Plight of a volunteer..

19 Feb

Everyday requests pour in to the queue of Scrum Alliance Inc., and Certified Scrum Masters Linked In groups – from across the world.

I have been helping with the group management activity since quite some time and have received help from few more volunteers on the groups.  Even after having 6 to 8 group managers the requests still keep piling up. After a long time of wait and watch, I decided to email the group mgmt team today.  This is the first step towards my journey to settle things after the Scrum Alliance restructuring that kind of left these groups – Orphan (just in the custody of volunteers).


Hello everyone,

In last one month – couple of group management team members decided to leave the group. We appreciate their contribution and thank them for their involvement.

To the ones who are still interested to help out, recently there have been lots of requests piling up in both CSM and SA groups. Especially SA group – today I processed around 60 odd requests from both the groups.

Till past month, I did have a little bandwidth to pickup the load but that’s not the case now.

I know this we agreed to be a VOLUNTEER: for a good cause. Let me take a moment to give you all a clearer picture:

1) These groups were started by a (then) Scrum Alliance employee or the Product Owner

2) Group loads increased so they requested volunteers to help. We had 5 volunteers working at a sustained pace and improving on management activities and setting processes

3) Scrum Alliance decided to LET GO of the original Product Owner and asked them to transition the product (i believe including the management of these groups) to a independent company

4) Neither SA, NOR that independent company has acknowledged the existence of these groups, which keep GROWING every minute

5) Few of the original management team members decided they could not continue helping the groups, so I called in for additional volunteers

6) Rest of you heard my call and am glad you have provided your valuable time.

So why the story?

1) I wanted everyone to know the actual history about this part

2) Think about all the ASPIRING members who keep sending their requests to join these groups (from world wide) and are completely ignorant about this situation

(That the groups are actually orphan and Scrum Alliance is NOT really managing the groups – VOLUNTEERS like US are)

3) Remind us all about the commitment we made (few hours a week) to help out with the management activity of this group.

4) After getting you all on the same page, I now would like to bring this issue to light with someone from Scrum Alliance Inc. (the “Owner” of this group has been unresponsive)

5) Because – if SA does not treat these groups as their product, the policies and operation for these need to change.

6) The efforts we put in as volunteers are otherwise going unnoticed

Let us look at the PENDING requests as our BACKLOG, and think of ourselves as an agile team:

  1. If everyone can help pick up a few requests every week, that will help distribute the load for EVERYONE
  2. Will provide a chance for everyone on group management team to be a active participant in discussions on group

I would really appreciate your honest feedback and response on this issue of how can we deal better with managing this backlog?

We can have at the most 10 managers on 1 group. If the management team keeps growing shorter, I will have to opt for re-opening the volunteer call and re-training them.

This is our chance for a retrospective of this team – if you truly believe in agile values, I know you will understand my concern.

I personally appreciate everyone’s involvement and volunteering for this effort and hope to hear from you soon.

Have a great week end.


As I mentioned, my next step will be getting in touch with one or more people from Scrum Alliance leadership team – regardless of how the current volunteer managers react to my email.

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Posted by on February 19, 2011 in Volunteering


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