Changing gears

It seems now that it's time for me that I switch the sides a bit at work. Two to three weeks ago a certain project came up at work and the Scrum Master of my team made some stretches (thanks for this) to offer me the opportunity to work on this project as a Scrum Master of a new team.

I thought a lot about this opportunity because altough at first this seems as a step up in the company my personal perception is not that clear. A Scrum Master at our company has a certain responsibility for the success of the project its team is working on. But on the other side (our internal setup of) the Scrum Master is not granted the necessary decision power to be able to support this responsibility in an effective way. This has been set up because the "upper levels" sensed a gap in the responsibility chain when something goes wrong. After the Product Owner there is the nebulous "Team" which is responsible for the success. Yet, if there is no success you can't simply blame "the team". So our implementation of Scrum simply lifts the Scrum Master to a team leader role. This has been much-discussed but in the end that was the final decision and so far I think it works in most cases.

Of course it's not all black. There is the opportunity to guide a team, have some insight and influence in project and HR preparations, a better communication channel to the project managers and of course take the time to take care of all this stuff.

A similar offering has been made to me already some years ago but rejected shortly afterwards again because of business reasons. I've been quite disappointed back then (and I'm still a bit because the argumentation was... well... creative) and for a short moment I thought of rejecting myself because of this. Of course I didn't because this would signal a lack of interest which is absolutely not the case. I'm very interested in the opportunity of stepping a bit up from development and some temporarily supporting tasks for organizing stuff and work.

So, today I received the message that starting tomorrow I'll be the Scrum Master of a new team with a new project. The project is still in its preparation stages so I don't know how much of it is already far enough to enter the reach of the team or ready to be worked on. I also don't know exactly who will be on the team itself. Lots of open questions and things to discuss, decide and organize... I take the challenge!

At least one thing is already for sure and out of the question: the final delivery date...


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