Cauliflower Ear

Mike Donoghue is a member of a multinational information technology corporation where he collaborates on the communications guidelines and customer relationship strategies affecting the interactions with internal and external clients. He has analyzed, defined, designed and overseen processes for various engagements including product usability and customer satisfaction, best practice enterprise standardization, relationship/branding structures, and distribution effectiveness and direction. He has also established corporate library solutions to provide frameworks for sales, marketing, training, and support divisions.

In rugby, we commonly see players in a scrum formation creating two opposing fronts that, with individuals linked together in a compressed arrangement and with heads down, push against each other in an attempt to try to gain control of the ball. Under these conditions--and in tackling situations--there is ample opportunity for players to bump heads and suffer an injury known as “cauliflower ear”. While getting hurt may be a frequent, natural consequence of playing rugby, understandably the real objective of rugby is to make goals.

In the agile project setting, ScrumMasters work to help their teams stay focused on their goals--keep their heads down, as it were. They also function as negotiators and peacemakers for both the team and the product owners, and are well integrated with their teams in order to help remove obstacles to each team’s sprint goals. While it is their own personal goal to maximize team productivity and minimize any stumbling blocks along the way, it is also sometimes necessary for a ScrumMaster to act as a guardian and help protect their team members.

Protect and Defend
While project associates are no doubt quite capable of defending themselves, there are moments when ScrumMasters may be required to step in and provide additional assistance. On occasion, the team may receive outside interference from inside or outside agencies …

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