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Roles and Responsibilities of Successful Scrum Masters

How do the various roles and responsibilities make a Scrum Master an amazing game changer?Three influential powerful roles in Scrum framework of agile software development are- Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the Development Team (Development Team is a cross-functional team such as UI Designers, Dev, QA, DevOps and specialties necessary to complete the work). Here I am sharing my awesome experience by explaining the scrum master role.1. Scrum Master responsibilities towards Addressing Team Dynamics:A good scrum master encourages the team to follow Scrum and also ensures the team has a more productive environment. Provide guidance to the team on how they can become Self-organized to achieve the Sprint goals. Tackles scrum teams, work on impediments, facilitation and also educate organization on agile methodologies to maximize value delivered.  Enabled improvement in team delivery commitments and capacity planning for sprints by identifying & tracking hidden tasks that increased customer’s satisfaction. Ensures to keep build transparency with the entire team.Share insights throughout the company through blogging, internal confluences etc.Managing, improving, empowering and shielding the Scrum teams to achieve Sprint goals. Gives trustable Working environment where all problems can be raised without fear.Arbitrate between team members when necessary.Ensures a good relationship with Dev Team and Product owner  These responsibilities can also be qualities of successful scrum master2. Scrum Master as a Facilitator, Moderator, and Master of Ceremonies: Facilitator  “key player responsible for Process ”, Moderator “Guide the Scrum team” and Master of Ceremonies “person responsible for the show i.e. Scrum events execution”.Scrum Master conducts ceremonies like Sprint Planning, Daily Stand-Ups, Sprint Reviews, and Retrospective meetings.Sprint Planning and Story Refinement: Ensure the product backlog has been ordered and completed by product owner before sprint planning begins.Attendees: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Development Team.Time box: 2Hours for 2 Week Sprint.Sprint Review or Sprint Demo: Product Increment Demo, planned vs. completed work assignments. Capture actionable feedback as items in the backlog. Attendees: Stakeholder, Product Owner, Development Team and Scrum Master. Time box: 2 Hours for 2 Week SprintSprint Retrospective meeting: Meeting organized by Scrum Master in which team discusses three points:What went well in the sprint?What could be improved? What will we commit to improve in the next sprint? Any actionable suggestion is captured, assigned and tracked by Scrum Master.  Attendees: Development Team and Scrum Master. Product Owner is optional.Time box: 1 Hour for 2 Week Sprint Burn-Up and Burn-Down charts: Team progress display in terms of graphs is one of the most popular agile methodologies. Scrum master should be able to conduct Sprint /Release progress through Burn-up and Burn-down charts.  Burn-down chart represents how much work still remaining and burn up charts represents how much work has been done or completed. The main idea behind this is to make work progress visible to all levels. Ensures that a Definition of Done (DoD) and Definition of Ready (DoR) is maintained and followed by the Product Owner and team. Suggests Metrics (Metrics tool to track lead times, velocity, and no. of bugs logged so on.) fundamentals for the team as catalysts for change. Keeps track of running Sprint through Scrum tools like Scrum board, Kanban, action board, Jira, charts, backlogs etc.3. Responsibilities towards Product Owner and outside stakeholders: Product Owner someone projects key StakeholderProduct owner and Scrum Master are two different roles but both compliment each other and work closely for Project success.As per my current experience as a Scrum Master role, I observed that teams are not able to perform like they should because the Product Owner and Scrum Master spent more time in discussing roles and responsibilities than helping teams to produce value for their customers.Scrum Master helps Product Owner to maximize ROI (Return Of Investment) to meet his objectives through the scrum.Scrum Master works as a Liaise between the Product Owner and the Development team. Coaches Product Owner to help them understand how to achieve their goals and continually adapt and prioritize their backlog items for example in case there is a change in requirement or change in plan, Scrum Master knows it well how to come through the way that will benefit both Team and PO. Ensures to make collaborative meetings to bridge the gaps. When there is some internal/external conflicts that come up SM understands it and facilitate a collaborative meeting to resolve this. Ensures to work on every possible mitigation strategies to bridge the gap.4. Remove impediments:Impediments can be of any form and can come from any direction. Scrum Master to be brave and creative in removing impediments.Scrum Master owes two types of impediments:      1.Impediments owned by Scrum Master Lack of Automated testing in ProjectConflict between team members.Continuous Integration/Deployment is not good enough for Project     2. Impediments Scrum Master wants the team to resolveConflict between team members.Focus on roles5. Meta Skills:Scrum Master Should be Compassionate, Generous, Humble, Empathy, Selfless, Creative, Innovative, greatness for others, works for People over processes, Quick learner etc.Well trained in Agile techniques/practices like Agile Games, Acceptance Testing Driven Deployment (ATDD), Feature Driven Deployment (FDD), Paired Programming, Test Driven Development (TDD) etc. Familiar with CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment). Fostering, vision statement, enabling a culture of openness, collaboration, and continuous improvement.“Scrum Master plays a very Crucial Support System role for team/Organization in implementing Agile/Scrum”6. Servant leadership quality: What is Servant leadership in Scrum? It means leaving one’s ego at the door, no authority or power over other team members, operate in a completely flat structure with zero hierarchy. Servant leadership is that the leader is not a superior, but rather a part of the body of the team. S – See the future,E – Engage and Develop OthersR – Reinvent ContinuouslyV – Value Results and RelationshipsE – Embody the Values Ensures ceremonies or planning sessions should be on time. Scrum Master knows that mistakes are unavoidable, it is human nature, after all, and mistakes are additionally a good teacher.Works with Dev team in Estimations so that team does not overcommits the work.Wrap it up: Last but not the least Scrum Master works as a doctor in terms of health check of the project. Coaches new Scrum Master and trained them so that they equally contribute to Organizations success. Of course, there are plenty of blog/articles available on Scrum Master Roles and Responsibilities or Day to Day activity but here I have reiterated my own experience as a Scrum Master.
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Roles and Responsibilities of Successful Scrum Masters

