A scrum master bears a pivotal role, as a focused facilitator, a coach and a servant leader in an Agile development team. He/she is responsible for delivering maximum value to the customer by ensuring that all the team members are equipped with the resources they need, have access to an efficient communication system and are shielded from unnecessary distractions or hurdles. Scrum masters are responsible for monitoring progression towards goals through daily stand-ups and frequent “check-ins”.
Scrum masters also have to ensure that the morale of the team is always intact and resolve any issues that may arise during the course of the project. They are responsible for coordinating with product owners to ensure an environment where everyone involved is focused and motivated.
A scrum master is like the micro-processor (process driver) that checks the health of the engine and makes adjustments to keep it running efficiently. As a software company continues to grow, a Scrum Master becomes vital in delivering amazing products. When trying to recruit a Scrum Master, hiring managers can feel like they are playing a high-stake game. Yet for software product companies, it’s such a foundational hire that you have to take the utmost measures to hire the very best talent.
The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that the product is being built the right way. He ensures that the team is being productive by assisting the team for effective Scrum implementation. He also helps remove any obstructions to progress during the sprint. And most importantly, scrum masters are challenged with the responsibility of leading teams to project success. This requires various leadership qualities such as honesty, ability to delegate, dedication, a positive attitude and the ability to encourage and inspire.
Know where to implement scrum: There are essentially two types of environments a software development team is typically operates in:
Complex domain: It isn’t quite clear what technology should be used. The functionality of the product to be developed is still hazy. There is no clear view on the architecture to follow, nor is there an insight into what the final product will look like or when release can be made. In a domain like this, Agile or a hybrid between Agile/Waterfall is the best way to handle unpredictability and take the project forward.
Simple domain: In a simple domain, it is expected that you have crystal clear requirements, thorough handle of technology to use and architecture to follow, as well as, knowledge of the feature set which will be a part of the product and the timeline. The scrum master should be able to understand these aspects of degrees of unpredictability and help the product owner, come to a decision as to whether scrum can even be implemented in a particular scenario.
For any organization – whether small or big – the best approach to get started is to list down all the traits of a good Scrum Master, taking into account company culture and team style. In a nutshell, it is vital that the Scrum Master has the right leadership approach to Scrum and implements the right ideas and patterns to empower teams to become more effective.
In companies that haven't fully transitioned to Agile, there isn't always a clear understanding of who a scrum master really is. That’s why we have put together this list of tasks that a scrum master must do in order to be effective at his or her job. It is a compilation of Scrum Implementation Tips from Certified Scrum Master
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