Great post. I particularly find the push for durable teams and embedded leadership meaningful. Good synergy with building a Product Mindset: https://bit.ly/48y7LDQ. And I agree about SM’s often not fulfilling on the value promise. But I will add, when you have a truly amazing SM it can work. I recall one while I was at Accenture who really, really got it. He was amazing… delivered on the promise of removing roadblocks, protecting the team. But incredibly rare, so I think “the exception makes the rule.” 😏

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Feb 11Liked by Leah Tharin

Very good article. From what I understand an Internal EM is technical and people focused. An experienced Scrum Master is also people focused. A Dev lead (aka Tech lead) working with an experieced SM could provide similar outcomes for the team. How does the SM fit into the team when there is an dedicated Internal EM?

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Not a fan of a Scrum Master being a dedicated role. I think the responsibility falls also on the EM.

Can you be specific what a Scrum Master does that delivers value, I find the role to be too much of a catch - all phrase.

I've also fallen out of love with Scrum in general.

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You are correct, Scrum can be a catch-all phrase. An experienced SM is a continuous improvement specialist. They are framework agnostic, however they know that small batches of work and customer validation are key to solving problems and making customer experiences more pleasant. A great SM is the custodian of the team. Their focus is People, Process and Culture. They help team understand the benefits of key concepts like, collective ownership, collaboration, limiting WIP, having a value driven mindset, and crafting and aligning outcomes that support the Product goal. I like the idea of an EM being able to fill that SM role. I haven't experience that yet, however I always like to be surprised

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Feb 10Liked by Leah Tharin

Very good read and aligns a lot with my experience of how to build product teams.

I particularly relate to the detached engineering manager which is a flaw in general.

“ The other problem is that you should never let a Product Manager fully reign over the product team. We have to put the EM (Engineering Manager) and PM (Product Manager) on the same level of decision so they can balance technical debt and product urgency.”

But not only tech debt, also accountability and authority to own the ‘delivery’.

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Excellent read!

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