Friday, November 20, 2009

Scrum Masters and Referees

Watching a good football game (soccer in American sports jargon) the other day I realized how much fun you can have seeing a couple of excellent teams playing. I chanted a lot and the team that I was supporting won (of course I had no power to influence score, but it was a lot of fan screaming, jumping, and singing).

After the match I've started to think in some analogies between football and Scrum teams. Both are self-organized teams that work together in spite of their individual starts. Both has roles, specialties should I had said, like the goal keeper or the insider. But at the end anyone can score and change curse of the match in an split second.

But more importantly, there is this one character that nobody likes that much, the referee. And here I've found some interesting analogies with the Scrum Master:
  1. The least you see from the referee, the better that the match is being played (unless of course that you have an incompetent referee afraid of doing his job)
  2. The fewer interventions that a referee is forced to make, the better that the teams are self-governing
  3. Referees solve complicated situations that can easily escalate to crisis
  4. They use a mix of gentle and strong hand to keep peace in the play field
  5. They don't appear very often but when they have to, they're not afraid to show some muscle to enforce his decisions
  6. They are not the starts of the show, players are

At the end you might ask, why does a match need a referee? To rule or facilitate the game? See the similarities with the Scrum Master role.

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