Top Traits of a lazy Scrum Master

The Way Of The Lazy Scrum Master — Episode 3

Scrum Masters can learn a trick or two from Dungeons Masters. “The Way of the Lazy Dungeon Master” as outlined by Michael E. Shae (a.k.a Sly Flourish).

Why should Scrum Master check out a guide written for Dungeon Masters? The Way is an awesome source of inspiration for anyone working with or in a cross-functional team even if you have no idea what Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) is all about. The Way shares many secrets. It’s a hidden treasure for Scrum Masters.

And yeah though DnD is a game, what does the cover of the Scrum Guide say:

Top Traits of a lazy Scrum Master

As derived from the Way of the Lazy Dungeon Master.

Through a social media survey DnD players were asked to describe the top traits of a DM. They happen to be …. flexibility, creativity and improvisation.

Now as it happens:

“The team model in Scrum is designed to optimize flexibility, creativity, and productivity.”

Two out of three… not bad. And I am sure every Scrum professional will agree that improvisation too is a core competence required for the team to operate well in complex environments working on complex developments.

Now one cannot be flexible and creative nor improvise well when one is tense. So…


Stop getting worked up over small things.

Corporate cultures are generally dead set about not wasting time on ‘crazy ideas’ and everyone is always worked up appearing busy. Oh we are so good at being busy. Look how busy we are.

A coach once told me great managers are rarely busy because they are great at managing.

When we relax and create space, we create room to manoeuvre creatively. When the play becomes rigid, it’s often because people hang on too tightly to expectations that are set. They stop listening, stop thinking, stop adapting.

The ability to listen and follow up with “Yes…and” rather than “Yes…but” (as addressed in the first episode) is a key improv skill.

Lazy checklist for flexibility, adaptability and improvisation:

[translated from the Way of the Lazy Dungeon Master for Scrum Masters]

  • The best Scrum Masters embrace flexibility, creativity and improvisation.
  • Learn to relax, and focus on a strong Sprint start.
  • Actively listen to team members by making eye contact. don’t interrupt them; and taking note of what they say.
  • Build off the ideas team members give you, and connect them to other clues, means, tools and individuals.
  • Prepare only what most benefits the game.
  • Sharpen your own ‘game’ by watching and interacting with other Scrum Masters. Read about their experience…and yeah don’t forget to share yours!

Get yourself a copy of The Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master. Credit goes to Michael E. Shea who wrote this masterpiece that inspired not only many a Dungeon Master, but (hopefully) many a Scrum Master too.

Thank you for reading this you lazy bastard. Hope you’re not to lazy to bang that clap button a bunch of times.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to bang that clap button. You can give up to 50 👏’s. Give it a try if you enjoy this article!

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