About The Author
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Jan-Willem Rutten 1 article
Residence: NL Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Scrum Master | Agile Coach
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Jan-Willem Rutten has been working as a Scrum Master for over a decade. The more he came into contact with the Agile way of working, the more passionate he became about the principles and mindset behind it. Jan-Willem loves to support teams and organizations find their way into the Agile world.


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Scrum Master or Agile Coach?

I am not a dogmatic Scrum Master. That means I don't blindly follow and enact the Scrum Guide. I understand why the Scrum framework installed its brilliant boundaries and conditions, but I am also very aware that context is key. It is the work, team, organization, etc. that determine what is effective and what is not.

For example the Scrum Guide states that "The Daily Scrum is held every day of the Sprint" and "The Scrum Master ensures that the Development Team has the meeting". We are currently building a team that will soon consist of three people. Why should they need a timebox at the same time and place each day when they are working next to each other? This may go for teams of any size that work on one location and consist of team members senior enough to find each other throughout the day. Standing in front of a board may not get them closer to their goal. In Lean terms you might even call this waste.

Does that mean I am not a good Scrum Master?

I'm striving to follow the Agile principles. A framework can help you get there, but it should not become the single truth on doing stuff right. Instead of telling teams how they should do something I rather let teams find out for themselves what works and what doesn't. I offer advice and suggest them to give one thing a try and see if it helps them. I coach them.

Perhaps I should call myself Agile Coach?

My perception of an Agile Coach has always been the person that coaches the management levels and has a team transcending focus. The Scrum Master focuses mainly on the development team and the Agile Coach focuses on the organization. But if you purely read the combination of words it is simply someone that coaches towards an Agile mindset, no matter the circle of influence or pay grade.

Then what is a Scrum Coach?

According to the Scrum Guide the Scrum Master is "Coaching the Development Team in self-organization and cross-functionality" and "Leading and coaching the organization in its Scrum adoption". So we're all expected to coach on all levels and we all pursue the Agile mindset. Still companies and HR zoom in on a certain title when looking for a coach on a certain level. I myself also expect more from someone with the title "Agile Coach" than from a fellow Scrum Master. And yet I've seen some brilliant Scrum Masters coaching executives and some ungraspable Agile Coaches unable to coach just a few development teams.

I also find myself operating at a management level more and more. But I'm not willing to say goodbye to Scrum teams. I believe one should have one's feet in the dirt to stay connected to what is actually happening at the level where the real value is being created. And it's simply too much fun to be part of a team!

So, Scrum Master or Agile Coach?


Published at pmmagazine.net with the consent of Jan-Willem Rutten
Source of the article: {Linkedin} on [2019-03-25]