Scrum Master can be best described as the guardian of a Scrum team. They impart valuable Scrum knowledge that they have attained through a CSM course and make sure that the team follows Scrum practices and rules. They help the team in being productive and deliver successful products.
After a CSM training, what awaits the Scrum Master is a vast array of roles and responsibilities along with a handsome career. Let’s look at some of these responsibilities.
1. Coach on the Best Scrum Practices
The Scrum Master has to onboard the project team and provides a clear idea of the project integrating them to the organization. They act as a medium for communication and information exchange between the project team and external groups. They instill a culture of agility, learning and monitors the progress of the project with timely feedback. They help the team implement Scrum rules and deliver the best quality products.
2. Facilitates Collaboration
The Scrum Master gets hands-on updates on the product from the development team through daily stand-ups. He/She addresses potential impediments and implements the product owner’s wishlist by linking up team activities.
The project progress is also demonstrated to the stakeholders by holding demo sessions. These also help them gain valuable feedback for continual improvement. Retrospectives and reviews are held after each Sprint to see what went wrong, what went great and to what can be done in the next Sprint.
Scrum Master plans the releases including deliverables and release deadlines. He also estimates deliverables with the best possible value for the next iteration. They reflect on process issues, take appropriate actions and ensure the sustainability and success of the project.
3. Introduces the Best Engineering Practices
A Scrum Master improves the efficiency of the project by encouraging automated builds and continuous integration, therefore, reducing the risk, time and effort. These builds use simple design and incremental development which avoids poor project architecture. Compared to the traditional processes, these practices have shown to be more successful during integration of large modules.
Practices like pair programming are encouraged because two heads are better than one. Alterations in the project are supported and can be incorporated easily in the project because such practices reduce the testing time. Scrum Masters help the team enhance the product quality without extending the delivery deadlines.
4. Maintains Scrum Artifacts
Scrum Masters facilitate planning, grooming, retrospectives, and reviews. They act as a buffer between external factors and the development team. They also make the team stay focused by removing distractions from outside.
They help the team maintain Scrum tools like a storyboard, action board, charts, and backlogs. They help the product owner and the development team to find a suitable Definition of Done and Definition of Ready
5. Mirrors the Team
Scrum Master is not to be confused with a project manager as he/she is the servant leader of the development team. Scrum masters reflect Agile and Scrum values to the team and remind them of their assignments. They ask open questions and help the team to continuously improve their work standards.
They observe the team from outside and reflect on issues. Also, they check all the Scrum modules like Sprint backlog, metrics and product backlog and help them connect their model to the real world.
They develop and nurture group dynamics through system coaching. They mediate through conflicts including those of goals between the development team and the Product Owner and help the team make important decisions. The Scrum Master fosters the team’s self-organization and helps them enhance productivity.
6. Supports the Product Owner
The Scrum Master helps the PO to write and split user stories along with the team and coaches them on Impact Mapping or Story Mapping. They also help in prioritizing and re-prioritizing the product backlog.
Scrum Master guides the product owner to attain a clear product vision and helps with release planning and conveys the Product Owner’s wishlist to the development team through various Scrum events.
7. Stays Updated while also updating the Team
Scrum Masters are continuous learners of everything related to Agile and Scrum. They read books, attend conferences, visits user groups and write blogs to constantly keep in touch with the advancing methodologies.
They consult the foundation and team members of Agile and help their development teams to create information radiators. They impart knowledge to the team and encourage them to use Agile engineering practices. They challenge the team with the latest management innovations and exchange knowledge with other Scrum Masters in the organization.
Scrum Master – Crucial to the Team
A successful Scrum Master handles this diverse portfolio of roles and responsibilities with ease. He/she ensures timely and high-quality product deliveries by internalizing and applying the Scrum characteristics.