Are You Ready to be a Scrum Master?

By Agile Asia Posted 3mth(s) ago Reading Time: A few minutes

Scrum is gaining popularity as an Agile methodology in the workplace to manage not only product development or IT-related projects, but increasingly in other areas too.

According to a recent article by Forbes, Scrum is being widely applied across various industries with nearly half of the respondents using Scrum 50% more of the time in their organizations, and 29% of respondents reported they used it much more frequently than that.

In this module, we will learn about Scrum and the role of a Scrum Master.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is a framework that allows team members to work efficiently on complex projects and deliver high-value products by approaching problems adaptively. It’s a simple, straightforward and easy-to-implement way to handle small and big projects with emphasis on teamwork, accountability and iterative progress towards a well-defined goal.

Scrum is an agile way of working that helps you to respond more rapidly and more easily to changing customer and stakeholder needs. Instead of spending a lot of time preparing and writing plans, Scrum seeks to add customer value in short cycles as early as possible. Scrum allows a team to self-organize and make changes quickly, in accordance with agile principles.

Scrum builds upon the pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation to provide a framework for rapid project development.

The following video gives you more insights on Scrum!

What is Scrum?

What is a Scrum Master?

A scrum master is the facilitator of an agile development team and manages the information process between different stakeholders.

The scrum master is responsible for ensuring a true scrum process over the course of a project. They hold together the scrum framework, facilitating the process for the organization, product owner and scrum team by helping everyone understand scrum theory, practices, rules and values.

The scrum master plays a critical role in creating and maintaining the patterns of behavior that define agile development, as well as ensuring the development efforts proceed on a path to success within the stipulated timeline and resources.

The scrum master coaches the development team, the product owner, and the organization. Coaching empowers and brings out the best in them.

A scrum master is a trainer, mediator, moderator, and assistant combined.

Responsibilities of a Scrum Master

The Scrum Master plays a pivotal role and is responsible for establishing a high-performing team dynamic, helping the team members to understand Scrum values, principles and practices.

The responsibilities of this role include:

  • Clearing obstacles that are impeding the team's progress

  • Establishing close cooperation across all roles and functions, and establish a strong working environment where the team can be effective

  • Protecting the team from outside interruptions and distractions

  • Facilitating team activities and addressing team dynamics

  • Ensuring a good relationship between the team and product owner as well as others outside the team

4 highly effective skills of a Scrum Master

1. Helps the team to focus on the goals

An effective Scrum Master always has the goals visible on a prominent score board, keeping them on track and helps remove distractions that would otherwise interfere with reaching goal.

2. Removes barriers

The Scrum Master is constantly monitoring distractions during meetings and removes any barriers that block the team from delivering high quality work. Removes impediments impacting the team’s ability to meet their commitment.

3. Provides coaching and guidance

The Scrum Master is the leader of a Scrum team and is responsible for championing a project, providing mentoring and coaching the team to instill agile values and principles and lead by example.

4. Tracks and monitors the project

A good Scrum Master leverages on data to track, measure and monitor the project progress as well as closely tracks and monitors the scrum team’s deliverable and reports metrics at the iteration and project levels.

3 daily habits of a Scrum Master

1. Practices Agile mindset

Scrum Master understands Scrum framework, what’s behind agile values and principles, and adheres to the best scrum practices. The Scrum Master also helps the team to embrace and adopt agile mindset.

2. Builds a high-performing team

Scrum Master focuses on ever-improving team dynamics and performance. They also help the team manage interpersonal conflicts, challenges and opportunities for growth.

3. Encourages collaboration

Scrum Master builds close collaboration across roles and functions in the organization, works on matters collectively and is not individualistic. Collaboration allows a team to work together to complete a product backlog item and then move on to deliver the next one. Collaboration enables a team to come up with effective solutions to complex problems.

Scrum matters

Scrum is defined as a “team-based approach to delivering value to the business.” This framework promotes effective collaboration between team members, so they are able to tackle large projects and accomplish them together.

A Scrum Master plays an important role of a coach and facilitator for a team using Scrum, helping the team to stay focused on the project’s goals and removing impediments along the way.