When a team decides to use Scrum, among the very first decisions it need to make is who will fulfill the role of ScrumMaster. Too usually, it can be assumed that a person having a background in conventional project management would make the most beneficial ScrumMaster, when, in actuality, nothing might be further from the truth. Actually, individuals who have previously served as project managers often make for particularly poor ScrumMasters. It really is normally too tough for them to relinquish the control they’re accustomed to. In other words, the temptation to micromanage prevents them from giving a team the autonomy to really self-organize and collaborate.
A ScrumMaster requires a certain kind of personality. Because the ScrumMaster has no real authority over a team and only works to allow the team’s success, he or she must have the ability to expertise personal success by means of the facilitation of others’ accomplishments. That needs a rare mixture of leadership and selflessness. Moreover, ScrumMasters need to be excellent communicators and keen observers, able to intuit impediments just before they fully manifest themselves. So who on a development team would embody these characteristics? That varies on a case-by-case basis, but, in general, those responsible for testing and high quality assurance are typically very good fits. This is because they tend to care deeply about the overall integrity of the product, but don’t feel the personal investment to take control themselves or instruct other people on the team about how you can resolve issues.
In mature Scrum environments, teams generally appoint one of their own members to serve as ScrumMaster. This tends to make senior management a bit nervous simply because it takes control away from them. However, a team that has worked together over a lot of sprints knows its members’ strengths and weaknesses and is uniquely positioned to identify the very best individual for the job. This will be the perfect situation because it permits the team to really self-organize – which, of course, is the objective of Scrum.