Who's bad?The trend I see is for some Scrum Masters to paint anyone with the title "Agile coach" as greedy, money grabbing consultants that don't know what they are doing. They only exist to suck money from large organisations who don't know any better. They label themselves as "Agile coaches" so they can charge out at a much increased day rate. They are the bad guys, while the paragons of virtue are the scrum masters battling away in the trenches, refusing to sell out & change their job title for the sake of a few extra bucks a day.
Let's start with some basic logic.
- Bad agile coaches exist. This doesn't mean all agile coaches are bad.
- Bad scrum masters exist. This doesn't mean all Scrum Masters are bad.
Whats in a title?
- act like/ are expected to behave as project managers
- are line managing team leaders
- are viewed as admin assistants that do no more than book meetings & meeting rooms, raise tickets, chase tickets, manage rally/ jira & the burndown charts.
- push themselves and their team(s) to do scrum really well (local optimisation)
- look beyond their teams to influence other teams (global optimisation)
- change their wider organisation (global optimisation)
What organisations want from an agile coach is different to what they want from a scrum master
Generally an org will employ a scrum master to work directly with teams to improve their scrum process. The SM might work with one or two teams at a time, mainly embedded, with little time leftover for changing the dynamics and processes of the organisation outside of the teams.
The focus here is on the internal Scrum workings of the teams with occasional stretching beyond the team boundaries. (Of course there are exceptional Scrum masters who will passionately stretch further and more frequently)
The title does not infer hierarchy
There's more to this than Scrum
What if I move to an organization that doesn't do Scrum at all? I can still call myself an agile coach , could I call myself a scrum master? That would be confusing wouldn't it?
I thought we were supposed to be on the same side?