Network organization – roles evolution

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in management

Main difference between standard company structure and network structure (more information about that topic can be found here) is dynamics:

  • company structure fits business model
  • structure changes together with business
  • cells have autonomy to make decisions

And it means that role description must also be dynamic and change together with POD’s evolution. Here is possible evolution of POD keeper role.

POD stagePOD Keeper focusRole & Responsibilities
Idea, early stageProgramming
POC creation
Explore technology
Tech Lead
2-3 people
Determine needed resources
Lightweight delivery process
Experimenting technology
Scrum Master
5-12 people
StabilizationProduct development process
Quality assurance
Ensuring capacity
Managing technology
Development manager
15-40 people
ExpansionDefining product lines
New technologies
Managing product portfolio
Planning new offerings
Development manager
40+ people
MatureOptimize whole value delivery
Avoid centralization
Identify new value chains
Set up new PODs
Change agent
100+ people

Principle is simple as POD grows POD Lead and Keeper responsibilities are changing accordingly to meet business goals and needs.

Good luck

Why do we need a Scrum Master?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in management, process

If you search Google you will easily find a description of the role and most probably you perfectly know it.

But why there is still an open discussion takes place. Should a Scrum Master be the only role? Can a Developer (QA, whatever…) perfectly perform this role? Here is normal team:

Scrum Master

Team’s output – perfect product; Scrum Master’s output – highly performing team

As it can be seen role of a Scrum Master is critical for the team. Scrum Master is the person who challenges the team and focus on improvements. Key aspects that allow to achieve that:

  • Observation

Scrum Master

Only person who is not committed to a sprint can focus on observing team’s work, fostering difficult discussions and thinking about long term improvements. From my experience it’s much more difficult to do that being a developer acting as a Scrum Master.

It’s written in a lot of books – to improve the system you must be outside. How often do you see a football team coach who is also playing on the field? If you did, it definitely wasn’t a game of professional teams and in all cases this model fails.

Why doesn’t this work? Everything is simple. While you are on the field you don’t see how the whole team performs. You don’t know when it’s best to make substitutes e.g. to give someone a rest before a very important match next week or just to avoid injuries; you can miss when opponent changes tactics or you noticed problems other team has and new learned tricks can be applied.

– Substitutes or injuries can be mapped to handling conflicts, fixing small bugs or implementing some practices

– Change of tactics can be mapped to desire to innovate, learn and build long term value


  • Protection

Scrum Master

I believe by “protection” everybody thinks about external “threats”: Product Owner with new requirements, other teams with questions, noisy room and etc.
While it’s true I think it’s more important to protect team from themselves – over committing, forgetting about technical debt or non-functional requirements, resistance to new practices, lack of courage to say “no”.
Protection gives possibilities for the teams to keep the pace and improve.


You must spend a lot of time on the activities above to grow teams. Decision who is going to perform Scrum Master’s role depends on how fast you want to improve.