As a Scrum trainer I reference the Agile Manifesto in every course I run. It really sets the tone of the course and spells out the reason why those people should be sitting in that room. In homage to that original manifesto I thought about coming up with a similar manifesto for ScrumMasters. Something perhaps for those newly **qualified** ScrumMasters to fall back on when things get tough (and they will get tough). And also something which established ScrumMasters could use to self-reflect on their own skills and goals.
I should also point out that this is not an attempt to supersede or plagiarise the existing manifesto, or demean any of the original twelve that published it. I regard this as a tribute to the original which still serves as a succinct artefact that has managed to catalyse a change in multiple industries.
I’m sure people will disagree with some of the language I have used, or maybe even some of the comparisons it makes. But I have tried to capture what I believe being a ScrumMaster is all about, from doing and coaching that role. As the original manifesto’s structure is so well-known I decided to stick with it…
Manifesto for a ScrumMaster
I am uncovering better ways of being a ScrumMaster by doing Scrum and coaching others to do it.
Through this work I have come to value:
- Coaching and facilitating over organising and leadership
- Attention to results over comprehensive reporting
- Team collaboration over individual cooperation
- Continuous improvement over following a process
That is, while there is value in the items on the right, I value the items on the left more.
12 Principles of a ScrumMaster Manifesto
- Our highest priority is to empower the scrum team through early and continuous coaching of team members.
- Resist changing team members, even when projects end. Agile teams remain stable for their own competitive advantage.
- Expand the definition of done frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a view to being ‘potentially deployable’ as early as possible.
- The product owner and the scrum development team must collaborate daily throughout the project.
- Discover what motivates the scrum team. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
- The most efficient and effective method of facilitating and coaching individuals within a development team is with regular interaction and face-to-face conversation. Do not underestimate the time and effort this involves.
- The need for intervention is the primary measure of the team’s ability to self-organise.
- A sprint promotes sustainable development. The scrum team should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
- Continuous attention to team dynamics and good facilitation makes a better ScrumMaster.
- Listening -- the art of maximising the amount of talking not done -- is essential.
- Better visions, product backlogs, and process improvements emerge from self-organising teams.
- At sprint retrospectives, help the team reflect on how to become more effective, and encourage them to make improvements in every sprint.