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Engineers As Scrum Masters

Vidal Graupera

Engineering Manager at LinkedIn

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Problem

"I had worked at a number of places who liked using an informal version of Agile. However, when I began working at Autodesk I realized they were really interested in using Agile and Scrum, and even had professional Scrum Masters. I wanted to become more informed about Scrum, and also wanted to see if I could improve the functioning of my team through the use of Scrum and Agile."

Actions taken

"Most companies don't have professional Scrum Masters, but at Autodesk, it depends on the Manager and some teams have professional Scrum Masters and some don't. Engineering managers shouldn't be Scrum Masters, but I ended up going to the Scrum Master training so I could learn more about the process. We also ended up sending various members from my team, so they could also learn about the processes. Once they had completed this training, we had the engineers work as part-time Scrum Masters. However, I found that the engineers tried to do as little of this as possible, and that they were concerned about the time it would take away from them developing. Because of this, was important for me to set clear expectations in terms of how much time they should spend on Scrum. In addition, I found that choosing extroverted, more forceful engineers to lead the Scrums."

Lessons learned

"If you want engineers to work as Scrum Masters, be sure to send them to the training. When done well, having a full, self-organizing Scrum team changes the job of the Engineering Manager. By providing team members with the ability to make commitments for themselves, I have ended up with more time to focus on coaching, hiring and mentoring."


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Vidal Graupera

Engineering Manager at LinkedIn


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