Why the scrum master can’t be the product owner?

This question is raised over and over again. And it is a fair one. If both are roles from the Scrum Team, why can’t they be done by the same person?

Well, the reason is very simple. Have you ever heard this quote?

Jack of all trades, master of none

If your role is to coach a team, an organization, and a product owner. How can you talk to Stakeholders, find business value and groom the backlog?

All Scrum roles are extremely important. No two can be done by the same person.

Don’t even get me started into lean wastes. We talked about it in a post before. Doing to roles at the same time is a recipe for Task Switching, Partially Done work, Delays and a lot of Relearning if you want to do a good job.

If you are a Scrum Master and a Product Owner, what is your priority? Coaching the team or Find Business value? One of them is going to get less attention from you.
The same happens when a Scrum Master is still a member of the development team. If the sprint is “on fire” and you need to deliver a story, that will for sure take more priority than coaching your teammates in agility.

One cannot simply do two things at the same time.

What do you think? Did you ever manage to do 2 roles of a scrum team effectively?
Let me know on socialz or ping me via email at me@ruitiago.blog



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