I used an alt account as I'm active on other .SE sites, and I considered whether this would be more applicable to The Workplace but I'm asking here because ultimately I thought it's more a 'project management' thing than a 'what should I do in my personal workplace situation' thing. And I suspect it may be a common thing Scrum Masters encounter.
I'm a "specialist" in a team (non-scrum, non-agile) of other specialists (with varying areas of expertise, but the commonality is that we are kind of a "crack team" of experts that can be called on when required to give 'consultancy' where required to the scrum teams in the company, as well as pursuing our own strategic projects in the meantime to further the underlying "strategic" goals of the company). To be clear, when I say consultancy I mean in an internal, metaphorical sense -- we are employees of the company as the Scrum team members are.
So I'm a UX 'Guru' and so I get tasked with UX "internal consultancy" around the various teams as well as working on broader projects around UX and similar things in the company as a whole.
So, for the last 6 months or so I've been placed onto "Project X" which has a Scrum team of 4 web developers, 2 testers, a Scrum Master (who isn't one of the devs/testers); the Product Owner role is taken by one of the development team members which makes sense in this context.
In each Sprint there isn't always (or often!) enough UX Consultancy work to justify being a full time scrum team member, but at each stand-up I have to report back "what I did yesterday" etc (which could be nothing, practically speaking), what I intend to pick up today, etc.
I probably could, but don't really want to, start to become "cross-functional" in that I could start learning to develop in Angular.JS and so on, or learn how to automate tests, or whatever it is the team needs more capacity for at the moment... but I started work at this company with a clear directive as a UX Designer and that's the focus of my career path. I don't want to become a "front end dev" as such; I appreciate that elements of front end design are inherent to the UX Designer, but what I mean is that I don't want to spend 2 years on this project doing no UX stuff and all front-end development stuff because that's what the project requires, and then find myself in 2 years time unemployable in my actual field due to lack of recent experience!
The expectation seems to be that we are all at full (give or take) utilization; there's a time tracking application where we have to fill in that we spent X hours on Y day working on backlog item Z, etc, which is used for "billable time" requirements. Broadly working on something that's a "project" is billable; 'internal' work such as a lot of the strategic stuff I work on normally isn't billable to a specific customer but is under an internal code like "researching the market" or whatever. Later the time tracking application gets compared against estimates.
When there isn't any more for me to do on this project I've found I am drifting on to research about general developments in the industry, thinking about problems that apply to other projects in the company (that I'm not officially assigned to so can't report the time against their project), etc.
In the meantime I keep being asked to provide input to other teams or to have a look at something and suggest how to improve it or whatever... these tasks could take 2 hours or a day or more depending on what they are, and they are the core of my 'real' job.
I've been chastised for working on these things "off the books" relative to the Scrum team (although they were reflected on my time tracking) because the SM needs full commitment from everybody and needs to "protect" the team from "outside" interruptions so that we can deliver the Sprint Goals.
And I'm restricted from working on them, as they are outside of the 'Sprint Goals'!
So recently the 'solution' has been to carve out a time-box of (say) 7 hours of "work outside the sprint" for internal consultancy to team X about problem Y and then it gets included in our metrics as "waste" as it wasn't contributing to the Sprint (because I was doing my real job!!
My question / TL;DR:
How should a scrum master/scrum team handle a situation where they have assimilated a cross-functional "expert" from elsewhere in the company, at a supposed 100% utilisation, when there isn't 100% worth of work and the "expert" keeps receiving external requests, as would be expected in their position?
How to record this in the Scrum metrics?