I’ve been a scrum master for 5 years. The role seems to be misunderstood and thankless.

Often organizations I’ve worked in are not interested in process improvement and agile coaching to implement Scrum well, and in the worse case scenario. actively discourage doing this type of work, taking away key elements of the role leading to it not being valued.

When I’ve successfully introduced changes, for example such as improving team velocity using agile principles, helping them to deliver more business value overtime, the work done to do that is not given the respect it deserves.

Equally I’ve seen situations where the Scrum master role would be treated as a delivery manager but when you have a Product Owner in the team trying to do the same type of work from being responsible for prioritizing, and managing Stakeholders expectations , can lead to conflict over how the work should be planned and delivered.

In terms of the Scrum master career path, it seems to be vague, unlike other roles, no clear structure. After 5 years I have no idea how to progress beyond it. Where if I was a developer, I could aspire towards becoming a tech lead. There is nothing to differentiate between junior and senior Scrum masters since they all have the same title.

What do people think about the role?

2 Answers 2


That depends a lot on what you want your "career" to be.

Take for example the developers you are working with. For most of them, being a developer is their dream job. It's not a neccessary evil, a stepping stone in their "career". They want to be developers. Maybe "senior" developers, or whatever title gives them more money and recognition for their work, but they would not want to switch their work. Most of them want to be developers until they retire.

On the other hand, take anybody with the word "manager" in their title. Nobody gets up in the morning and thinks "yes, regional middle management, my dream job, I hope I don't get promoted into global upper management". Those people want to climb ladders. Their current job is a stepping stone. Something they have to do to transfer to a better job. If you told them they'd have this level management job until retirement, most would be really sad and consider that a failure.

Scum Master is not one of those career stepping stones. At least not a natural one. It is not a leader of people in the traditional leader sense of command and control. There is no logical next step. There is no boss, whose job you get in line for almost automatically when they vacate their spot for whatever reason.

So your question comes down to what you want. Are you happy with the job of Scum Master? Then finding a good company where you can be your best Scrum Master self is great. You can do that until retirement.

If you see your career as a ladder that you have to climb, then Scrum Master is not a natural step. Get into a path that has "manager" in the title and climb that ladder until you are the CEO. Companies that use Scrum often times are not the best for this. If you want to climb a command and control ladder, you are better off in a company that has straight command & control structures. Where there is a direct hierarchical line from worker to teamlead to manager to manager's manager etc.


It can be very fulfilling but it's important to know that its not a starring role where you get a lot of recognition. Your team is always the star and often you are not recognised for your efforts by management. Also its pretty difficult to get promoted as there is not really a career path.

  • 1
    Not to mention very niche, only orgs interested in doing agile hire them.
    – bobo2000
    Jan 13 at 10:41

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