What is a Scrum Master?
A Scrum Master holds a position that’s relatively narrow in scope, yet extremely broad in influence throughout any organization. In practice, however, a Scrum Master is working behind the scenes and is not involved in product ideation or strategy. They work more as a conduit between product/line-of-business owners and development teams as a project manager. Because agile processes are entirely dependent on people and collaboration, Scrum Masters must also marry soft skills with the latest tools and methods. After all, software projects have many moving parts, and individual programmers can quickly lose sight of the broader scope when heads-down in code.
A Scrum Master, on the other hand, maintains a high-level view, helping teams to understand both organizational and technical dependencies while avoiding chokepoints. This creates a culture of accountability and enables teams to meet critical deadlines.
So now, as you are well aware of what a scrum master is, it’s time for you to understand the roles and responsibilities of a scrum master.
Scrum Master Responsibilities
Implement Project Management/Best Practices
The Scrum Master is responsible for creating and onboarding project teams, integrating them into the organization, and providing a clear vision of the product. The Scrum Master also facilitates communication and information exchange between external groups and the project team. They also monitor project progress, provide timely feedback, and drive a culture of agility and learning.
Keep all Parties on Track and Informed
The Scrum Master hosts daily team meetings to get updates on the progress of the project, address potential roadblocks, and ensure that the project is on track. They also host regular sessions to share updates with product stakeholders about how the project is progressing (or not). Ultimately, it’s a Scrum Master’s job to ensure that the team is meeting deadlines with the desired outcome.
Introduce Agile Engineering Practices
To improve efficiency, Scrum Masters encourage the use of continuous integration (CI) and automation. With CI tools, developers integrate chunks of code into a central repository frequently, from which automated builds and tests run in successive iterations. This repeatable approach reduces the risk, time, and effort associated with traditional development methods. For instance, if a bug appears in one build, it can quickly be fixed in the next.
Another agile technique Scrum Masters advocate is “pair programming”, where two developers collaborate in real-time and at the same workstation. Altogether, these practices reduce development time and improve the architecture and quality of the product.
Scrum Master Roles
The scrum master’s role in supporting product owners in the following aspects:
- Find methods to effectively manage the product backlog.
- Help communicate the owner’s wishlist to the project team.
- Arrange and optimize product backlog.
- Organize scrum events as necessary.
The scrum master’s role in the organization in the following aspects:
- Lead and coach scrum adoption.
- Plan scrum implementation.
- Implement changes and steps to increase the team’s productivity.
- Collaborate with other scrum masters to improve the methodologies’ efficiency.
So, as we have learned the roles and responsibilities of a scrum master, it’s also important for you to understand the top qualities to become a successful scrum master.