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Roles and Responsibilities of Successful Scrum Masters

How do the various roles and responsibilities make a Scrum Master an amazing game changer?

Three influential powerful roles in Scrum framework of agile software development are- Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the Development Team (Development Team is a cross-functional team such as UI Designers, Dev, QA, DevOps and specialties necessary to complete the work). Here I am sharing my awesome experience by explaining the scrum master role.
Scrum master roles

1. Scrum Master responsibilities towards Addressing Team Dynamics:

  • A good scrum master encourages the team to follow Scrum and also ensures the team has a more productive environment. 
  • Provide guidance to the team on how they can become Self-organized to achieve the Sprint goals. 
  • Tackles scrum teams, work on impediments, facilitation and also educate organization on agile methodologies to maximize value delivered.  
  • Enabled improvement in team delivery commitments and capacity planning for sprints by identifying & tracking hidden tasks that increased customer’s satisfaction. 
  • Ensures to keep build transparency with the entire team.
  • Share insights throughout the company through blogging, internal confluences etc.
  • Managing, improving, empowering and shielding the Scrum teams to achieve Sprint goals. 
  • Gives trustable Working environment where all problems can be raised without fear.
  • Arbitrate between team members when necessary.
  • Ensures a good relationship with Dev Team and Product owner

  These responsibilities can also be qualities of successful scrum master

2. Scrum Master as a Facilitator, Moderator, and Master of Ceremonies:

 Facilitator  “key player responsible for Process ”, Moderator “Guide the Scrum team” and Master of Ceremonies “person responsible for the show i.e. Scrum events execution”.

  • Scrum Master conducts ceremonies like Sprint Planning, Daily Stand-Ups, Sprint Reviews, and Retrospective meetings.

  • Sprint Planning and Story Refinement: Ensure the product backlog has been ordered and completed by product owner before sprint planning begins.

Attendees: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Development Team.

Time box: 2Hours for 2 Week Sprint.
Daily Scrum everyday

  • Sprint Review or Sprint Demo: Product Increment Demo, planned vs. completed work assignments. Capture actionable feedback as items in the backlog. 

Attendees: Stakeholder, Product Owner, Development Team and Scrum Master. 

Time box: 2 Hours for 2 Week Sprint
 Scrum Master Sprint review

  • Sprint Retrospective meeting: Meeting organized by Scrum Master in which team discusses three points:
  • What went well in the sprint?
  • What could be improved? 
  • What will we commit to improve in the next sprint? 

Any actionable suggestion is captured, assigned and tracked by Scrum Master.  

Attendees: Development Team and Scrum Master. Product Owner is optional.

