Confessions of a Scrum Mum – how the short term heroics don't scale

As an Agile Coach and Chief Scrum Master responsible for 8 teams in a service delivery program, when things went wrong, I found it really tempting to get in and try to patch and fix things, direct the teams and make decisions for the Scrum Masters and Product Owners. In this type of role, I drew heavily upon my Program Manager background and found that when things were going wrong, I would fall back into directing teams what to do, sorting out issues for them and making decisions. I spend my life as a soccer mum outside work hours and now I found at work I had ultimately become the “Scrum Mum”.

At the recent Scrum Australia conference in Melbourne, I presented my lessons learnt on how to evolve from this Scrum Mum anti-pattern towards Agile coaching using a contingency based approach depending on the environment of the team/s. This approach helps guides the team through coaching and mentoring towards self organisation, empowerment and cultural change.

In this presentation I highlighted different scrum master maturity models and demonstrated how at an enterprise level, the Scrum Mum is an anti-pattern that isn’t sustainable or scaleable and whilst the team/s may be successful in the short term due to the heroic efforts of the Scrum Mum and a few good individuals, this anti- pattern will ultimately lead to stagnation by the teams

Matthew Hodgson

Matthew Hodgson

Founder of Zen Ex Machina. Scrum/Agile Coach. Designer of digital experiences since 1992. International presenter. UX & psych geek. Chocoholic. Loves red wine.

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