What is Scrum Master?
Scrum master is a person who helps other people to understand Scrum and serves the project team by removing obstacles. He also helps in simplifying project complexities.
The Scrum master also needs to make sure that development team works based on the core values of Scrum. He is often considered a coach for the team, helping the team do the best work they possibly can. Moreover, he ensures that the Scrum adoption is successful in the enterprise.
Scrum Master Responsibilities
Scrum master acts as the heart of the Scrum project. He needs to perform responsibilities like:
- Scrum Master needs to assure that team meets its business objectives
- Scrum Master fosters a collaborative environment in the team
- The Scrum master does the planning, team backlog grooming, sprint demo, and sprint retrospective.
- Guides Scrum processes and helps to maintain the integrity of Scrum values
- Promote improved engineering practices like TDD, automated testing, and continuous integration.
- Making sure that every stakeholder should be present at the meeting at the given time
- Work with other team members to ensure that dependencies and risks are distributed across Scrum teams.
- Conducting feasibility studies, writing & validating specifications.
What is NOT the role of the Scrum Master?
The Scrum master is not a project manager. Both roles are different in the agile process. He will not guide a team in every phase of development. He is neither responsible for any technical decision nor for managing the business with clients. He will never lead the team or make decisions on behalf of the team.
Scrum Master Skills
The Scrum master is a very important person in the agile Scrum process. He should have multiple skills, including technical, scrum process, and soft skills.
Scrum master must know different techniques and practices to manage self-organizing teams. He should show honesty, integrity, trust, and respect for the team. He should have expertise in Agile, IT coaching, and presentation. Moreover, Scrum master should be able to schedule meetings in such a way that it doesn’t affect the regular work of the team members.
Characteristics of Scrum Master
Following are important characteristics of Scrum master:
Servant-Leader: Servant leadership is a social leadership style. Scrum master act as a servant leader to attain project objectives through service to others.
Morale booster: The Scrum master also acts as a Morale booster by encouraging the team to do their work more effectively.
Facilitator: Scrum master plays the role of facilitator as he helps the team to understand their common project-related objective. He also assists the team in achieving these objectives while remaining neutral.
Coach: Scrum masters coach the team to become self-organized and also guides them on the path of continuous improvement.
Agent: Scrum master also plays a role of an agent, which helps to make the necessary changes allowing a better implementation of Scrum.
Mentor: The Scrum Master should share his knowledge, experiences, and even his opinions, just like a mentor.
Remover of obstacles: Scrum masters should remove all the obstacles preventing the development team to work in the best conditions.
Manager of the framework: The Scrum Master is also responsible for the framework within which the team works.
Observer: He needs to constantly observe everything, even the team members’ smallest activities.
What does a Scrum Master do all day?
Activity 1: Capacity and velocity planning using spreadsheet and Jira.
Activity 2: Determine implementable stories available with points remaining from the sprint review.
Activity 3: Review previous sprint velocity along with the team.
Activity 4: Estimating teams’ capacity
Activity 5: Calculating the number of points completed by the team
Activity 6: The team member provides all known tasks and estimates task effort within an hour. Scrum Master should ensure tasks given to members are never above their capacity.
Activity 7: Scrum master also needs to ensure that the tasks are never more than 16 hours long. If at all it is bigger than that, he should tell the team to make it in the break them down.
The above is just a small sample of a Scrum Master’s many activities.
Scrum master Best Practices
- Scrum master should listen to all the queries of developers, project manager, and owner to understand their issues.
- He should entrust his unwavering faith in his team members that they will complete the allocated work.
- Scrum master should avoid doing multitasking in his/her work
- He should give respect even to the smallest team member and listen to everyone’s perspective.
- Show genuine appreciation to the team for their successful accomplishments
Why is the Scrum master’s role difficult?
First of all, management of large-size self-organizing teams is not an easy task. It needs lots of willpower. Scrum master often needs to manage conflicts between team members and project manager.
He may head the entire Scrum management project still, but he remains without any power. Scrum master also needs to learn about motivation, communication, behavioral economics, and a whole host of other social science, which surely needs lots of time outside of his job.
Certified Scrum Master
In order, to become a professional Scrum Master, you need to clear Certified Scrum Master exam known as CSM. This certificate helps the candidate to understand Scrum values, practices, applications, and provides a level of knowledge and expertise.
Prerequisite for CSM Certification Training
Although there is no eligibility criteria set for CSM certification, it is always advisable that you should have some understanding of the Scrum principles and possess a working knowledge of the overall Scrum process.
What are the benefits of a Scrum Master certification?
Here, are some benefits of having CSM certificate
- Helps you to grow your career by staying relevant and marketable across all industry sectors
- A CSM program is designed to teach enhanced skills for better implementation of Scrum
- CSM certification also provides an opportunity to stand out among global Scrum community.
- This training helps a person to learn about work environment which is useful for company’s growth.
- The CSM certification helps the professional to engage with a Scrum expert.
- With this certification, the person will get access to local groups, networks and two years membership with Scrum Alliance.
CSM Course objectives
- Scrum basics and core values
- Should able to start using Scrum with complete ease
- Learn how to know when to implement Scrum
- Scrum meetings, including the Sprint Retrospective, Sprint Review, and Release Planning.
- How the Scrum framework different from to other methods like Waterfall and Agile
- Scrum artifacts like Product and sprint Backlog, and Burndown Charts
How to Become a Certified Scrum Master
After completing training, Scrum certification candidate needs to-
Step 1) Person needs to complete online evaluation exam. This exam covers topics like Scrum technology, practices, and principles.
Step 2) After successful completion of the exam he/she will receive certified Scrum master certification from Scrum alliance.
Step 3) Person becomes an official member of Scrum Alliance and can work as professional Scrum master.
Scrum Master Career Progression
There are many opportunities for growth in career as a Scrum Master
1. Scrum master
It is the first rank any person will get after completing the CSM certificate. He needs to work in this position at least one year to five-year duration. Here, he needs to perform all the assigned role of Scrum master.
2. Senior Scrum master
From Scrum Master you progress to Sr. Scrum Master. To become Senior Scrum Master, one should gather advanced knowledge of Scrum best practices and how to implement them in teams.
3. Agile coach
From Senior Scrum Master you transition to Agile Coach. To become an Agile coach, you need 5years + knowledge as a Scrum Master and at least one year experience of mentoring and coaching.
- Scrum is agile development framework for managing product development.
- The Scrum master is a person who helps other people to understand Scrum and helps the team by removing obstacles.
- The Scrum master do the planning, team backlog grooming, sprint demo, sprint retrospective.
- Scrum master should have the skill of arranging meetings in such a way that it does not affect the regular work of the team.
- CSM is an exam to become professional Scrum master.
- There are many career opportunities for a person for growth like Scrum Master, Sr. Scrum Master and Agile coach.