Time box: 1 Hour for 2 Week Sprint
 Scrum Master Sprint Retrospective

 Burn-Up and Burn-Down charts: Team progress display in terms of graphs is one of the most popular agile methodologies. Scrum master should be able to conduct Sprint /Release progress through Burn-up and Burn-down charts.  
Scrum Master Burn-up and Burn-down charts

  • Burn-down chart represents how much work still remaining and burn up charts represents how much work has been done or completed. The main idea behind this is to make work progress visible to all levels. 
  • Ensures that a Definition of Done (DoD) and Definition of Ready (DoR) is maintained and followed by the Product Owner and team. 
  • Suggests Metrics (Metrics tool to track lead times, velocity, and no. of bugs logged so on.) fundamentals for the team as catalysts for change. 
  • Keeps track of running Sprint through Scrum tools like Scrum board, Kanban, action board, Jira, charts, backlogs etc.

 Scrum Master Sprint 1

3. Responsibilities towards Product Owner and outside stakeholders:

 Product Owner someone projects key Stakeholder

  • Product owner and Scrum Master are two different roles but both compliment each other and work closely for Project success.
  • As per my current experience as a Scrum Master role, I observed that teams are not able to perform like they should because the Product Owner and Scrum Master spent more time in discussing roles and responsibilities than helping teams to produce value for their customers.
  • Scrum Master helps Product Owner to maximize ROI (Return Of Investment) to meet his objectives through the scrum.
  • Scrum Master works as a Liaise between the Product Owner and the Development team. 
  • Coaches Product Owner to help them understand how to achieve their goals and continually adapt and prioritize their backlog items for example in case there is a change in requirement or change in plan, Scrum Master knows it well how to come through the way that will benefit both Team and PO. 
  • Ensures to make collaborative meetings to bridge the gaps. When there is some internal/external conflicts that come up SM understands it and facilitate a collaborative meeting to resolve this. 
  • Ensures to work on every possible mitigation strategies to bridge the gap.

4. Remove impediments:

Impediments can be of any form and can come from any direction. 

  • Scrum Master to be brave and creative in removing impediments.
    Remove impediments in scrum master
  • Scrum Master owes two types of impediments:

      1.Impediments owned by Scrum Master 

  • Lack of Automated testing in Project
  • Conflict between team members.
  • Continuous Integration/Deployment is not good enough for Project

     2. Impediments Scrum Master wants the team to resolve

  • Conflict between team members.
  • Focus on roles

5. Meta Skills:

  • Scrum Master Should be Compassionate, Generous, Humble, Empathy, Selfless, Creative, Innovative, greatness for others, works for People over processes, Quick learner etc.

Scrum Master Meta Skills

  • Well trained in Agile techniques/practices like Agile Games, Acceptance Testing Driven Deployment (ATDD), Feature Driven Deployment (FDD), Paired Programming, Test Driven Development (TDD) etc. Familiar with CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment). 
  • Fostering, vision statement, enabling a culture of openness, collaboration, and continuous improvement.

“Scrum Master plays a very Crucial Support System role for team/Organization in implementing Agile/Scrum”

6. Servant leadership quality: 

What is Servant leadership in Scrum? It means leaving one’s ego at the door, no authority or power over other team members, operate in a completely flat structure with zero hierarchy. 

  • Servant leadership is that the leader is not a superior, but rather a part of the body of the team. 

S – See the future,
E – Engage and Develop Others
R – Reinvent Continuously
V – Value Results and Relationships
E – Embody the Values 

  • Ensures ceremonies or planning sessions should be on time. 
  • Scrum Master knows that mistakes are unavoidable, it is human nature, after all, and mistakes are additionally a good teacher.
  • Works with Dev team in Estimations so that team does not overcommits the work.

