Future of Scrum Master: Research Study

In the TV show the West Wing, the President says:

“OK, what’s next?”

He gets it. No more discussions, he’s decided and is ready to move on.

“What next?”

Implies you have made the decision to look forward instead of backward. The best folks are always looking ahead:

Better sprints: We just rocked this sprint. What’s next?

Spread agile: This team delivers awesome results? Can we scale it?

Career: I’m a great Scrum Master. Now What?

We coach our agile teams in continuous improvement every day. Every major IT shop today has some flavor of agile in their delivery system and in most cases, it is a matter of when and not if they move to an agile delivery ecosystem.

And this has got me thinking about the role of Scrum Master and its future.

My personal journey with agile started in 2009 when I attended a Scrum Master class. Since then I have led several teams to adopt agile principles and practices. I have witnessed the mushrooming of agile consulting boutique firms, the rise of the scaled agile concepts, the agile certification chaos and the spread of agile practices to other areas like marketing and HR.

Throughout this journey, I have been fascinated by the role of the Scrum Master. The Scrum Alliance certification directory list 409,636 certified Scrum Masters across the planet, not to count the ones who are certified via Scrum.org, ICAgile, and countless others. There have been furious and passionate discussions online debating the need for a full-time Scrum Master role on a Scrum team. Whether the Scrum Master should be technical or should they facilitate more than one Scrum teams. What is the career growth path for Scrum Masters?

I’m embarking on this journey to gain perspective and insights into the role of a Scrum Master in this maturing and evolving agile landscape.

Through a combination of survey, in-depth interviews, and a constant feedback loop, my vision is to present a holistic viewpoint around the future of the Scrum Master role.

Here’s where you come in.

I’m looking for perspectives from Scrum Masters (off course), but I am also looking for input from product owners, development team members, resource managers, engineering managers, agile coaches, management consultants, trainers, product management, senior management – PMO Directors, business unit VPs and CIOs.


  • 2000 survey responses
  • 100 deep dive one-on-one interviews


  • Share interim results on this blog
  • Final report released in September 2017


Here’s how you can contribute and participate: 

1.    Fill out this short survey to provide your input

2.   Volunteer for a deep dive interview (Interview will be conducted via Skype) 

3.   Share this with your colleagues and friends

Everyone who contributes in this study will get a copy of my final report with summarized data and insights. You can even choose to receive interim updates via email.

So, what’s next?

I would love to hear from you. Whatever you choose, don’t stand still.

Add your point of view. 


About Samir Penkar

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