A Father – Scrum Master of the Family!

“The greatest mark of a father is how he treats his children when no one is looking.” – Dan Pearce

I am sure most of you have seen or heard this statement. This has a deeper meaning, isn’t it?

While any man may become a father of a child, it is important to become a special dad. Every dad’s dream is to be a special dad to his children. The world looks at you in a particular way when you are a couple, as soon as you become a father, the whole equation changes, you now have a new little version of yourself to care for.

As uncle Ben stated, “With great power comes great responsibility”; Your responsibilities increase by multiple folds. You will stop thinking about ‘I’, ‘myself’ and start thinking about ‘We’, and ‘US’. The transition of I to We to Us usually happens within minutes. A few responsibilities that a father assumes gracefully are:

  1. A father takes care of his children’s emotional and physical well-being.
  2. A father protects his children and is their representative when required.
  3. A father’s lead by example is a stand out. Be a servant and take care of the household and be a leader of the pack to drive them onto the right path.
  4. Love and respect each other.

All the dads reading this post, if you are doing well on all four, then give a pat on your shoulder, because you deserve it more than these words explain.

Now, why am I talking about a father here in my Agile post? Yes, there is a reason for it.

Being raised under the guidance of a great father for the last 38 years, being a father for about 9 years, and having spent some time in Agile now, I can draw a great deal of similarities between the role of a dad in a family and a role of a Scrum Master in an IT company.

You have seen the father’s responsibilities above. While that said, who is a Scrum Master? what are the responsibilities of a Scrum Master? How can you conclude that a Scrum Master is similar to a father?

Let me explain!

A Scrum Master by role is a Servant Leader.

A servant leader as stated by investorsinpeople.com is:

“Servant leaders ultimately seek to cultivate a deep understanding of the personal needs, emotions, fears, and skills of different stakeholders in the organization. This understanding allows the servant leader to assist and empower these people to be the very best they can be”.

My understanding of the words “Servant Leader” is very simple. Serve your people (team) as a servant to ensure they have no blockers or any impediments to move ahead. At the same time, be their leader or their representative to hold their hands and embark on the journey towards meeting the organizational goals.

Scrum Master is the person who shields the team from all the external interference and interruptions. Scrum Master is the one who owns the process, the Agile process. That’s his baby. He must take care of it and ensure people adhere to it.

People may not be influenced by listening to talks, reading textbooks, and internet pages. They are influenced and change their mindset based on how influential you are and how impact-fully you facilitate your teams. Therefore, a Scrum Master must lead by the example always.

Keep yourself updated with the trends. Be at it all the time. Else, you may fall behind in the competition. Empower and nurture people to take up more responsibilities and celebrate their success as yours.

With all these said about Scrum Master, I am sure you have already drawn some conclusions yourselves on the similarities that I’ve talked about so far.

Just to put them down:

A Father A Scrum Master
1 Protects his children from any external and internal deterrents. Protects his/her team from any third person’s interference.
2 Removes all sorts of hindrances to ensure his children are safe. Removes all the blockers that the team is facing to ensure they continue with their work to achieve their goals.
3 Single point of contact or represents his children at a wider community, social gathering, any other place. Represents the team in any Scrum of Scrum calls, any wider meetings etc. to ensure the team is not diverted from their focus to deliver sprint goals.
4 Celebrates his children’s success like his. Celebrates the team’s success like his.
5 Absorbs any kind of stress and pressure to ensure that’s not percolated down to his children and they remain happy and smiling all the time. Takes the heat off from the management for the failure of delivery, not achieving the Sprint goal so that the team does not get demotivated.
6 Walk the talk. He follows his own preach to ensure his children are disciplined and raise their bars when they grow old. A Scrum Master is also called the Agile owner, he is the father of Agile processes. He should ensure everyone in the team follows Agile to its best.
7 A Servant Leader at home. A Servant Leader for the team.
8 A great motivator and encourages his children to go get something big. A Scrum Master is a leader who motivates, nurtures his people to master the skills that they are good at and not push what a Scrum Master wants them to excel in.

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