ScrumMaster in an advanced Team

My trip to the Scrumtisch in Hamburg really was a worthwhile trip. Thanks to Christian Dähn we had a great time with a lot of interesting discussions. Christian tried an open space for the first time and it worked great. Two topics where especially interesting, both addressing a similar issue, whereby they ended up being discussed in the same breath.

1. Is an advanced self-organizing team still in need of a Scrum Master?
2.How much pressure does a team need?(Evolved to: How do we keep the pressure on the team and whose job is it?)

The thought behind 1. is that if a team is self-organizing at the highest level, what’s the job of the Scrum Master? Is it confined to moderating meetings the team has or not even that because the team takes care of it, too?
This thought is followed by the second topic. The topic owner suggested that a team advancing in a project is simultaneous getting unchallenged and therefore lazy.

To me the situation is pretty clear. Yes, even an advanced self-organizing team is in need of a Scrum Master! I agree that a team is running into danger of getting lazy because of a missing challenge. That’s why there has to be an observing Scrum Master at all time. He notices the loss of velocity if the team doesn’t and tells them.
This leads to the question: Who is in charge of changing the environment? To me it is the team. The Scrum Master should be able to give some advises, but the team has the final choice. Some attendees implied hidden changes to the team precipitated by the Scrum Master would be okay, too – No! Never! The relationship between the team and the Scrum Master is build on mutual trust.
The process of change should at all time be an open process. To achieve an open process every single role is needed no matter how advanced the team or anybody else.

What do you think? Let me know I am eager to read your opinion.

3 thoughts on “ScrumMaster in an advanced Team”

  1. I’d suggest that “bored” is perhaps a more accurate term than “lazy”. And I assume it cannot only happen to the team. Is the PO bored? The SM? Of course the latter doesn’t show as directly in the velocity, but I’d think it can be as damaging (and perhaps even cause the boredom of the team).

    1. I think “bored” is the first state the team comes to. Boredom leads to laziness and that’s where the velocity drops significantly. I fully agree with you that not only the team can become bored or lazy, but also the Product Owner or Scrum Master.The discussion however was basically about the team(PO and SM were also mentioned).
      Especially a not courageous PO is bad for a team.

  2. First let me say hello :-)

    First Question: YES … but I don´t think it´s a question of boredom or laziness. Even in the best teams the level of communication isn´t a stable state. Over time the common sense in the team is decreasing whereas the probability of misunderstandings is increasing. The Scrum Master hat to prevent this lack of communication.

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