Recently, I have seen many job postings for a Scrum Master (aka ScrumMaster) or a Product Owner role. It is nice to see these become more prominent on job posting sites. This means that, at least, Scrum is becoming more known and is part of conversations in HR departments. This is not a reflection of the quality of those conversations.

Many of these job posting are wrong!

Why?

The main reason that they are wrong (or at least difficult to ever achieve) is that many ask for someone who is both a Scrum Master and a Project Manager, someone who is both empowering and supporting as well can direct and lead a group. I find that the Scrum Master job is already hard enough without adding another list of duties from another discipline.

Well, let’s start with some good requirements:

  • Excellent understanding of Agile methodology
  • Excellent verbal and written communication abilities
  • Excellent interpersonal relations
  • Excellent ability to work in teams
  • Scrum Master Certification and other relevant education and learning

Here is a recent post that I did describing in more detail the role of the Scrum Master, and one that separates the Scrum Masters from a Project Manager.

Above is a good set of abilities/qualities of a Scrum Master. Now let’s look at the really really bad ones…

  • Clearly communicate Project target completion dates to key stakeholders on a weekly basis
    • Why is this here? This is not the job of Scrum Master! Do you believe that it fits in the Scrum framework at all? I would expect that this level of communication to come from the Product Owner or from the team as a whole.
  • To set up a scorecard to track project implementation
    • Again, why is this present? Doesn’t this sound very much like a project manager duty?
  • Understand Jira Agile delivery methodology
    • This is a tool, not a way of doing Agile. Sounds like you get none of the benefits of either framework!
  • One job posting is looking for a “Senior Business Analyst/Scrum Master”
    • This is just awful. No matter how well an individual does this job, they will ultimately fail – nobody could do this.

There is, obviously, a huge disconnect between those that know/have experience with agile frameworks, and those that place the job postings.

What can we do to help the HR professionals, and more importantly to help those trying to get these jobs from crashing and burning? Any suggestions?

If you found a good Scrum Master or Product Owner job posting, please let me know.

Enjoy the adventure that is navigating the Scrum job hunt!

Warm regards,

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