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InfoQ Homepage News Avoidance of Organizational Dysfunction Leads to Scrum Masters' Failure

Avoidance of Organizational Dysfunction Leads to Scrum Masters' Failure

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Bob Marshall, coach and tech business specialist, explains the reason of failing of scrum master in most of the organizations in his recent blog as the lack of awareness on the part of adopting scrum and scrum master’s responsibility to tackle organizational dysfunction.

Purpose of scrum is to expose organizational dysfunction. Dysfunction by definition is impaired functioning. That means in organization things aren’t working like leadership, relationships, processes, communication, programs etc.

Patrick Lencioni mentioned in his book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”, avoidance of accountability and lack of clarity of roles and responsibilities are some reason of organizational dysfunction.

Bob says that organizational dysfunction impact the development team. The causes of which generally lie outside its immediate control. He mentions that based on his experience scrum masters and teams don’t focus on tackling the organizational dysfunction. As per Tobias Meyer, agile coach at Yahoo:

Scrum is a framework for surfacing organizational dysfunction.

As per Deborah Hartmann-Preuss, agile coach at Abiggerga:

Scrum highlights organizational dysfunctions and challenges us in uncomfortable ways.

Bob says that scrum master needs to take care of the communication within the scrum team and with outside people. As per scrum guide:

The Scrum Master helps those outside the Scrum Team understand which of their interactions with the Scrum Team are helpful and which aren’t. The Scrum Master helps everyone change these interactions to maximize the value created by the Scrum Team.

As the responsibility of the scrum master is to remove the impediments. As per Bob 80% of the impediments impacting the development team originate from outside the team, and resolution of these impediments mostly falls to folks outside the team, managers and senior managers across the organization. Therefore scrum master should take care of those impediments as well.

The absolutely key role for any Scrum Master is to establish and nurture channels from the team outwards into the diaspora of wider management. Nothing else is as important.

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