Scrum in Stories: Sam Gamgee

I recently introduced Hero Feedback at a client company. The idea of archetypes and role models from famous stories resonated with people. When they wanted to find a better name for the Scrum Master “role”, they started having conversations around movie and story characters that fit as role models for a Scrum Master. The first hero who was discussed was Sam Gamgee, the hobbit from The Lord Of The Rings. I asked on Twitter for more ideas and got lots of answers…

I’m sure you have more. I strongly believe in using stories and metaphors to shape and transmit our thinking… I’ll start with Sam, and depending on your feedback I might do more 🙂

Sam the Scrum Master

Sam only reluctantly joins the team, thinking he’s not up to the job. He doesn’t know how he can contribute to the team’s success, given his limited powers. He’s never been on such a team before, and faces great uncertainty. He’s very reliable, and leads by example in being open, and vulnerable.

How is Sam Successful?

  • Sam is successful when he trusts himself and acts with confidence.
  • Sam is successful when he helps his fellows focus on the goal.
  • Sam is successful when he trusts others to help when he’s weak, i.e. when he goes after Frodo into the river.
  • Sam is successful when he keeps and displays his faith in success, i.e. keeping food for the way back.
  • Sam is successful when he uses his courage: “I can’t carry the ring for you, but I can carry you…”

How does Sam sabotage his success?

  • Sam sabotages his success when he is servile, saying things like “Master Frodo, …”
  • Sam sabotages his success in the larger group because he stays in the second row.
  • Sam sabotages his success when he goes into aggressive conflict with Gollum, risking his place on the team.

More Ideas?

What else in Sam’s story reminds you of a Scrum Master, and may help our understanding of a Scrum Master?

Who else would be a good role model—a character from this story or any other?

Do you find this helpful? Would you like me to write more “hero models” like this one?


1 Comment

  1. Olaf Lewitz Scrum in Stories: Severus Snape - Olaf Lewitz
    August 27, 2014

    […] February, I wrote the first example post about Sam Gamgee for Hero Feedback applied to a Scrum Role. I asked for ideas on Twitter whom else to write about […]


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