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Scrum: Reporting structure of Scrum Masters in various organizations …

There are organizations where the management does not care about the method of development (I have been part of one such organization in the past). The senior management were interested in ensuring that the projects were done in time, and attrition rates were not abnormally high, but all other aspects were to be managed by the HR team and the middle management, which worked with the individual teams. This would be fine if the middle management was well versed in different development models and understood the differences between say the Waterfall development model and the Scrum based model. However, there are many cases where the middle management do not understood the need for moving to using Scrum, the benefits it brings and so on.
I get this asked this question a lot (and so do many other Scrum Masters); why would you need to make sure that your middle level management in the organization need to understand the benefits of Scrum, how it works, and so on ? Well, having seen the priorities of many middle managers and their need to understand items like this, I also think about this. But then I have had the benefit of working in an organization (a different one from the previous one that I described above) where my boss, a senior manager in the organization, wanted to know the benefits of using Scrum, the need for doing so, and what does it mean for the team.
Once the boss understood this, he was able to understand better when the team ran into some impediments that needed his help, and even when the individual team members would have hallway discussions with him, he would have a better understanding of how they were working, and even their brief discussions with him were morale boosting. Now all this was true even if this was a team that was using Waterfall, but there was a crucial difference. What he did next was interesting. He got the Scrum Masters to have a regular meeting with him on a weekly basis. There was a level difference between us, so he did not make this a reporting mechanism, but he did ensure that we had a weekly meeting with an open forum, where he could hear us out.
There was some doubt about whether this was a status meeting, but it turned out that he had a more interesting idea. He wanted to hear about the impediments that the team would talk about, and we were encouraged to bring them up unless they were very trivial. The idea was not for him to try to solve these, but he felt that making the team members be almost capable of defining their own progress (by becoming an empowered Scrum team) would increase their attachment to the organization, and there were a number of items that they could bring up which would not only benefit the team but could be applied to other teams as well. Overall, this worked out pretty well, since he actually made some changes across teams in terms of environmental issues that benefited all the teams. And on the oft case when there were problems with team productivity, there was a more patient ear, although the team managers still had to show best efforts in terms of proper coaching of the teams.
This was one of the reporting structures of Scrum Masters that I could see; as I find more, I will add more posts ..

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