Scrum in Layman's Terms

Metaphors and analogies are comparisons between two unlike things that have similarities. When I was asked to explain a scrum process and its roles, I used a car analogy where:
  • The Product Owner is the driver. The P.O knows the destination, and the surrounding area. Although different routes are available, they have to confirm that the team is going in the right direction and is taking the right turns.
  • The Development Team is the car, moving one kilometre at a time. It doesn't hurt to know the final destination but the team goes step by step to get the driver to where they want.
  • The Scrum Master is the mechanic. They help the driver in maintaining the car's condition (a flat tire is an impediment). They monitor the car and fine tune it on the go. The Scrum Master should be able to adjust themselves depending on the team they serve (they are called servants for a reason). If the team is rather new to Agile and Scrum, the mechanic would be comparable to a Peewee coach, directing his players and providing them with simple instructions ("protect yourself", "it's time for Daily Scrum"). On the other hand, with a highly effective Scrum Team, the Scrum Master would be coaching a team for Stanley Cup. The SM would have to change their approach and serve the team on another level. A good Scrum Master would be able to assess the team's level and needs, then adjust him/herself accordingly.

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