. F.e. see this post on my blog: 

vikramadhiman // 8 December , 2008 at 5:36 pm (edit)

From my experience with many teams, for most people and particularly managers, Scrum == Team Leads as SM [reporting to managers] + team leads/ SM dividing tasks and giving estimates + individual burn down charts + you take over this for team interest + daily stand up + review where no one speaks – scrum master.

You is the only one you can change the perception? Right – my (S)uper (M)an alias ScrumMaster. 

A person in one of my classes was very nice. He really loved Scrum and he was complaining again and again: I need someone that empowers me, please can someone empower me to be a ScrumMaster. 

That is impossible – nobody can impower a ScrumMaster (Well I did it during class. I hope it helped). If you want to be a ScrumMaster: Start! Do it! Change it! Remember always: Love it, Change it or Leave it! (in this order to execute!)

Do not complain that it is hard. Do not complain that Managers do not get it. It is not the idea behind Scrum. You do not need Managers who understand Scrum in the first place.

First you need a ScrumMaster who understands that he is needed as a Change Agent. You need to be a ScrumMaster who wants to get a bloody nose. You need a day to day hero!

If the comment above is representative, than not Scrum = Agile fails but the people who want to do it. Read Rick Tonoli`s Blog. He is honest enough to talk about his failures. He struggles and … of course, YOU will struggle also. That is the measurement if you do it right. If it is easy you are failing in doing the job right.

Changing the work behaviour of a team, an organization or even a whole enterprise is not a piece of cake. It is terrible hard work. So – wear the button and then either remove yourself or start being a catalyst not the block.


4 responses to “Is Agile (= Scrum) failing? – I am an impediment – Bad ScrumMasters

  1. Pingback: Buttons para scrum master que falham |

  2. Loved the buttons, just got mine in the mail :). I’m just dedicated to a scrum master role, but I do have a sense of humour, so … 🙂

  3. Pingback: Wise words from a wise man at Ricardo Mestre’s Blog

  4. Pingback: Buttons para scrum master que falha | Planeta

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