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Measuring success of the Scrum Master role

Over the past several years, I have been trying to define what 'success' looks like for the Scrum Master role. 

I have participated on panels, joined organizational change committees, and led several discussions on the topic.  I have settled on the fact that is not possible to concretely define success criteria for this unique role.

This can be hard to swallow for many of my colleagues, as I work in an industry full of over achievers and extremely motivated professionals.

In my opinion, the role isn't just about setting up, facilitating, and taking notes at meetings.  It also isn't solely focused on onboarding new team members and submitting access requests.

Instead, it requires several tasks and interactions that empower a team to perform at its full potential; consistently delivering quality software.  

Sometimes this requires picking up typical tasks of the Product Owner role to ensure partners are engaged, requirements are communicated and understood, and the team feels vested in the vision of our product.  Sometimes it means noticing and confronting a team member's non-verbal cues if he or she isn't fully supportive of the team's decisions.  Or, it can entail experimenting with new ideas to improve a team’s productivity and customer engagement.  

All of these interactions require immense trust and respect from all team members.

At a high level, I find these questions to be a good assessment to use to assess the role as a Scrum Master:

  1. Did the team consistently deliver quality, production-ready software?

  2. Were all team members proud of what they achieved?

  3. Did the team improve their way of working?

These are over-simplifying the value of the Scrum Master role, but I have found that they are good talking points to start with if you are a Scrum Master or currently lead Scrum Masters.

What do you think?

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