In this blog post, I present a long article that summarizes what a Scrum Master is. Here's everything you need to know about the Scrum Master.
The article "What is a ScrumMaster" gives an overview of the role of the ScrumMaster.I have written an extensive playabout Scrum methodology, and I strongly recommend that you visit it first before proceeding to read this page. It is a concise but comprehensive introduction to itScrum-Framework. Understanding this methodology will help you understand what a Scrum Master is.
If you have some Scrum basics and want to know more about the functions, roles, and responsibilities of a Scrum Master, read on below
A Scrum Master is like a lighthouse in a Scrum Team, composed of a Product Owner, a Development Team and the Scrum Master himself. He ensures that he guides his teammates based on the principles of the Scrum Framework.
Like a beacon, he makes sure to explain to everyone how to properly “dock” their ship using Scrum before his team crashes into a harbor in stormy weather. Although a Scrum Master is part of a Scrum Team, you should know that as a "Scrum Beacon" of a company, they also make sure that they also educate other employees/teams on what can be a useful interaction with the Scrum Team and what can be detrimental.
Basically, Scrum Masters are responsible for three groups; Product owner, development team and the organization. These are just similes and generalizations, but if you want to know exactly the exact roles, functions, and responsibilities of a Scrum Master, the answer is in theScrum Guideeven.
Before we dive into the specifics, let's review three high-level concepts of a Scrum Master.
So what is a Scrum Master?
Scrum Master als Change Agent
Scrum Masters occupy a very important position in a company. Both have the “battlefield” insight and a 30,000ft view of how different teams are progressing on a day-to-day basis.As?
A way of ways is throughAgile Retrospective. The Facilitating Agile Retrospective gives Scrum Masters the opportunity to identify trends and recurring problems in a team. Although knowing the problem is just one step in accelerating change, Scrum Masters at least know what needs to change in an organization.
And that's where every change begins. I even wrote an extensive oneInstructions on how to shoot an agile retrospectiveinto an actionable problem-solving tool for executives usingObstacle fault. With this initiative, Scrum Masters are able to propose significant changes in an organization.
Scrum Master as a Servant Leader
Of theScrum Guidethemselves are identified as Scrum MastersMinistering Guides. This is an essential characterization of a Scrum Master, since without the concept of servant leadership, a Scrum Master will not be able to fully implement the Scrum Framework. It also goes back to the idea of being a lighthouse.
A lighthouse is designed to serve seafarers and guide people to a safe haven. I wrote a blog post about itten characteristics of a servant leader here. Give it a try if you are unsure how Scrum Masters can be a servant leader in an organization.
Scrum Master as a mirror
It is imperative that a Scrum Master becomes the “mirror” of the team. Through a Scrum Master, the team can easily check that what they are doing does not reflect Agile and Scrum values. When a team stands in front of a mirror, they can easily spot and be reminded of the mistakes that go against the Scrum methodology.
The Scrum Master reminds the team to improve on these deficiencies by becoming the observer and the extra eye that looks unbiased but only at the principles of Scrum and Agile values. With team mirroring, members can receive open-ended questions from the Scrum Master that lead to overall team improvement.
This could be done through the use of modules like sprint backlogs, metrics and other tools.Now that we've broken down three high-level roles of a Scrum Master, let's get back to basics and basics, and find out the key responsibilities of a Scrum Master when it comes to collaborating with Product Owners, the Development Team, and in the organization he works for .
Responsibilities of the Scrum Master to the Product Owner
- It is important for a Scrum Master to be able to identify techniques that are effective and efficient for managing Product Backlogs.
- The Scrum Master should be able to articulate the items in the Product Backlogs.
- The Scrum Master should demonstrate an understanding of product planning in the empirical environment
- Help organize Product Backlog items that maximize value
- Demonstrate mastery of agility
- Enable scrum events as needed
Scrum Master responsibilities to the Development Team
- Coach the development team to be self-organizing and cross-functional
- Support the development team to develop high-quality products
- Remove obstacles to team progress
- Enable scrum events as needed
- Help the development team adapt in an organization that is just adopting Scrum
Responsibilities of the Scrum Master to an organization
- Lead and coach the company/organization in adopting Scrum
- Plan the implementation and introduction of Scrum in the company/organization
- Help employees and other stakeholders fully understand Scrum and empirical product development
- Initiate changes that result in increased Scrum Team productivity
- Collaborate with other Scrum Masters to fully enable Scrum within an organization
All of these roles and responsibilities are already discussed hereinprimerand also in officialsScrum Guide.
