Why a ScrumMaster is like a Quarterback

The other night as I was taking my evening break from the Agile World, I was confronted by 2 aliens who were very upset with our regard for sports in general, the Human Race overall, and for some reason me in particular.  In fact they were so irritated they didn’t try to put a probe in me.  I was crushed.

The cause of their ire was due to their monitoring of ESPN, the Discovery Health Channel, and PBS.  In addition they had captured every medial conversation, journal and blog entry on the human body with particular emphasis on the neuro muscular system.

They were ripped that such an important game as American Football was led by an obviously inferior individual.  The one person on the team with a Quarter of a Back.  Insane! they cried, questioning the competency of our species – or at least our country – to be nominated for membership in the great intergalatic sports community.

What was  the problem with us, they demanded, to have a person with a full back or even one with a half back on the field and to still insist on fololowing the person with the least capability to remain in a vertical position.    It was not just their concern either. They let it slip that our solar system was on the short list to be converted into a rest area for the new hyper way.

I felt their minds had not been quite fried enough, so I told them about a software team being led by a ScrumMaster who  had only two days of training.  I shouldn’t have done that I guess, the gelatin-like masses where the voices seemed to come from went solid, turned ocre and started to emit a slow whiny sigh.

I took pity and explained to them that the name ScrumMaster was just like the name quarterback –  two great examples of the stupid way we earthlings label important roles in our organizations.  I went on to explain that these names were the names of positions people had, and did not reflect their competency or limitations in doing their job.  I then told them of other names in sports like gully foot and shortstop.  In addition I mentioned Project Manager and Assistant associate deputy to the second vice president for paper disposal.

This seemed to get them very excited and confused, then very happy.  So happy they forgot to take me with them and put probes in me.

It turns out the combination of the names we give roles and how we make such a big deal of some stupid names and say nothing about others will be the next season’s big hit. These two are setting up galaxy wide viewing licenses of the biggest show in all of time and space. A reality show that will document that Homer Simpson (a huge name in the Galaxy) is the smartest person on earth. 

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