Scrum is an implementation method of bringing about Agile in an organization. A big project with lengthy processes is broken down into smaller tasks. First of all, we plan just enough to get started with building the minimal feature set. We build what was planned. And then, we test and review that small feature set and get it ready to ship. When this cycle is complete, we are ready with a potentially shippable product.

The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that the scrum is understood and enacted by the scrum team, which includes the Development Team and the Product Owner. Scrum masters ensure that the scrum team adheres to the Scrum Theory practices and rules. The scrum master helps those who do not belong to the scrum team to understand which of their interactions with the scrum team are helpful and which aren’t. The scrum master helps everyone modify their method and style of interactions to maximize the value built by the scrum team.

Objectives of a Scrum Master

The key objective of a Scrum Master is to ensure that the team takes advantage of agile principles and values and follows the practices and processes that the team agreed they would use.

Roles of a Scrum Master

There are several skills and qualities which are expected from a Scrum Master in order to be able to satisfy the needs of the clientele and attain the taste of success.

  • Servant Leader – A Scrum Master’s focus should be on understanding, acknowledging and serving the needs of the development team members and those whom they ultimately serve (the customers), intending to achieve results that are in line with the principles, values, and objectives of the organization.
  • Facilitator – A Scrum Master facilitates by setting up the stage and drawing precise boundaries in which the team can collaborate
  • Coach – A Scrum Master coaches individuals to focus on modifying their behaviour and mindset, to achieve continuous improvement.
  • Conflict navigator – A Scrum Master addresses dysfunctional behaviours and indifferent attitudes prevailing amongst individuals in the development team.
  • Manager – A Scrum Master assumes the responsibility of managing impediments and processes, eliminating waste, managing the organization’s culture, ensuring the healthiness of the team, and managing the boundaries of self-organization. The Scrum Master also manages the necessary infrastructure required for daily meetings in which concerns and deadlines are discussed.
  • Mentor – A Scrum Master transfers agile knowledge, expertise and her or his own experience to the development team and acts as a mentor to the whole scrum team.
  • Teacher – A Scrum Master ensures that Scrum is understood well and enacted properly.
  • Administrator – Besides leading and managing the scrum team, a Scrum Master performs administrative functions in order to be sure that the team has the proper equipment in place and the right environment to accomplish their tasks.

Services of a Scrum Master

The Scrum Master serves an organization in several ways.

Services to the product owner

The scrum master serves the product owner in various ways including:

  1. Finding numerous techniques to ensure effective product backlog management.
  2. Helping the scrum team understand why clear and concise product backlog items are highly essential.
  3. Understanding product planning in a dynamic and empirical environment.
  4. Ensuring that the product owner is aware of the methods in which the product backlog should be arranged to maximize value.
  5. Understanding and practising agility and facilitating scrum events as and when needed or requested.

Services to the development team

The scrum master serves the development team in many ways including:

  1. Training self-organization and cross-functionality to the development team. 
  2. Helping the development team in building high-value products.
  3. Removing impediments, if any, and promote the development team’s progress.
  4. Facilitating Scrum events as needed or requested.
  5. Coaching the development team how to act in an organizational environment where scrum is neither fully adopted nor completely understood.

Services to the organization

The scrum master serves the organization in numerous ways including:

  1. Leading and coaching the organization in the adoption of the scrum.
  2. Planning implementation of scrum within the organization.
  3. Helping the employees and stakeholders of the organization in understanding and annexing scrum in empirical product development.
  4. Bringing about changes in the functioning of the organization that increases the productivity of the scrum team.
  5. Working with the other scrum masters to ensure an increase in the effectiveness and efficiency of the application of scrum in the organization.

In conclusion, if an organization is okay with yielding mediocre results, then they need not worry about employing a Scrum Master. But, if an organization is concerned about protecting its goodwill and attaining customer satisfaction, a Scrum Master should be suitably employed because he or she would be the apt person to strike a balance between the organization’s objectives and the interests of the development team.

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