Who is the most important member in the Scrum team? Is it the Product Owner, the Scrum Master or the developers? While the question as to who is the most important is highly debatable, there is no denying that each of these three roles have their own significance, importance and prerogatives. In this blog, we try to look at the role of the Scrum Master and what is one prerogative of a scrum master.
A Scrum Master, according to Scrum.org is “accountable for establishing Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide. They do this by helping everyone understand Scrum theory and practice, both within the Scrum Team and the organization. The Scrum Master is accountable for the Scrum Team’s effectiveness. They do this by enabling the Scrum Team to improve its practices, within the Scrum framework.”
The Scrum Master is part of a small group of members, generally 9-10 members, that form the Scrum Team. Scrum Teams are cross-functional, self-managed, and practice a high degree of autonomy. The Scrum Guide suggests keeping team sizes small, as smaller teams are more efficient when it comes to being productive and more communicative.
The Scrum Team has one objective and that is to achieve the project goal. Although the members of the Scrum Team may be separated by their role and responsibilities, they work towards this one common goal.
The Scrum Master is among the three accountabilities, along with the Product Owner and the developers, as mentioned in the Scrum Guide. The Scrum Team has no hierarchies, and as a cohesive unit, all work towards achieving the same goal.
This can be subjective, as a Scum Master’s role in a team and the organization varies. The Scrum Master is a coach, guide and friend. At the team level, the Scrum Master plays the role of a guide and ensures that the team has all the right tools at its disposal to reach the sprint goal. At the organization level, the Scrum Master is a guide and mentor, helping across the enterprise level to implement and practice Scrum.
The Scrum Master has responsibilities not just towards the team but also helps the Product Owner and the organization as a whole in a number of ways.
If we were to define the prerogative of the Scrum Master in the context of a project and the team, then it would be to support the team at all stages of the project.
The Scrum Guide lists the following ways in which the Scrum Master serves the team:
The Scrum master's in earlier versions of the Scrum Guide was known as the servant leader. Despite the fact that in the latest Scrum Guide, the Scrum Master is no longer called a servant leader, it is meant to convey the fact that the Scrum Master’s role is completely dedicated to the betterment of the team.
The Scrum Master accomplishes this by removing all impediments that may block the team from reaching its goal. What exactly is an impediment?
"An impediment in Scrum is a factor that blocks the Development Team in its creation of a valuable piece of software in a Sprint, or that restricts the team in achieving its intrinsic level of progress”--Scrum a Pocket Guide
Some of the impediments that a team may encounter include:
How does a Scrum Master help here?
“A good Scrum Master creates an environment where raising impediments can occur. A great Scrum Master creates an environment where creativity can occur." Scrum Mastery
Removing impediments is only one of the many ways the Scrum Master helps the developers. The Scrum Master guides the team in being self-managed and cross functional. The Scrum Master guides and coaches the team in all things Scrum, helping the team implement Scrum tools and develop the project as per Scrum techniques. By motivating the team, the Scrum Master ensures that the team is always committed and works at its highest potential.
There are a number of ways in which the Scrum Master can help towards removing impediments:
Helping the Product Owner is also the prerogative of the Scrum Master. This they do by:
While the Scrum Master’s primary responsibility is to help the team understand Scrum, their responsibilities go beyond the team and extend to the entire enterprise. Coaching, guiding and mentoring all teams and departments at the enterprise level, is a prerogative of the Scrum Master.
The Scrum Master helps the organization by:
This shows that the Scrum Master has no one single prerogative, but has multiple prerogatives based on who they are helping. In order to fulfil these responsibilities, Scrum Masters need to have some special skills and qualifications. These include:
There are several reasons why Scrum Master is among the most in-demand roles in Agile organizations. Professionals who are embarking on a career in Agile can turbocharge their careers by doing a Scrum Master course like the Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM©), Professional Scrum MasterTM (PSM) and more.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
The Agile methodology accentuates as well as funct... Read More