Scrum – New Corporate Lingo for Team building?

Someone mentioned to me the other day that they were hoping to be picked as a “Scrum Master”. You’re looking to play rugby I thought? Is this a new term for a rugby captain? No, A Scrum Master is the new corporate buzz word for a self-organized team leader. The goal of a “Scrum” is to take a group of individualistic people and create a cohesive, agile team where each member supports each other, ideas are shared and used to push a project forward even when it seems stalled.

When I talk to businesses interested in organizing a team building event, I often hear about how the employees are hesitant to participate in team building activities. They imagine that the ice breaker exercises and trust falls will be silly and the ropes course physically intimidating. Employees question whether or not they will learn anything about each other to function as a better team. I can tell you from over 37 years experience as a professorial team builder, that by the end of the day, I have never left a group who has not grown better for the experience. It’s just getting them over the first hurdle of questioning and doubt that is key.
So where does my point of a “Scrum” come in? I see that the successful elements of the new corporate “Scrum Team” are no different than the teams I build on the ropes course. I am the Scrum Master. I give my groups a problem to solve. They brainstorm solutions. I encourage their success. We all sprint to a solution. Our sense of team is developed and pride is gained through what we have accomplished by the end of the day.


  1. michael cardus on December 28, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    We can call these folks whatever we want Project Manager, Team Lead, Scrum Master, etc… They all are meaningless unless they have the proper accountability and authority to do the work and the team roles are also clearly defined and know what the accountability and authority for the work is.
    The skills sets of effective teams stem from management competence, clear goals for the team and the individuals, plus the resources to achieve those goals with defined role relationships.

  2. Vanessa Mumford on March 5, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I really love team building activities. I have this in high school, in college and now that I am working. This is just very nice because it keeps all workers close to each other and spending special bond together makes it even helpful for them to have one goal which is to succeed.-