Putting together the two words “Scrum Master” might seem unusual if you’re new to Agile. Who in the world would want to be called a Scrum Master? Actually, there are some people who dedicate themselves to this role. What exactly is that role?
I’m glad you asked! This article will explain the role played by an all-powerful Scrum Master. Let’s start by looking at some of the key functions.
What Exactly is Scrum?
For those of you who are not familiar, Scrum is a management process that is designed to slice through complex projects. Teams are formed to get a handle on new requirements and technologies, boosting their ability to deliver work projects in an efficient manner. Scrum itself is the actual framework of efficient team collaboration. The concept is actually quite simple, but the name is what confuses so many people. In short, Scrum is a team equipped with advanced knowledge given the task of collaborating on complex products.
Another big question that you might be asking yourself is, ‘Who on Earth decided to make it Scrum?’
Well that discussion is for another time, but you can check out the Scrum Alliance website for more information.
A Scrum Master is the leader of a Scrum group, being responsible for the entire team’s use of the methodology. They are also called a Scrum Expert by some people. The expert role is performed in a number of different ways. Scrum Masters facilitate meetings, make sure each member of the team knows their role, and ensures that the team has the correct tools.
It’s important that a Scrum Master catches what their team members are doing right and provides positive affirmation while showing them how to improve even further.
Scrums need to be scrubbed clean of obstacles. Okay puns aside, a Scrum Master should identify anything that might be slowing the team down and remove them from the equation. Obstacles can range anywhere from slow response times to outdated hardware.
Scrum teams are dependent on the leader’s ability to plan out their path so that they can focus solely on the tasks in front of them. In short, the Scrum Master ensures that the team can work efficiently.
Another pivotal role is that Scrum Masters must constantly dispense information to project stakeholders and members of the team. They are the gateway of communication between the two. There are several tools that a scrum will use to achieve success, including backlogs and burn down charts. Scrum Masters are tasked with using these tools to communicate to various outside sources.
The term “facilitate” itself means to “make less difficult and help move forward.” A Scrum Master is expected to make tasks as easy as possible for their team. This can be done in a number of different ways such as provide the right tools, help set expectations and communicate an overall vision. Scrum Masters are always at the forefront of the scrum.
Coaches have a deep understanding and appreciation for their goals and are equipped with the knowledge to help guide their team to victory. For most scrums, victory would be the successful launch of a new, complicated project. They should be excitable and have the ability to spread this excitement throughout the team, just as sporting coaches do.
Scrum Masters must fill all of the roles that we have mentioned in this article, but sometimes even more might be expected of them. They must be 100% dedicated to these roles in order for the scrum to successfully achieve the overall vision of a business.