Wrap it up

  • Last but not the least Scrum Master works as a doctor in terms of health check of the project. Coaches new Scrum Master and trained them so that they equally contribute to Organizations success. 
  • Of course, there are plenty of blog/articles available on Scrum Master Roles and Responsibilities or Day to Day activity but here I have reiterated my own experience as a Scrum Master.
Kamla

Kamla Choudhary

Blog Author

I am a 3-dimensional IT Leader, having 10+years of experience and expertise performing diversified roles as QA Lead, Scrum Master, Agile Coach proficient in Healthcare, e-commerce, and eLearning Product Delivery and Reporting. Agile is a cultural change to be brought into an organization across all levels. As an experienced leader, I have knowledge, roadmap, persuasive attitude, negotiable and implementation skills to make transformation process a SUCCESS. Besides of the team involvement I am also engaged to companywide organization activities, coaching, mentoring, change processes, in-house training and stuff like this :)
 

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All You Need To Know About The Roles Of A Scrum Master

1. IntroductionHaving worked on Agile projects for a while, I was surprised to find out that “Scrum” came from the process word scrummage, a word used in rugby sports. In rugby, scrummage refers to restarting the game where the players are coming close to each other with their heads down and gaining a possession of the ball. The players work together in a unified manner relying on their strengths in order to overcome and break across their opponents, taking incremental steps collectively as a team.Traditional waterfall approach as a software development methodology is successfully practiced over many years as a structured and proven method. It emphasizes a lot on proper documentation and proper process control. In Traditional waterfall methodology, the entire stage is completed before moving sequentially to the next stage. The method, however, is rigid to changes during the software development cycle.Agile software development methodology, on the other hand, is quite the opposite, it looks into ensuring flexibility and incorporating regularly users inputs as a way to build better user products.Scrum software development methodology is a subset of the Agile methodology. “Scrum” methodology was the brainchild of 2 Japanese Hiro Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka. Who wanted to create “a flexible and holistic product development strategy where a development team works as a unit to reach a common goal.” 2. Who is a Scrum Master?A Scrum Master is a facilitator of the Agile development team. He is not the project manager nor the product owner. A Scrum Master is not a position but a role.However, having said that it doesn’t mean this role is less important than the role of a project manager. In fact, a scrum master is a crucial role in the success of an agile project.3. What does a scrum master do?Scrum Master is “A Servant Leader”.  The roles and responsibilities of the Scrum Master include:Making sure the team follows the agile processes.Shielding the team.Facilitating Scrum Ceremonies.Championing information radiators.Working with stakeholders to get tools and training for the team.4.  What Qualities does a Scrum Master have?A Scrum Master does not need a particular type of qualification to assume the responsibilities.  However, he or she should possess particular qualities necessary for the role.Traits of a good Scrum Master are-a) Influential - able to convince others, have empathy and respect for people and showing by exampleb) Collaborative - seek to collaborate with others in the organization and not for self-gloryc) Observant - alertness to identify issues and problem areasd) Knowledgeable - not only on agile processes but has some technical and project management knowledge5. Roles and Responsibilities of the Scrum MasterSome organization practices rotation of Scrum Master roles among the team members, this is up to each Scrum Team.However, the roles and responsibilities of the Scrum Master are common:SM is the Agile framework custodian and process owner for the team.SM is a facilitator and Servant Leader who never discourage but encourages and expects self-organization from the Agile development team. SM builds close collaboration across roles and functions in the organization, works on matters collectively and is not individualistic.SM protects the team from distractions which includes both external and internal.SM removes impediments, so the team can focus on the development work and tasks.SM is not typically a manager or lead, but he/she is an influential leader who does not do direct command and control.SM is a coach, give the bits of advice to the team and discussed issues encountered.SM is an adviser and is equipped with technical and project management know-how, this is so that he/she understands the problems and be able to provide a proper guidance and advice to the team.6. Scrum master skillsThese are the essential skills a Scrum Master should have:Encourage a self-organising teamRemove barriers and Shield the teamEncourage Collaboration and Resolve ConflictsCoach and Advises the teamEstablish partnerships (team, product owner, stakeholder)Facilitate and is a Servant Leadera) Encourage a self-organizing team - The scrum master needs to know when to hold his views and keep quiet to allow the team to be self-organizing. That said he should be actively listening attentively to the team members inputs and learning points and guide the team to perform better in subsequent sprints.b) Remove barriers and shield the team - The scrum master should shield the development team from outside distractions. At the same time, the job of the scrum master is to remove any project barriers and impediments including resolving resource issues. Allowing the team to focus on their development works and tasks. c) Encourage