Aside from these roles and responsibilities to a Scrum Team, in this article I have written a definitive list of specific roles that a Scrum Master must play.Role of the Scrum Master Everything all Scrum Masters need to know“.
Remember that the main goal of a Scrum Master in an organization is to help stakeholders adapt to the Scrum framework and agile methods. Alongside this, the Scrum Master should help the company to have a stable and self-organizing team with a clear roadmap and help the company to identify organizational roadblocks.
To recap, here are other Scrum Master roles and responsibilities that embody this goal:
Responsible for the Scrum artifacts
- facilitate planning
- facilitate care
- facilitate reviews
- enable retrospectives
- Helps the team stay focused (e.g. becoming the external barrier to distractions)
- Helps maintain the team's Scrums tools (e.g. action board, storyboard, diagrams, backlogs, etc.)
- Helps the team and product owner determine the definition of done and the definition of ready
Responsible for developing and maintaining team dynamics
- mediation of conflicts
- Advisor for team decisions
- Encouraging the development team's self-organization initiatives
- Mediation and arbitration of conflicting goals between the product owner and the development team
Continuous learning and knowledge sharing with the team and organization
- A Scrum Master needs to have an always-be-learning attitude when it comes to anything agile. He should enjoy regularly attending user groups, attending conferences, reading books, writing blogs, and engaging in other activities that improve his knowledge of Agile and Scrum.
- Mentor teams and strengthen the foundation of organizations in Agile
- Helps teams create information radiators
- Provides feedback to the team
- Encourage the use of agile engineering practices, particularly within the development team
- Promote challenging agile management innovations for teams (e.g. FedEx Days)
- Enable and encourage knowledge sharing with other Scrum Masters (e.g. through communities of practice)
Helps maintain the "big picture" in the team
- Enable, encourage and initiate conversations between team members
- Updates the stakeholders regularly
- Assists the team in reporting to management
- Promotes Agile and Scrum framework within the organization through blogging and other internal related conferences.
- Become a contact person in the company when it comes to questions about Agile and Scrum
Bernd Schifferwrote a comprehensive blog post about these Scrum Master responsibilities, which you can view hereshortcut. Feel free to take a look. Most of the above ideas came from his blog post.
How to become a good Scrum Master
Now that you have some idea of the roles and responsibilities of a Scrum Master, the next logical question would be, "How can you be really good at being a Scrum Master?"
For those who are just beginning their Scrum Master career, I highly recommend that you read this article I wrote: “How to Become a Good Scrum Master - Start your Scrum Master journey.” I've outlined here how to systematize your first action points in your first 20 weeks at a company you work for. By doing this in the first 20 weeks of your new job, I can guarantee you a good start.
- Schedule a one-on-one meeting with members of the team. In these meetings you need to know your biggest concerns in the team and in the company as a whole. It is a must that you take notes. With these insights from the team, you can easily dial in the issues where you can easily implement the agile framework.
- Organize a workshop that clarifies the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of each team member.
- Coaching Alliance – Set this up early. Professional coaches have established this with their clients; You are no exception.
- Stakeholder mapping - this is an effective way to get to know the people who work in the organization.
- Install the team policy in a conspicuous part of the office/room. This serves as a visual cue for the team to follow basic work etiquette that is expected of them.
- Organize a one-off team building workshop to establish teamwork, principles, values and product vision within the team.
- Start a Kaizen board in the team room. This is a great tool for people who are serious about learning and experimenting.
- Create an input field for agile retrospectives. This will make your work a little easier. Thinking about themes in retrospectives can be tedious, so stocking up on some themes to spark new ideas would be a great way.
- performance wall. Many people forget to celebrate success, especially in a company. An achievement wall is a great reminder to celebrate achievements and motivate the team to do more.
