Scrum: Coach. Consultant. Mentor. Super-Hero…

Thanks for reading the latest blog entry at

One of the things I hear a lot about (both inside and outside of our little industry in the world) is the differences between coaches, consultants, and mentors.

Which brought me back to a discussion I had a few years ago with John Snuggs (shout out!) who used to poke me about wearing my “Captain Obvious” hat.

Which then lead to the super-hero-wearing-ScrumMaster in the comic strip above.


Then the elephant.


What does that elephant represent?

In America, we talk about this thing called, “An elephant in the room” which is something reallllllllllly uncomfortable that everyone knows is there but is afraid to bring it up.  Make sense?

Sooo… besides being the elephant in the room… what does Captain Obvious need to teach us about Scrum “Coaches” versus “Consultants” versus “Mentors”?

This could be one of those epic postings with me talking about the ins-and-outs of the three words and how they not only sound different — but in the real world ARE different.


Question to you… and I will talk and post more about this… in the comments section write more about the good, the bad, and the ugly about the differences you see in either the people you hire, work with, or ARE.

Elephant recognized.

Let’s hear more about what this means to you.  And your teams.  And your organizations.

And of course… this is leading somewhere.  It always does.

And it usually surprises even me (heh).

Time for Captain Obvious.  Pointing out the elephant in the room.

– mike vizdos

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  1. Pablo R. Facal says

    Hi Mike,
    Talking about consultants, some time ago I read this phrase from Scott Adams:
    “Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll buy a funny hat. Talk to a hungry man about fish, and you’re a consultant.”
    I think it’s a good description. 😉

  2. says

    some of our elephants have gray hair… but we never say hi to them.

    if you mention it you’ll have to own it… that’s our policy and probably why a very select and responsible few ever bring up the elephant. If you bring him home you have to feed and water him and clean up after him!

    If i was a manager i’d assign the elephant to the person who looked like they were the least likely to bring it up or even were trying to get the person who brought it up not to bring it up.

  3. says

    A consultant tells you the solution to a problem.
    A coach helps you find your own solution to a problem.
    A mentor helps you learn how to have fewer problems.
    I just made that last one up. I think I like it.

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