Collaboration and Resolve Conflicts - The scrum master should have respect for people. He should encourage collaboration among team members and also across teams. He should be a collaborator who is able to resolve conflicts within and across teams by focusing on the scrum values of openness, respect, and honesty.d) Coach and Advises the team - The scrum master should read widely and coaches the team on agile processes. Other than being a teacher to the team to explain scrum processes clearly and enforcing the practice for agile. The scrum master should have technical and project management knowledge. Imagine if the scrum master is not able to understand when a team member raise a project issue how will he provide guidance on the right course of actions? then be able to coach and guide the team effectively and run constructive meetings.e) Established partnerships (team, product owner, stakeholder) - The role of the product owner is to push the team to deliver fast, while the role of the scrum master is to protect the team. However, the scrum master needs to know when to strike a balance and to build partnerships with others.f) Facilitate and be a Servant Leader - The scrum master facilitates the daily scrum, sprint planning, sprint demo, and retrospective meetings. He has no particular authority over the team members and is not their manager. However, the scrum master should put the needs of the team members before himself and serve as a Servant Leader.7. What are the benefits of having a Scrum Master Certification?Why should you be interested in becoming a Certified Scrum Master?According to scrumalliance.org based on a survey with about 5000 people in February 2015, 87% agrees that Scrum improves the quality of work life for their team. At the same time, 81% of Scrum Masters who received certification agree that it has significantly helped to improve their practice.Check our CSM certification training schedules in Top cities of IndiaCertificationPlaceSchedulesCertified Scrum MasterBangaloreView SchedulesHyderabadView SchedulesChennaiView Schedules8.  Scrum master learning path (how to become a scrum master)How to become a Certified Scrum Master (CSM®)?Step 1: Attend a 2-day Certified Scrum Master course or seminarStep 2: In 30 to 90 days, register online for the Scrum Master Accredited Certification ProgramStep 3: Upon successful registration, you will receive your Exam Access Code instantly onlineStep 4: Take the online test anywhere, anytime on the multiple-choice questionsStep 5: Get your lifetime and international valid Scrum Master Accredited Certification Document instantly onlineIn a meanwhile, you can take a glimpse of the Certified Scrum Master (CSM®) training at KnowledgeHut.9.  Scrum Master training and certificationRequirements for CSM® (from scrumalliance.org)The first step toward your CSM® is to familiarize yourself with the Scrum framework.Then, attend an in-person, two-day  (16 hour) CSM® course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST®) where you’ll get a comprehensive overview of how to organize and support a Scrum Team. 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This is a complete guide that will help you in preparing for the Scrum Master examination.Requirements for A-CSM®  (from scrumalliance.org)Attend a certified educational offering to get techniques and skills that go beyond the basics and mechanics of Scrum, expanding into interaction, facilitation, coaching, and team dynamics.Successfully complete all educator-designed components of an approved educational offering. This may include pre- or post-course work as deemed necessary by your approved educator to complete the learning objectives.Validate at least one year of work experience specific to the role of ScrumMaster (within the past five years).Hold an active Certified ScrumMaster (CSM®) certification with the Scrum Alliance.NOTE:  You may take the A-CSM® course at any time after completing your CSM® certification, but must have at least 12 months of Scrum Master experience logged into your Scrum Alliance profile before you can receive your A-CSM® certification.You can opt for the Scrum Mock tests which will help you in raising your confidence level of passing the CSM exam with an excellent scope. Click here for CSM practice test online.10. Benefits of a Scrum Master CertificationThere are many reasons why people take the Scrum Master Certifications and here are just some of them:Expand career options across industry sectors using Scrum and Agile methodologyExpand career options across industry sectors using Scrum and Agile methodologyDemonstrate the attainment of Scrum knowledgeMeet like-minded Scrum professionals and networking Continuous learningIf you are ready to encourage your team and advance your  Scrum career, then it is an ideal opportunity to become a Certified Scrum Master (CSM®). Get enroll for the CSM® certification course today and start preparing for the success.Begin your Scrum Master journey today!
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All the concerns and ideas put across and need solutions during the meetings can be parked so that all of them can be addressed together. Any topic not related to the purpose of the meeting can be talked about at a fixed but separate time of the day.Furthermore, communicating with each other during the meeting will help in exchanging more information.4. Product backlog The backlog is the key to knowing where a product goes and what needs to be created on priority. So, everything in a project must be kept and properly maintained via a backlog. User Stories should have enough details and can be reordered in case of a change in priority. More accurate User Stories lead to less time consumption for the development team to understand them.An up to date and well-maintained backlog during an Agile project should have enough User Stories for at least one or two sprints.5. 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