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The Career Path of a Scrum Master

This post was originally published on Mountain Goat Software by Mike Cohn, an experienced Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), author of three popular books, an Agile practitioner and consultant. Mike is also a founder of Mountain Goat Software, an Agile and Scrum training company. 

 

From Mike’s experience, a Scrum Master’s career will usually evolve in one of four directions.

From One to More Teams

A typical career path for a Scrum Master will start with serving one team. After a while that team becomes less time-consuming to work with, as issues are resolved, and the team takes on more responsibilities itself.

At that point, a good Scrum Master will seek additional challenges. Often the logical next step is to begin working with multiple teams concurrently or from working with more demanding teams or products.

 

Mentor to other Scrum Masters

A Scrum Master who has been successful in a variety of different contexts and teams, might choose to move into a role as a mentor to other Scrum Masters. This will especially be true and feasible as the Scrum Master gains skills and experience.

In many organizations, this role would be called an Agile Coach, with the most common job description being that an Agile Coach coaches Scrum Masters (and their teams).

The Scrum Master who loves the process more than the product is a likely candidate to follow a career path into becoming an Agile Coach or Mentor.

 

From Scrum Master to Product Owner

Other Scrum Masters, however, learn that they love what their team is building more than the act of creating it. Those Scrum Masters become good candidates to become Product Owners.

Some Scrum Masters learn that they care deeply about the thing being built rather than the process of building the thing. And from having worked with a team long enough, some of these Scrum Masters learn enough about the product, industry, users and such to become good product owners.

 

From Scrum Master to Manager

Scrum Masters are most assuredly not managers themselves. But through their Scrum Masters duties, Scrum Masters often work closely with those who are. And some will find that work intriguing.

 

 

There are many paths a Scrum Master may pursue. The skills learned in becoming a great Scrum Master will serve that person well whether they choose to become a Mentor, Manager, Product Owner or just work with more challenging teams.

The role of Scrum Master can be an end itself. Doing it more and better can remain the goal. A Scrum Master cannot perfect that skill either. There is always room to improve. And so, for many Scrum Masters, there may be no career path other than the continuous improvement in themselves that Scrum Masters demand of their teams.

 

If you are a Scrum Master, what do you think your next step should be? If you were a Scrum Master, what of the four describes ways did you choose?

To read the full blog and to learn more about Scrum Master possibilities click on this link. This post was originally published on Mountain Goat Software by Mike Cohn.

Mike Cohn

Mike Cohn

Mike Cohn, an experienced Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), author of three popular books, an Agile practitioner and consultant. Mike is also a founder of Mountain Goat Software, an Agile and Scrum training company.

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