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Topics: Scrum
Like master, like man - transforming Scrum teams

In the last time, I have recognized a funny thing: Scrum teams that are together for a longer period of time slowly start to mirror the weird peculiarities and mannerisms of their Scrum Master. Not the single team members, but the team as a whole. Co-located and virtual teams all the same.
Did you make the same observation? Is this logical and inevitable when a group of people is working together in the performing-phase? What do you think?
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I think this is normal group behavior. If you think of Tuckman's group model, there's some degree of mutual assimilation in the "Norming" stage of team development.

This is especially true when there is a designated or emergent authority figure. Entire companies will conform to their "Alpha" leader.

I don't think this has to be the case with a scrum team and their scrum master. Certainly the SM is coaching the team, so there will naturally be some reflection of that SM in the team itself. But the SM is not (and should not be) the team leader

Wade, good point with the coaching role
Yes, but I think a Scrum Master should be acting as a kind of a moral cornerstone for the team.

In my observation it is more than just confirming.The more a team is acting on its own, the more it is mimicking its Scrum Master.

Stephan -

I'd hope the team would develop their own identity and this type of imprinting is usually seen in a follower-leader model which doesn't really fit the self-organizing/managing approach.

This is also a good reason for an SM to encourage team members to step in and facilitate ceremonies on a periodic basis - that reduces the likelihood of "monkey see, monkey do".


Hi Stephan - I don't think that is necessarily a good thing, do you?

Lori and Kiron, thanks for your input! I totally agree with you. This behavious isn't a good thing at all.
For me this is a warning sign that a team is cutting itself off. Plus a Scrum Master that is (subconsciously) supporting that cloistering.

Kiron, I'm using a simmilar approach. I'm asking other Scrum Masters to step in for me every now and then. I like the idea of team members facilitating ceremonies.

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