By admitting that Scrum is often missunderstood, the criticism against Scrum in a way actually becomes ligit again: what is a framework good for when it’s missunderstood more often than not? Especially when it already comes with trainings and certifications to support a proper adoption. Wouldn’t that still mean that something is really off?
So the actual question for me is not about what the Scrum Guide says. It’s about why so many Scrum Masters fail to promote it’s most important messages within their organisations.
As I see it, nobody can learn to become a good Scrum Master throug some trainings and a certification. A good Scrum Master must know so much more than Scrum. They must have a good understanding of how innovation processes, product management, software craftsmanship and organisational concepts work together to create great software products.
And there’s good reasons to support this claim: Being a Scrum Master is only a role and that role only describes one perspective on software development—Scrum’s perspective. Just as “Product Owner” regularly describes Scrum’s perspective on a product manager, an intrepreneur or a founder.
At the same time, we can observe that Scrum roles are widely promoted as job positions. This is a strong signal that Scrum is entirely missunderstood on a broad scale: Because Scrum will only shine when filled with life by people who understand it as a tool for solving one specific problem: to support teams with organizing themselves in an environment that holds up agile values. That’s Scrums focus. Want to be more creative? Try design sprints! Want to build disruptive products? Try Lean Startup! All of those other mythodologies put a different perspective on what it means to work in an agile environment and create a whole bunch of roles to be filled — each equally important to the Scrum Master role.
But as I see it, only some people in the Scrum Master role are aware of the many other roles that they need to fill in order to really support their teams. Finding free meeting rooms, configuring Jira workflows and decorating the office are definitely not one of them. Too many people in the Scrum Master role exclusively focus on Scrum and some side-hobbies of theirs. From my experience that will almost inevitably create more problems than it solves.