If you are looking around some key indicators around which you can help your Scrum Masters discover where they are on their Scrum Master journey and what are the areas they need to improve, then may be this read is for you-

Before you read this post, a pre-reading of my earlier post would help- Art of Scrum Mastership!

This framework was created based on how the progression of Scrum Master role can be visualized from various perspectives that include a team coach, mentor, teacher, change catalyst and an agile leader.

The Scrum master landscape can be understood as evolving following the SHU Ha Ri stages as detailed below.

“Shu Ha Ri” describes a learning progression of mastery and can be applied to any category of progression.

Shu- The Doer: In this stage the Scrum Master mostly takes a “Rule Checker” role where focus is on adherence to Scrum Rules, practices by book without much attention on the value and outcome.

Typical activities in this state include-

  • Teaching team what is Scrum
  • Blocking team’s calendar
  • Ensuring whole team attendance for Scrum events
  • Following the set prescribed practice for doing the Scrum events
  • Tracking team utilization
  • Assign work to team members
  • Ensuring team members update ALM tools if any


Ha- The Thinker: In this stage the Scrum Master moves from the “Doer” to more of a “leader” by leading team via a voyage of Self-Realization.  Mentor the team  and Product Owner in Scrum implementation from value perspective.

Typical activities in this stage may include-

  • Questioning team on what is their current health in terms of meeting the sprint goal
  • What would the team like to do to meet their sprint goal
  • Is there anything that is impeding from moving forward
  • What are the concerns team has w.r.t to the current work/process?
  • Facilitate conversations/decision making process so that team can self-reflect and come up with what works for them
  • Facilitates scrum events so that they meet the intended purpose
  • Facilitate ceremonies innovatively and creatively.


Ri- The Trendsetter – In this stage the Scrum Master moves from the “Thinker” to more of a “Leader” by leading teams via a voyage of Self-Realization. Coaches the team to reflect so that they can lead themselves through a journey of continuous improvement.

  • Focus on creating role model teams that other teams can learn from
  • Creating self-sufficient ways using intelligent platforms where teams can self-reflect where they are wrt to their agile journey and are able to carve out the next steps on their own

Overall a Scrum Master can be seen progressing through these stages, and as the journey unfolds additional criteria can be added to these progressions.

These stages can be correlated to the team progression stages of  Forming Storming Norming and Performing as shown above.

Here is another good read why Scrum Masters are important!