Agile Development: What is a Scrum Master Roles? — Agile Cockpit

Scrum Master is known as the guardian of Scrum Team, someone that resolves impediment and has control over the scrum processes. Those are major responsibilities that come into mind when thinking of a Scrum Master.

What does a Scrum Master do? The Scrum Master removes any impediments that obstruct a team’s pursuit of its sprint goals. If developers don’t have a good sense of what each other are doing, the Scrum Master helps them set up a physical task-board and shows the team how to use it. If developers aren’t colocated, the Scrum Master ensures that they have a team room. If outsiders interrupt the team, the Scrum Master redirects them to the Product Owner. If the team has not learned how to develop a potentially shippable product increment every Sprint, the Scrum Master teaches them Test-Driven Development (TDD) or finds people who can teach them. If the existing code is so bad that it slows down new development, the Scrum Master helps the team learn how to pay off technical debt incrementally.

As the team grows into a self-managing entity, the Scrum Master’s role shifts toward the organizational impediments, issues caused by the outer organization. If the company still has a “business side” and an “IT side”, the Scrum Master works to make each team cross-functional. If the team depends on outsiders, the Scrum Master must help transform the organization to use cross-component feature teams. If “Human Resources” policies (e.g. performance appraisals and job titles) interfere with intrinsic motivation and teamwork, the Scrum Master must educate the business about the harm caused by those policies (incidentally, agile advocates don’t refer to humans as “resources”).

Scrum Masters are full-time transformation agents, but they do not push for change. What do people do when you push them? They push back. Instead, effective Scrum Masters promote transformation through illumination and invitation. Conversations with executives don’t work without a background of relatedness. In established organizations, improvements come in fits and starts. Sometimes it seems like nothing is changing, then the organization has a breakthrough right when we were about to give up. This can be emotionally taxing, so I advise Scrum Masters to connect with a community of Agilists. Product development is mostly about knowledge creation and collaboration, but most large organizations would require fundamental changes before they could be called learning organizations.

Other major parts of scrum roles are facilitating the scrum ceremonies. His job is to make sure that the project is working smoothly and every team member has tools to get their work done efficiently. Scrum Master is a challenging role and needs to understand according to priority set by the product owner. Scrum Master must execute the backlog as wished by the product owner, making sure that deliverables are on time with production quality.

Scrum master needs to be involved in team conflicts and must have good communication skills. He must be actively involved in technical matters thus finding out the gaps and ensuring product owner involvement in business decisions and description of the functional flow.

In Agile software development methodology, Scrum Master is a particularly challenging position as he cares about the team functionality. Scrum Master is responsible for monitoring the scrum processes and scrum meetings. He increases his team efficiency, motivates his team, spins, argues for changes that will ensure quality and timeliness. He ensures observance of DoD (Definition of done).

Here are some of the top skills of Scrum Master:

  • Scrum Master is responsible for facilitating daily scrum, sprint planning, sprint demo, and retrospective meetings.

Duties of Scrum Master:

  • Facilitate his team for better creativity and tries to improve the efficiency of the development team.

Technical Skills:

  • Knowledge of agile methodology and frameworks like Scrum, Kanban, XP, etc.

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