The bigger the group, the harder it is to see the whole. A ScrumMaster helps people to see beyond their individual perspective to the larger production system—the product group interactions, delays, causes, and potentials. He also reminds everyone of the whole-product focus. This is key because unintegrated individual team output won’t create customer value.
A LeSS ScrumMaster will encounter complex large-scale problems and he’ll need to resist resolving them with complex large-scale solutions. Instead, he’ll need to leverage the spirit of Scrum and find simple ways to empower people to resolve their impediments. This approach leads to large-scale, yet simple, solutions.
ScrumMasters are guardians of transparency. But most large-scale product development has a persistent haze hovering over it. Clearing the haze, that is, creating transparency, is a hard and thankless job in an organization’s political jungle.
The ScrumMaster role is a new one and often not understood by teams and organizations who are adopting Scrum. A frequent response is to make the “leftover people” the ScrumMasters. They might be nice people but often lack the right skills, motivation, and Scrum knowledge to be effective ScrumMasters. They morph the role into something else which then becomes accepted within the organization as the way a ScrumMaster should be. After all, the ScrumMaster should know if they’re doing things correctly, right? Sometimes well-meaning ScrumMasters who are new to Scrum or not a good fit for the ScrumMaster role cause things to happen that are actually counter to Scrum and detrimental to Scrum adoption, thereby transforming them into anti-ScrumMasters.
Dedicated full-time role
In LeSS, the ScrumMaster role is vital. We’ve seen many organizations try part-time ScrumMasters, which usually leads to no ScrumMasters at all. This then affects the LeSS adoption enormously. In LeSS the ScrumMaster is a dedicated, full-time role in the same way that being a Scrum Team member is a dedicated, full-time role. Having said that, it is possible for one full-time ScrumMaster fill the role for up to three teams, depending on any number of factors.
ScrumMaster as structure element
The ScrumMaster role is a part of the LeSS framework and is also responsible for structure. Therefore, you will find more discussion related to the ScrumMaster in the Structure—ScrumMaster section