- Kudos Wall. It's a seemingly simple yet effective tool to show how people care, respect, and value one another.
- Establish the Organizational Impediment Board. Visualize all organizational obstacles in the company. This will help prepare everyone to tackle these obstacles.
- Start a learning wall. Every organization should be geared towards learning. A learning wall is an effective tool to promote learning thinking in the company.
- communities of practice. Speaking of learning: Communities of Practice are an important framework to strengthen the learning atmosphere in your company.
- Schedule workshops for the process and principles of product development.
- Initiate release planning to help the team look beyond sprints and see the long-term perspective of the business.
- Teach and train product owners to create a release forecast to help them communicate expectations to other stakeholders.
- Schedule workshops for story mapping, impact mapping, system thinking, and causal loop diagrams.
- Initiate the practice of pair programming and create a matrix board for pair programming
Now, that can be a lot of work, but it's the best way for a Scrum Master to start their work on the right track.
Scrum Master Required skills and experience
AQualified Scrum MasterI think it has the following:
- At least 1 year. Experience as a Scrum Master in a software development team with a strong implementation of Scrum principles, frameworks, theory and practices.
- Soft skills such as situational awareness, servant leadership, empowerment, facilitation, conflict resolution, continuous improvement and increasing transparency.
- Knowledge of well-documented patterns and techniques for closing gaps in the Scrum approach such as burndown technologies, dealing with bugs and various retrospective formats, etc.
Preferred Skills and Experience (Each of which is a plus)
- Two years of experience as a Scrum Master for a software development team that has consciously implemented the principles, practices and theory of Scrum.
- Sound knowledge of other agile approaches such as XP, Crystal, Kanban, FDD, etc.
- Some awareness and experience in widely successful Agile techniques such as User Stories, TDD, Continuous Integration, ATDD, Continuous Testing, Automated Testing, Pairing and Agile Games.
- Knowledge and experience of the technologies used by the team.
- Experience in using well-documented patterns and techniques for the gaps in the Scrum approach (example: different retrospective formats, burndown technologies, dealing with bugs, etc.).
- Strong communication skills and mentoring skills.
Other requirements of some companies are the following:
- General experience in software product development. (It is not recommended to select a specific role).
- Other things that a Scrum Master might find useful and relevant to the project, the team, the organization, and the team culture.
How to Interview a Scrum Master
In a blog post entitledScrum Master Interview Questions, I shared my personal experience interviewing for a Scrum Master position. It was a fantastic 2 hour experience for me as I was able to learn a lot not only in terms of the general practice of Scrum but also the type of people I would be working with.
They took the time to review my blog and books, which is rare for many businesses. It was a pleasant surprise. Another thing I really enjoyed during the interview was the role play they initiated.
I have to say it was a great way to gauge a candidate's perspective and how a candidate might react to certain scenarios.
If you are hiring a Scrum Master, I highly recommend you also use a role-play interview to gauge the experience, soft skills, and other requirements you need from an applicant. Don't forget to read themBlog post to read some questionsthat you can use in job interviews.
How and where to find a great Scrum Master
The short and simple answer to that is: It's like looking for a needle in a haystack. The truth is that in the Agile community, the idea of having a Scrum Master is mostly scoffed at. They think there is redundancy in an organization. They simplify the role so much that it reveals the full principles behind the Scrum framework.
One of the reasons I see is the fact that there are only a few Scrum Masters who are able to use the full potential of the Scrum Framework. Another reason is the lack of role models in the industry who would truly demonstrate the strength and value of a Scrum Master.
Finally, an organization often fails to credit the success they achieve through the Scrum Master's efforts. I have set forth a carefully written case of these feelings inthis article.
I suggest you watch it to fully understand how difficult it is to find a reliable Scrum Master in a world where few have seen and understood his full contribution to an organization.
Did you like this article?
We enable leaders to be valued and recognized to make an impact in the world by helping them design digital product companies that will thrive and grow in the digital age. We do this by applying our ownADAPT Methodology®.
If you want to know how we can help you check the page:work with us.
If you want to know if you have what it takes to build a digital products business, take thisScorecard.
