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I am a Scrum Master for a team and ever since another joined to ‘help out’ as part of restructuring work, they seem to prefer him over me. This is irrespective of our quality of work being similar, where he has come on board and improved on what was already started by myself. Given the problems of this work stream, lack of maturity, size and professionalism management felt that additional support was required.

A discussion will take place with my manager who currently intends for me to take over again full time.

I have the following potential options:

  • stay as their Scrum Master
  • request to be transferred to a new project

The problem is that I am currently quite unhappy working with this particular team, since unlike other teams I’ve worked with in the past they seem to be very unappreciative of any work I do for them and do not listen when coaching them agile. Hence, do not feel very valued. My colleague on the other hand they are treating better, has an easier time getting buy in which I suspect is from being new and being more charismatic.

I really would like to request to transfer to another work stream but worried that this may look negative politically in the organisation as being somebody who got taken off for not performing, when that’s not the case. After a year working with them, I just no longer have any interest being their Scrum Master, and would rather start afresh with a new team.

Also given the confidence levels of my colleague, I’m starting to feel like he should run it out of spite from him coming on board leading to me becoming increasingly undermined.

How can I move out of the workstream gracefully?

  • What is a "work stream"? You mention it multiple times, can you explain it? – nvoigt Mar 6 at 14:01
  • Work stream = project – bobo2000 Mar 6 at 14:18
  • Joe, yes, ranting a bit tbh . Irritated that I’ve found myself in this situation – bobo2000 Mar 6 at 14:19
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It sounds as if "your work here is done", and a clean break would be mutually beneficial. Get yourself a new team/squad, coach the crap out of them and deliver something awesome!

I would phrase this to your manager as "the team has reached maturity, I can't add value anymore other than facilitating the Scrum ceremonies, so I think it's best if I move to another project which has a need for a competent Scrum master"

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You can go full high ground here:

I have noticed that $new_person is a much better fit for the team than I ever was. He is competent and well able to handle the situation alone. I think I should move on to support a different team and let him earn his spurs here.

What you are conveying by this:

  • You have great introspection!
  • You have a good view of the team dynamics.
  • You are willing to give others the limelight.
  • In the subtext: You are the master, he is the student, and he should step up now.

People are often afraid that by being modest and supporting others they are undermining themselves. The opposite is usually true: You are showing very mature behaviour that sets you up for a promotion if anything.

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The problem is that I am currently quite unhappy working with this particular team, since unlike other teams I’ve worked with in the past they seem to be very unappreciative of any work I do for them and do not listen when coaching them agile.

And

After a year working with them, I just no longer have any interest being their Scrum Master, and would rather start afresh with a new team.

There are 2 issues here - First, you are unhappy, second, your team does not follow your scrum leadership

You have 2 choices

1) Get on another project. You've worked on your current project for a year, so it's probably not terrible to look for a new project. Before you approach your manager, have a new project ready.

2) Talk with your current team about your frustrations. They may be just as frustrated as you are. Having been on both sides of this (meeting leader and developer). Here are some ways I (as a developer) have not followed the scrum leader

Stand-ups

5 minute stand-ups are useful, 30 minute ones are not. I've only been involved in one team that actually enforced 5 minute stand-ups. Everyone else would waste 30-45 minutes a day in stand-up meetings that quickly devolved into status-update-strategic-vision-brainstorming-team-building sessions. These were extremely demoralizing to the team due to the time sink.

The 5 minute stand-up was the only one to not have a scrum master.

Adding a Process the Team Didn't Agree to by Scrum Master Decree

Having the process change without having input is demoralizing. Get buy-in from the team for changes, and represent the team's ideas to upper management.

  • "Get buy-in from the team for changes, and represent the team's ideas to upper management." Yes!! This is exactly what's meant by "Individuals and Interactions over processes and tools." If a change is suggested and the team isn't interested, it's not the scrum master's job to force it down their throats, – AffableAmbler Mar 7 at 1:05

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