“The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at a time.” ~ Richard Cech
Few days ago, I wrote an article for ScrumAlliance.org. The article is about the Seven Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started out as a ScrumMaster.
One of the things I mentioned there was to work on one (and only one) project.
In the article, I explained why it is important for a ScrumMaster to work on one project at a time. The explanation was simple: Working on one project at a time brings-in required focus to do your best.
I got many comments there. Out of them one of the comment was about the above point. The commentator mentioned that if the organization has gained required maturity about Agile and Scrum, then they can use a ScrumMaster to do “more” jobs.
I had to respectfully disagree.
Being an effective ScrumMaster is a full-time job. Period.
Unfortunately many organizations that do not have right understanding of Scrum sometimes fail to recognize that a great ScrumMaster has NOT to work on multiple projects at a time.
For example, consider if a ScrumMaster is working on two projects and in order to resolve an impediment in one project, he has to spend several days.
Obviously the other project will have to suffer. At his best, the ScrumMaster will be able to devote 50% of his time to each project, isn’t it?
Also, when impediments are not resolved in timely manner, it frustrates the team members and produces not-so-positive outcomes.
I have seen that organizations that get maximum benefits of Scrum prefer that a ScrumMaster is working on one project.
Then the commentator called me to ask: “Is it a rule in Scrum that a ScrumMaster cannot work on two or more projects?”
No, it’s not a rule. It’s about choosing the right thing to do. Sure, a ScrumMaster can work on multiple projects but most probably with mediocre results. That’s why effective ones do the opposite.
And, the greatest gift an organization can give to a Scrum Team is the gift of an Undivided ScrumMaster.