If you want to learn how to build a digital products business, take a look at oursAccelerator for digital leadership.
As a leader in shaping your digital products business, will you succeed or fail?
If you want to know more about the maturity level of your company's digital product development, just take this scorecard. It will help you identify all the different areas that you can improve and build a truly digital product business.
How do you answer tell me about yourself as a Scrum Master? ›
I always develop and maintain excellent working relationships with the teams I am working with, I know what level of influence to exert on a team, and I also possess a relentless pursuit of continuous improvement and development with all teams I am the scrum master for.What are the 3 main responsibilities of a Scrum Master? ›
The three roles of a scrum master are to facilitate, lead, and communicate. A scrum master must facilitate scrum meetings, also called daily standups.What is one responsibility of the Scrum Master answer? ›
A scrum master's primary responsibility is to keep the development team organized and progressing on the projects they've agreed to, in order of priority. The Scrum Master, in other words, is there to help keep the team on track.What is scrum summary? ›
Scrum organizes projects using cross-functional teams, each one of which has all of the capabilities necessary to deliver a piece of functionality from idea to delivery. The scrum framework guides the creation of a product, focusing on value and high visibility of progress.What is your greatest strength as a Scrum Master? ›
A Scrum Master can confidently assure clients about quality completion of the work in stipulated time. It is a strength on which every Scrum Master should work on, to go further with the clients and the team. Another strength of a good Scrum Master is the ability to predict the future.What are the 5 must have qualities of a Scrum Master? ›
To sum up, Scrum Masters share at least 6 traits: They are responsible, humble, collaborative, committed, influential, knowledgeable. And the best Scrum Masters also know when to abide by the rules and when to break the rules.What are the 3 C's in scrum? ›
The three Cs stand for Card, Conversation and Confirmation and in this article, I'm going to discuss each of the elements, explaining why, and how to ensure you're doing it right. I'll also scatter in a few tips from my experiences with agile teams.What are the 5 core scrum values? ›
The five Scrum values are commitment, focus, openness, respect, and courage. In Scrum methodology, these values serve as a guide for individual and team behavior, intending to boost collaboration and increase the odds of project success.What is the first thing a Scrum Master should do? ›
Sit down with the product owner and ask him to tell you about the product, its vision, strategy, objectives, roadmap, metrics, hypotheses at work, etc. Provide welcome treats.What are two behaviors of an effective Scrum Master? ›
SAFe Scrum Masters are responsible for supporting and fostering the following team attributes: Self-management and taking ownership and accountability. Aligned and collaborative. Success focused on clear goals and purpose.
What are the three rules of a Scrum Master in agile? ›
- The team is self-organizing. ...
- The ScrumMaster is a servant leader who teaches the Scrum team how to self-organize. ...
- The ScrumMaster doesn't have to attend the Daily Scrum. ...
- Scrum teams should work cross-functionally without handoffs.
A scrum master is a coach and a guide who ensures their team understands the scrum framework and its principles, values, and practices. They are a servant leader who helps their team in many ways.What are the 4 principles of scrum? ›
- individuals and interactions over processes and tools;
- working software over comprehensive documentation;
- customer collaboration over contract negotiation; and.
- responding to change over following a plan.
Focus on a reverse chronological Agile Scrum resume with minimal length. Make sure your resume summary is impactful and contains your experience, numbers and figures. Show the impact of your work, and establish yourself as Scrum Leader in the experience section. Add skills and certifications to your resume.What are the 5 main characteristics of the scrum process? ›
- Control over the empirical process. In Scrum, the empirical process is based on observation of hard evidence and experimentation rather than theory. ...
- Self-organization. ...
- Collaboration. ...
- Value-based prioritization. ...
- Time-boxing. ...
- Iterative development.
- Acknowledgment and Recognition. Who doesn't like a pat on their back after a day or month of hard work? ...
- Team Building Activities. ...
- Staying Positive During Setbacks. ...
- Ensuring Balanced Workload. ...
- Being Open to Criticism and Differing Opinions. ...
- Having Fun.
