Last month, we participated in an agile event here in Rio de Janeiro. And as it happens in every event like this, a lot of interesting topics came up during talks in the corridors, between one lecture and another. And it was in one of these talks that the following hypothesis was brought up: most Scrum Masters nowadays are women and one reason for that is the fact that women are more sensitive and, therefore, more capable of noticing when something is not going well, even when it's not clear and explicited. But is it really true? Do most Scrum Masters really are women and is the female personality such an influence on a project's daily work indeed?
Well, I don't have the answer to any of those questions, but my intention today is to think over the Scrum Master role and it's impact on Team's daily work. Searching in guides, books etc, it's easy to see that this role involves supporting the Team so they can follow the Scrum process, but I believe that, in the real world, the job of a Scrum Master goes much beyond that. You guys must have already heard of Scrumetes and, in our meetings, it is clear that most of our worries and main goals cover not only process improvement, but also the search for activities that promote a good relationship between Team members, the maintenance of each one's motivation with the work being done and that allow each Team member to consider what's going on in each iteration and bring up their own conclusions about what went well and what went wrong and, with time, we can build a more coesive and productive Team.
A while ago there was a video on the Internet about the power of Scrum. This video explores the Scrum Master role and it's really good and funny, and what becomes obvious through it is that the Scrum Master is almost like the Team's "mom", doing the impossible sometimes to guarantee that everything is working as well as possible, so that the process flows well and that the delivery at the end of the iteration meets is purpose with the expected quality. Maybe "mom" is too strong, but it is clear to me, on the daily work of a project, that there is a preoccupation with taking care of the Team, opening their eyes to certain situations, with knowing that everything is ok, with solving all problems and seeing that everyone is pleased with the iteration. I think perhaps that is why there was that hypothesis that women play this role well. Just to be clear, I don't mean that men are not capable or are bad Scrum Masters, I really don't. But we should agree that women, or at least most of them, are indeed more sensitive to these matters and go deeper, until they're sure the Team is functioning in the best way they can.
I also think that it is why, sometimes, the Scrum Master is seen as a role extremelly conected to the Team and not so much to the Product Owner, even thought it also has the responsability of supporting the PO in the Scrum process. I believe it is a consequence of everything that was said above. When the Time works well, the process works better and it is easier for the Scrum Master to suport the PO through backlog priorization and other activtivities.
With all that being said, I must say that the job of Scrum Master is deeply connected to People Management. One must be able to cope with people, must want to understand the situations and seek constant improvement. Each Team is unique and not everything will work with everyone, so you must observar and learn about your Team so you can work with them the issues that will bring positive feedbacks not only to the people involved, but also to the project itself.
Here's the video I mentioned earlier. It's worth watching. See you next time!