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The ScrumMaster, a Coach and Connector

24 July 2015


Do Agile teams really need coaching at all times? Or Is a coach really required when an Agile team has matured? As we see in sports, even a star-studded team needs a coach; the same goes for an Agile team, even a matured one. Teams need someone who can observe within context and facilitate necessary adjustments. Who can do this better than a ScrumMaster, who is, after all, always there with the team? Having said that, a ScrumMaster could always seek the opinion of an Agile coach if needed.


Who is a connector? Malcolm Gladwell, in his book The Tipping Point, describes a connector as someone who knows everyone and who really cares about knowing everyone. Imagine having someone on the team who knows everyone from, let's say, the service desk representative to the enterprise architect. Would someone like this not be a great ScrumMaster? Of course, and a person with these qualities would not only be efficient at removing impediments but also be able to share knowledge and real-world experiences with other Agile teams in the organization.

So next time you're looking for a ScrumMaster, remember to think about the candidates' coaching and connecting skills.

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

Article Rating

Current rating: 5 (8 ratings)


Robert Day, CSM, 8/3/2015 8:36:01 AM
There are different sorts of coaches in sporting teams; so not only is there a coach for team tactics, but there will also be coaches for individual strength and fitness of the team members (sometimes called a 'conditioning trainer'). That to me seems like the description of Gladwell's 'connector'.

Most team dynamics theory emphasises the idea that different personalities within a team have differing strengths, and the art of putting your team together is to bring together people with different but complementary strengths. Again, a 'connector' will hopefully have identified individuals' strengths and be able to assemble an effective team.
Meghan Robinson, CSM,CSPO, 3/17/2016 4:16:54 PM
Would you be okay with us highlighting this article on our new AgileCareers Blog?

You can view the blog here:

I look forward to hearing your response! Thanks.

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