The passionate Scrum Master loves what they do, and truly loves to help humans build products, solve problems, imagine improvements to the system, eliminate obstacles, and through instigating the team to improve and create, inspires them to be greater than the sum of their parts. This requires passion.What are the 3 pillars of every scrum implementation? ›
If you carefully scrutinize scrum, you will find again and again the three pillars of empirical process control: transparency, inspection, and adaptation.
One of the major scrum master key skills is to have good communication in order to discuss ideas and plan with the team. Good communication also provides a better way to deliver messages to customers, teams, and audience. As sharing ideas are important, listening to the other's views is also important.What are the 8 stances of a Scrum Master? ›
As a Scrum Master, I'll try to be a servant-leader, facilitator, coach, conflict navigator, manager, mentor, teacher, impediment remover, and change agent.
What is a bug in Scrum? ›
Bug is something that doesn't work. Often, you don't know why it doesn't. It can take 5 minutes, or it can take hours. You can't just size it as a story, you first need to look into the code and investigate what's wrong.How do you introduce yourself in a scrum master interview? ›
"Hi, I'm a Scrum Master and my name is Daniel." Yeah is sounds like a flippant answer but it really is how I introduce myself. I then start discussing Scrum with them in order to see how much they know. I ask them if I can fill in a few gaps of their knowledge.How do you capture a user story? ›
- 1 Users Come First. ...
- 2 Use Personas to Discover the Right Stories. ...
- 3 Create Stories Collaboratively. ...
- 4 Keep your Stories Simple and Concise. ...
- 5 Start with Epics. ...
- 6 Refine the Stories until They are Ready. ...
- 7 Add Acceptance Criteria. ...
- 8 Use (Paper) Cards.
The Pareto Principle, commonly referred to as the 80/20 rule, states that 80% of the effect comes from 20% of causes. Or, in terms of work and time management, 20% of your efforts will account for 80% of your results.What are the 12 principles of Scrum? ›
- #1 Satisfy Customers Through Early & Continuous Delivery. ...
- #2 Welcome Changing Requirements Even Late in the Project. ...
- #3 Deliver Value Frequently. ...
- #4 Break the Silos of Your Project. ...
- #5 Build Projects Around Motivated Individuals. ...
- #6 The Most Effective Way of Communication is Face-to-face.
Name. The term scrum is borrowed from rugby, where it is a formation of players. The term scrum was chosen by the paper's authors because it implies teamwork. The software development term scrum was first used in a 1986 paper titled "The New New Product Development Game" by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka.What Scrum Master should not do? ›
The Scrum Master should not be confusing with the role of Project Manager. The scrum master's role is to take a different perspective from the team members and don't directly work as a taskmaster. They don't direct the team, collect status, compile reports, and share it with the stakeholders.What role should a Scrum Master avoid? ›
The Scrum Master should not take sides
The facilitator role of the Scrum Master means that in a situation of conflict, he should not take sides or have any predilection for someone's opinion. Instead, he should serve as a mediator in helping the parts reach a solution.
Scrum Master Salary in India: Based on Experience
Entry-level (less than 1 year) – ₹727,000 per year. Early-career (1–4 years) – ₹798,000 per year.
Answer. Answer: The scrum master is the team role responsible for ensuring the team lives agile values and principles and follows the processes and practices that the team agreed they would use. The responsibilities of this role include: Clearing obstacles.
Which is the golden rule in scrum? ›
These are the five golden rules in Scrum: Openness: Scrum sees collaboration as the most effective way to create the best possible product. So teamwork and transparency are essential. Rather than anxiously downplaying problems, Scrum team members are open about their progress and any roadblocks they encounter.What are the hard skills of a Scrum Master? ›
- Facilitation Skills. ...
- Conflict Resolution Skills. ...
- Organizational Skills. ...
- Strong knowledge of Scrum and Agile. ...
- Technical Skills. ...
- Problem-Solving Skills. ...
- Strong Communication Skills. ...
- Time Management Skills.
A Scrum Master removes impediments and helps the team to become self-organizing and empowered to create, innovate, and make decisions for themselves as one team. The Scrum Master is a master of the daily Scrum, Sprint planning, Sprint review, and Sprint retrospectives.How do you become a Scrum Master in 7 Simple Steps? ›
- Step 1: Learn the basics of Scrum. ...
