So you’ve made the decision that you want to get a job as a Scrum Master. Maybe you’re working on an agile team and want to switch roles, or maybe you’re moving from a field where agile has no presence. If you don’t already have experience working in an environment that has adopted Scrum, then the big question is… how do you land the gig.
In this episode, I am joined by my good friend Richard Cheng to talk about how to get started working as a Scrum Master. We both run across a lot of people in our classes that are trying to find a way to transition into the Scrum Master role. We also meet a lot of people who have decided they want to make a career change and feel like being the Scrum Master for a Scrum Team might be a good fit. During the interview Richard and discuss what the role actually entails, some common misconceptions about it, key differences between being a Project Manager and being a Scrum Master, the pros and cons of the job, and ways you can how you get started on the path towards getting your first official job as Scrum Master.
There have been a lot of dramatic changes in the technology space lately, and a lot of people have been making a decision to leave their company job and become an independent consultant working in Agile. Richard is a Certified Scrum Trainer and Agile Coach and he recently made this choice and has gone out on his own. Toward the end of the interview, he also shares what led him to make this choice to become an independent consultant and the steps he's taking to establish himself. If you are considering a similar move, his experience working through this transition could provide some valuable insights for you.
Last fall the Scrum Alliance took the bold step of changing their leadership structure from a traditional model to one that was based around a Chief Product Owner and Chief Scrum Master. Even for an organization whose mission is to “change the world of work” this was a brave experiment to run because it has never been done before. Howard Sublett returned to the Scrum Alliance as Chief Product Owner and the search began for someone to take up the challenge of defining role of Chief ScrumMaster for the Scrum Alliance.
In December the Scrum Alliance announced that Melissa Boggs had accepted the position of Chief Scrum Master. Melissa comes to the role with a background steeped in coaching, transformation and working on teams. In this interview I got the chance to talk with Melissa about her new role, what it entails and how she will bring her experience as a coach into her new leadership role at the Scrum Alliance.
(CONTEXT - If you were not aware of this, it’s a pretty significant moment. You can find examples of a Chief PO leading a group of PO’s, but for an organization to transform it’s leadership team in this way is a huge change that, if successful, could have a ripple effect impacting how organizations are structured and staffed from the very top on down.)
If you’d like to check out the Unscripted videos Melissa mentioned in the interview you can find them on the Scrum Alliance Facebook page here: https://bit.ly/2XGTLEw
And if you'd like check out the interview I did with Howard Sublett on his role as Chief Product Owner, you can find it here: https://bit.ly/2TnQKdJ
If you’d like to reach Melissa here are a few ways you can reach her:
The Reluctant Agilist is hosted on ProjectManagement.com. This podcast may not be copied or reused without their permission.
One of the questions I have been asked with increasing frequency in the Certified Scrum Master and Certified Scrum Product Owner classes I teach is:
How do we measure the effectiveness of the ScrumMaster?
When this question is asked what people are often looking or is a way to evaluate ScrumMaster performance (separate from the Product Owner and the Developers). This is not an easy thing to do.
Whenever I have brought up this question with other folks who teach or coach Agile teams, the conversation always finds it way back to Jurgen Appelo’s work. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to interview Jurgen on his new project AgilityScales. After the interview Jurgen was kind enough to let me also ask him the question about ScrumMaster performance.
Jurgen is an entrepreneur and management thought leader who focuses his work on helping organizations change how they approach work management in order to support greater business agility. He is the CEO of Happy Melly, co-founder of the Agile Lean Europe network and the author of a number of books including “Managing for Happiness”
His latest project AgilityScales is focused on inventing the future of organizational Agility. You can learn more about it by checking out the Agility Scales website or by watching the interview we did on the topic.
If you’d like to lean more about Jurgen, here are some links to check out.