Scrum Mastery and Bubble Wrapping

My whole life I moved more often than most people and that lead me to appreciate packaging and in particular bubble wrapping. It surprised me to learn that bubble wrap has been around since 1957.

Anyway, back to the Scrum Mastery.

Last week I had a very interesting conversation with a Scrum Master. A particular type of Scrum Master that I encounter more often than I would like. They hold many certifications, passed the certification tests with 95% or better but somehow fail to connect all the leaning with the role daily.

This Scrum Master became extremely protective of the developers, to the point that the team became paralyzed about trying anything, taking a few risks, aiming a bit higher.

The image that flashed on my mind was of a box of very delicate items that were over packaged, cushioned by multiple layers of bubble wrap. I packaged quite a few of those since I was very young and continue to do so.

As we know properly packaged stuff does not move, nor it should, and that is a great thing for packaged goods but terrible for a team of people who must learn and use those learnings to become better at their craft.

During out initial conversation, I was told by the Scrum Master that that was his job. To protect the team and not let them do anything “dangerous.”

I am not sure whether pushing to complete an extra backlog item or trying some new way of increasing flow thru the system qualifies as dangerous but apparently it is!

Mind you, this same team have the lowest average velocity in a group of 16 teams and their quality metrics are not better than anyone else.

I am about to have a more in-depth conversation with the Scrum Master and bring some bubble wrap with me… Perhaps that will get the point across…

Have you experienced similar behavior from a Scrum Master?

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