- Step 2: Choose your Scrum certification. ...
- Step 3: Attend a Scrum course. ...
- Step 4: Register for your exam. ...
- Step 5: Study for your exam. ...
- Step 6: Take and pass the exam. ...
- Step 7: Renew certifications every two years.
Scrum Masters play a critical role in the success of the Program Increment planning meeting. They are the facilitators and the coaches of their Scrum Team throughout the entire workshop. The primary role is facilitation and helping the team during the team breakouts which is where the real planning happens.What are the 7 Scrum artifacts? ›
- Product Vision. The product vision is the long-term goal of the project or product. ...
- Product Backlog. ...
- Sprint Vision. ...
- Sprint Backlog. ...
- Definition of Done (DOD) ...
- Product Increment. ...
- Burndown Chart.
The primary accountability of the scrum master is to provide delivery leadership, experience and expertise by managing the scrum process, improving their organisation's ability to deliver a valuable, relevant product.How do I make a scrum master resume with no experience? ›
Start your entry level resume off strong with your education, because it's the most recent and thus most relevant to a hiring manager. If you had a high GPA, earned honor roll or the Dean's list, or took relevant coursework, make sure to add it. If you have a lower GPA like 2.5, you might want to leave it out.What are the 3 Scrum values? ›
The Five Scrum Values
A team's success with scrum depends on five values: commitment, courage, focus, openness, and respect.
- Facilitating daily Scrum meetings (also called “daily standups”)
- Leading sprint planning meetings.
- Conducting “retrospective” reviews to see what went well and what can be improved for the following sprint.
How do I introduce myself as a Scrum Master? ›
"Hi, I'm a Scrum Master and my name is Daniel." Yeah is sounds like a flippant answer but it really is how I introduce myself. I then start discussing Scrum with them in order to see how much they know. I ask them if I can fill in a few gaps of their knowledge.How do you master the Tell me about yourself question? ›
- Remember this is often your first impression, and it matters. ...
- Tailor your answer to the role and company. ...
- Know your audience. ...
- Keep it professional. ...
- But speak with passion. ...
- Don't ramble. ...
- Practice, practice, practice—but stop short of memorizing. ...
- Keep it positive.
Example: 'I think there are many qualities a good scrum master may have, such as good communication skills, excellent time management, leadership skills and creative thinking. A scrum master may be a good communicator as they typically communicate with the team about the work to do and check in on project progress.Why you should hire me as a Scrum Master? ›
If they ask you why they should hire you as a Scrum Master, part of your answer could be saying that you believe you have the best, data driven approach to solving their current agile challenges that will also help other agile practitioners in their organization.What can I say instead of a Scrum Master? ›
Instead of using “Scrum Master,” a term used in the agile project management framework, the university suggests alternatives including “Scrum Custodian” and “Scrum Guardian,” to avoid any association with slavery.How do you handle stress and pressure? ›
- Decide what you can do. Pinpoint which parts of the situation you have the power to change or influence for the better. ...
- Get support. Find someone to talk to about your situation. ...
- Care for yourself. Take especially good care of yourself when stress in your life is high.
Your answer to the "tell me about yourself" question should describe your current situation, your past job experience, the reason you're a good fit for the role, and how you align with the company values. Tell the interviewer about your current position and a recent big accomplishment or positive feedback you received.What are 2 behaviors of an effective Scrum Master? ›
SAFe Scrum Masters are responsible for supporting and fostering the following team attributes: Self-management and taking ownership and accountability. Aligned and collaborative. Success focused on clear goals and purpose.What skill should a great Scrum Master possess? ›
Be a good leader, which starts with being a good listener; consider the servant leader model. Listening is a must-have Scrum Master skill. Pay close attention at daily standups, backlog meetings, sprint planning, team review and the retrospective.How to crack a Scrum Master interview? ›
Do: Focus on why you suggested something in your previous experiences. Explain why it didn't worked at first, and explain why the final solution improved the situation. Also explain what did you learn in the process.