Advance and flexible development models such as Agile Scrum Methodologies have empowered businesses to produce faster than ever, which is an essential aspect of today’s extremely competitive landscape. In simple words, more flexibility is a requirement to get quality products to the market fastly and stay ahead of your competitors. To accurately use Agile Scrum Methodologies and deliver the goods, companies require a process expert at the helm, known as Scrum Master.
In the Scrum methodology, the development team (managed by a Scrum Manager) divides the request of the product owner into smaller pieces as “sprints.” These pieces consist of reiterative, collaborative development, and trial methods in a rapid environment and, ideally, build a more effective product service life. Scrum methodologies support organizations to create a viable result in few weeks—moreover, the Scrum Master coordinates project activities with business goals. The Scrum process involves active collaboration in producing sustainable software and works on the principles of Agile Methodology.
Who is a Scrum Master?
The position of a Scrum Master is relatively narrow in scope, yet it carries remarkably large influence throughout the company. Usually, the Scrum Master functions in the background. Instead of involving in product ideation or strategy, they serve more as a channel/project manager between product/line-of-business owners and development teams. They must have soft skills with the latest tools and methods as Agile methodologies are completely dependent on people and collaboration. A Scrum Master keeps a high-level view on the different moving parts of the projects, create accountability, meet critical deadlines, and assist teams in knowing both organizational and technical dependencies while avoiding chokepoints.
Top Qualities of a Successful Scrum Master
A Scrum Master assists multiple teams to achieve deliverables, motivate different groups and stakeholders at an organizational level, enhancing the capability of all at stake, and create a link between the idea of the project and the procedures. Effective leadership and organizational skills are the requirements of a good Scrum Master.
The Scrum Master trains the team while the product owner encourages the overall initiative. He creates a vital link between the product owner and the teams. For delivering flourishing products that satisfy the organization’s needs, there must be active cooperation between the Scrum Master and the product owner. A skilled Scrum Master must be able to discover inventive ideas to improve the team’s collaboration and productivity to produce the goods according to the requirements of the business line owner.
The Scrum Master works as a team member or facilitator and not as a manager. Being a great observer, listener, he/she addresses the difficulties of the project team at every step of the way are some of the qualities of the Scrum Master. The Scrum Master should also be careful and pay attention to the team’s regular exercises to get the clarity of team members’ performances and participation in sprint sessions.
Other than fixing the problems, the Scrum Master should also actively involve in preventing possible problems. It demands an overall understanding of the product and process. The Scrum Master’s expertise facilitates the team to escape barriers. He should have adequate knowledge of the multiple work formats and agile methodologies such as Kanban, Lean, and XP.
The Responsibilities of a Scrum Master
- Project Management and Implement Best Practices
The Scrum Master’s responsibility is to form and integrate the project teams into one system and give a precise idea of the product. The Scrum Master also promotes interaction and data interchange between external organizations and the project team. They also track project development, give up-to-date feedback, and drive a culture of flexibility and learning.
- Keep Track and Information
The Scrum Master conducts regular team meetings to ensure timely completion, track the development of the project, receive updates, and discuss the possible barriers. The Scrum Master is responsible for conducting routine sessions to provide updates to the product stakeholders. Finally, he needs to ensure that the work gets completed within the deadlines and produce the desired outcome.
- Introduce Agile Engineering Practices
Scrum Masters promote the application of continuous integration (CI) and automation to increase productivity. This repeatable method lessens the effort, time, and risk connected with conventional development techniques and recommends agile techniques such as “pair programming,” where two developers/members cooperate at the same workstation in real-time. These methods lessen development time, improve the structure and feature of the product.
Roles of the Scrum Master
Following are the prominent roles of a Scrum Master in agile development project:
- To enable the sprint demo, retrospective meeting, sprint planning, and daily scrum.
- Fix disputes by concentrating on scrum values of honesty, respect, and openness.
- Use the evidence and predict the number of possible outcomes in an iteration.
- Evaluate and design the complete project
- Train the team in agile methodologies
- Emphasize on individuals & interactions over process & tools.
- Assist the team members in defining objectives and operations to accomplish them.
- Remove any disturbances and obstacles.
- Make sure to apply the correct scrum process.
- Instead of directing the team members, the Scrum Master assists them.
Scrum Master enhances the satisfaction levels of the client. The process starts with framing product goals, and the Scrum Master then collaborates with the Product Owner to know the goals, ideas, and purpose for the project. He/she forms “User Stories” with the cooperation of the Product Owner to explain the needs of the users and the reason behind it.
The Scrum Master leads a Scrum meeting with the team members to complete the first sprint. As the sprint begins, the Scrum Master conducts regular Stand up meetings to recognize any difficulties or concerns that can affect the pace of work or end up in some different plans. His role is to enhance productivity and manage any blocking problems with the help of inputs of the Product Owner. He also develops the product backlog for the subsequent sprint by holding a Team review on the backlog and generate ideas to improve productivity in the next sprint.
The sprint completes after running a demo of the software to the stakeholders. Then the Scrum Master collects feedback from them and the team to add it in the product backlog and improve the development team, respectively. It includes planning for the product backlog and generates a plan of action.
The scrum master helps the product owners in the following ways:
- Find ways to maintain the product backlog effectively.
- Assist in conveying the product owner’s expectations of the project team.
- Arrange scrum events as required.
The scrum master supports the organization in the following ways:
- Supervise and mentor scrum adoption.
- Outline scrum implementation.
- Execute adjustments and measures to improve the team’s productivity.
- Associate with various scrum masters to promote the methodologies’ aptitude.
The process to become a Scrum Master:
A Certified Scrum Master (CSM) course can help you to accomplish your goal as a Scrum Master. A Certified Scrum Master course will give you numerous opportunities to engage with other Scrum experts.
Following are the prerequisite for a CSM course:
- Understand the Scrum process thoroughly.
- Register for a CSM course under a Certified Scrum Trainer.
- You require to answer at least 24 of 35 questions to qualify the CSM exam.
A Scrum Master acts as a facilitator of agile development. He serves as a backbone for the entire Scrum Team, trains them on agile principles, and enables the Scrum process. Other than the functions mentioned above, they are accountable for selecting and applying agile methods to enhance the efficiency, overall productivity, and quality outcome of the project. You should consider Agile Scrum Master Certification if you want to build your career in this field. In your training period, you will learn the concepts, effective methods, and expertise to pass the official industry exam.