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Scrum Masters are out of the market but....

Updated: Feb 16

You might be able to change that.


Let's first look at why so many companies in 2024 have fallen out of love with the Scrum Master.


What happened? Was it a fad? Is it over? Can Scrum come back from this?


Let's talk about it.


It's not rocket science; a weak economy (at least in the U.K.) means companies have less to spend. The first roles to go are those which are perceived as 'touchy-feely' roles."


Dovetailing from the above point, Scrum Mastering is not just a role; it can be a series of skills. So, why hire the role and pay 70 grand more when Bob the developer can just 'do the Daily Scrum'?


We have a lot more qualified Scrum Masters in the market who have good communication skills but haven't upped their game when it comes to data skills.


Scrum Masters struggle to demonstrate what it is they actually deliver. It is part of the above point. When you lack data skills, you can't run experiments; you also can't demonstrate how you're helping the team improve with data. That's a problem.


I remember someone saying to me back in 2003, "Jem, you'd make a good Scrum Master; you're a good talker, you can really bring people together." Yeah, true, but I also realised really quickly that my natural ability to speak and engage is an important part of the job but is NO WAY enough.


Enough for what?

Enough to make an impact with the team. Enough to learn how to capture, analyze, playback data. Give people more than my opinion as to why we should work in X way. Give people more than my "gut feeling" as to why something could be improved if we did it another way. We, as Scrum Masters, MUST acquire the very thing which Scrum is built upon: empiricism, that is to use experience to help us make our next best decision. This experience of what we observe in teams, in companies, what is and what is not working needs to be captured in data.


Data Skills are ...skills!

That's good news. Skills are things you can practice and get better at with the right guidance. When you join a team, can you answer the below questions? Because if you CANNOT, you will not be able to compete, especially in this tough market. Let me show you:

  • What data should I be capturing?

  • How do I gather that data? How do I visualize that data?

  • What data should I ignore?

  • What tools do I need for the data?

  • How do I make sense of different types of data to help the team improve?

  • How do I play back that data to the team to engage them?

  • How do I build a case for change using the data?


The world has changed, and the skill of a Scrum Master must go beyond than knowing the Scrum events, understanding user stories, and being able to talk about soft skills.


We need to go further!


How can I help?

I am running a one-off Data Skills for Scrum Masters workshop in March 2024. When you leave, you WILL be able to answer the above questions. And NO, you do not need crappy story points, burndown charts, or velocity anymore. There is a better way! Check out the link below if you're interested.



Love & peace, Jem





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