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      Leadership Gap in Agile Teams: How Teams and Scrum Masters Mature

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          Abstract

          Motivation: How immature teams can become agile is a question that puzzles practitioners and researchers alike. Scrum is one method that supports agile working. Empirical research on the Scrum Master role remains scarce and reveals contradicting results. While the Scrum Master role is often centred on one person in rather immature teams, the role is expected to be shared among multiple members in mature teams. Objective: Therefore, we aim to understand how the Scrum Master role changes while the team matures. Method: We applied Grounded Theory and conducted qualitative interviews with 53 practitioners of 29 software and non-software project teams from Robert Bosch GmbH. Results: We discovered that Scrum Masters initially plays nine leadership roles which they transfer to the team while it matures. Roles can be transferred by providing a leadership gap, which allows team members to take on a leadership role, and by providing an internal team environment with communication on equal terms, psychological safety, transparency, shared understanding, shared purpose and self-efficacy. Conclusion: The Scrum Master role changes while the team matures. Trust and freedom to take over a leadership role in teams are essential enablers. Our results support practitioners in implementing agile teams in established companies.

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          Most cited references 8

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          Agile software development, the people factor

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            A teamwork model for understanding an agile team: A case study of a Scrum project

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              Group development and group maturity when building agile teams: A qualitative and quantitative investigation at eight large companies

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                19 December 2018
                Article
                1812.07867

                http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

                Custom metadata
                15 pages, 2 figures
                cs.SE

                Software engineering

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