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Jack was the Scrum Master of the squad, ‘The Confident’. He had worked as a developer and designer for many years and grown into a Scrum Master. An expert coder that he was he took on the role of Scrum Master with great confidence. He obviously knew everything the squad was working on and thought he could guide them most efficiently. After a few sprints however, some of the team members did not seem to be very happy with what was happening.

Couple of them approached a coach and requested for some help. They were always under pressure for estimations and commitment. Their proposals were always shot down with a lot of technical explanations and justification and they were unable to defend and finally failed to deliver. Retrospectives seemed to be always punishing. David, the coach found it hard to even get a meeting with Jack as Jack thought that he was doing perfectly alright.

David is now looking for help from other coaches. Can you help?


There are many things a coach will need to work on in this situation. Some of them can be:

  • Collect some data points on specific aspects such as estimation or completion ratio of stories etc which will help to impress upon Scrum Master and team what is actually happening
  • Team members need to be empowered more. So team building/collaboration activities would help to make them  more participative in general
  • Scrum Master coaching to be done with more care. Coach may have to put some effort to gain the confidence of Scrum Master by highlighting the strengths and slowly making Scrum Master realize areas of improvement etc.
  • Try to influence Jack to seek feedback from the team on SM’s role and performance. This may point him to seeking David’s advice on better understanding the SM role compared to his earlier techie role.