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ScrumMasters Competencies

Recently a ScrumMaster at a client of ours sent me an email asking for help in creating a list of ScrumMaster competencies to use in recruiting of ScrumMasters.

I asked the ScrumMaster to send me their thoughts of what this might look like and then we worked through it. I was impressed with the end result and asked them if I could write it up as a blog post. Thanks Heleen for the great list!

  • Leading without Authority:  The ability to lead without being bestowed butt-kicking privileges is the ultimate challenge for a ScrumMaster. You should lead the team to come to their own understanding of actions, but do it in a subtle way.
  • Bring about Change without Fear: To not rush in and change everything at once. Be patient; observe the environment, the current practices, the individuals, the team, the technologies, and the broader organizational landscape. Be a fly on every wall, and talk to as many people as possible.
  • Be Diplomatic without Being Political: The ScrumMaster is the hub connecting the spokes. These spokes are the previously disconnected departments/people that need to be brought together in perfect harmony to function as an effective Scrum team. Doing this without playing political games.
  • Behave Selflessly without Downplaying the Role: A ScrumMaster needs to perform like a lead-out man; team recognition needs to be placed above his or her own. However, just because one is selfless, it doesn’t mean that their pivotal role should be downplayed.
  • Protect without Being Overprotective: The ScrumMaster needs to implicitly know when to jump in to aid the team and must also realise when it is okay just to sit back and let the team try to resolve their problems so that they can grow both personally and professionally.
  • Remain aware of the team’s domain/context without Solving it for them: When a team member is stuck, it can be awfully tempting to jump in too early to help him or her resolve the problem. The desire will be strong to get overly involved in the technical/functional details within the sprint planning sessions, but you should resist it, the team will function better if they can solve their own problems.

What do you think? Is there something that you feel should be on this list? Leave a comment and let us know 🙂

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2 thoughts on “ScrumMasters Competencies”

  1. Hi!

    Love these competencies! But I don’t really understand “Bring about Change without Fear”
    Is something missing in this sentence?

    1. Hi Barry
      It means trying to help people embrace change as good and necessary rather than fear it. Does that make more sense? Maybe it cpuld be worded better.


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