4 reasons no one want to play scrum master

Breaking up work is hard

  1. The size of the project. If you’re building something small it’s easier to reason about it, if you have lots of dependencies and thousands of lines of code it gets harder and harder to break work up safely
  2. The number of engineers. The more engineers the more work it is to coordinate between them. More engineers means more time describing tasks and handing them off
  3. The timelines. If your timelines are tight you have less room to shuffle work and mistakes are more costly. Slotting a talk for a sprint before it’s prerequisites are done can mean a lot of effort

Scrum master == scapegoat

You wind up writing a lot of agendas

Scrum master can be the bottom of a land slide

  1. Participate in sprint planning and come ready to vote on points
  2. Don’t hold your opinion in, if you have experience on breaking up a certain type of work jump in, don’t make your scrum master pull teeth to get answers
  3. If a scrum master (who is also an engineer) asks if someone else wants to play scrum master for a few sprints it probably means they’re ready for a break. Take them up on it and they’ll probably trade back with you in the future

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Engineer, formerly at Amazon, currently at Google. All opinions are my own. Consider supporting here: https://devblabs.medium.com/membership

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Brian Olson

Brian Olson

Engineer, formerly at Amazon, currently at Google. All opinions are my own. Consider supporting here: https://devblabs.medium.com/membership

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