Four empty desks in an office building during winter
Is it the space or the people?

If you want to help your people understand Scrum, resist the temptation to give them a book — instead, spend time discussing what you all stand to gain from adopting the framework.

Dutch-language chat messages about Scrum books, displayed on the screen of the author’s iPhone, atop a wooden table
“Do you know a good Scrum beginner’s book for my team?” — this message got me thinking

“True leaders” are for cults; Scrum Masters should continue prioritising servant-leadership and leave the labeling to others

Two men talking to each other in the cockpit of a rocket ship, from Paramount Pictures’ 1996 film Star Trek: First Contact
Still from Star Trek: First Contact in which two characters discard pompous labels to focus on getting things done

In describing the Scrum Master, the 2020 Scrum Guide swaps out the term “servant-leader” for the label “true leader”. I think Scrum Masters should stay clear of assigning themselves that new moniker and keep aspiring to servant-leadership. Here’s why.

Small change, big word

The Scrum Guide’s recently-released 2020 edition uses fewer words than its 2017 predecessor. At the same time, it’s become more broadly applicable and less prescriptive. No mean feat.

Thomas van Zuijlen

Facilitator & Scrum Master

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