The 8 Stances of a Scrum Master by Barry Overeem @The Learning Facilitator

Barry Overeem

The role of a Scrum Master is one of many stances and great diversity. A great Scrum Master is aware of them and knows when and how to apply them, depending on situation and context. All with the purpose of helping people understand the spirit of Scrum.


However, the role of a Scrum Master isn’t always fulfilled the way it was intended. In my previous blog post I’ve described the most common misunderstood stances. In this article I’ll describe the preferred 8 stances. In the third and final article I’ll describe the Scrum Master as a change leader. The combination of these 3 articles form a teaser for attending my presentation at the Agile Leadership Day on September 27th in Zurich. I hope to see you there!


According to the Scrum Guide the Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring Scrum is understood and enacted. Scrum Masters do this by ensuring that the Scrum Team adheres to Scrum theory, practices, and rules.


The Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Scrum Team. The Scrum Master helps those outside the Scrum Team understand which of their interactions with the Scrum Team are helpful and which aren’t. The Scrum Master helps everyone change these interactions to maximize the value created by the Scrum Team.

The Scrum Master Acts as a…


    • Servant Leader whose focus is on the needs of the team members and those they serve (the customer), with the goal of achieving results in line with the organization’s values, principles, and business objectives.


    • Facilitator by setting the stage and providing clear boundaries in which the team can collaborate.


    • Coach coaching the individual with a focus on mindset and behaviour, the team in continuous improvement and the organization in truly collaborating with the Scrum Team.


    • Manager responsible for managing impediments, eliminating waste, managing the process, managing the team’s health, managing the boundaries of self‐organization, and managing the culture.


    • Mentor that transfers agile knowledge and experience to the team and ensures the necessary “mentor-mentee” relationships are established.


    • Teacher to ensure Scrum and other relevant methods are understood and enacted.


    • Impediment Remover solving blocking issues to the team’s progress, taking into account the self‐organizing capabilities of the Development Team.


  • Change Agent to enable a culture in which Scrum Teams can flourish.

When the Scrum Master role is fulfilled according to these 8 stances, chances are the spirit of Scrum is truly understood and Scrum is used successfully.

In the upcoming article I’ll share the Scrum Master as a change leader. This stance really sets apart good & great Scrum Masters! If you want to learn more already, check out the white paper “the 8 stances of a Scrum Master”.


Find out more about this topic during the talk from Bary Overeem „The Scum Master as the Change Leader“ at the Agile Leadership Day 2017.

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