What is a Scrum Master and its roles and responsibilities.

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Hello everyone, I use to hear a lot of questions regarding the scrum master. So today we are going to know about the scrum master, and his/her roles and responsibilities

What is a Scrum Master?

Scrum master is the servant leader liable for ensuring the team lives agile values and principles and follows the processes and practices. The Scrum Master is usually considered a teacher for the team, helping the team do the simplest work it possibly can. They can also be thought of as a process owner for the team, creating a balance with the project’s key stakeholder, who is mentioned because of the product owner. They seldom play a role of a mentor and helps team navigate and achieve deliverable.

Roles of Scrum Master

The scrum master is the master of the scrum, who ensures the Scrum framework is followed within a team. Scrum features a clearly defined set of roles and rituals that ought to be followed. Below mentioned are the five things that Scrum Masters do.

Facilitation

Scrum features a strong specialization in collaboration through high-value conversations. As such the Scrum Framework features a number of meetings that happen throughout the Sprint. These meetings are Daily Scrum, Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective. People new to Scrum tend to stress with a number of scheduled meetings that they do and they think like Scrum Team will suffer death by meeting!

Trains, Mentors and Coaches

Remember one of the accountabilities of the Scrum Master is to help teams become self-organizing and to help others in the organization understand how to use Scrum well.

Because of this, the Scrum Master is regularly working to up skill the Scrum Teams in better use of the Scrum framework– through overlapping approaches of training, mentoring, and coaching. What skills does the Scrum Master help to develop? Through observation, experimentation, and experience, the Scrum Master steadily improves the team’s ability to self-organise, solve problems and become cross-functional.

At an organizational level, the Scrum Master can be found working with leaders and managers, helping them to adapt their management styles to better facilitate the use of Scrum in the company. And again, they does this through different approaches; sometimes training, sometimes mentoring, and at other times coaching. A good Scrum Master knows when to apply which approach.

Removes Impediments

Another part of the Scrum Masters role centers around removing impediments or blocks to the team’s progress.

During the Sprint, when the Scrum Team is working hard to get the good stuff out the door(focus on sprint goal), they will invariably come up with problems that slow or even stop progress. These impediments usually get identified at the Daily Scrum. If the Development Team can take care of the problem themselves, which they used to do. But sometimes the Development Team cannot resolve the problem for some reason, maybe time, skill, or something else. The impediment then falls on the Scrum Master’s shoulders to resolve.

Being resourceful and active people, Scrum Masters has to work hard to resolve the impediments. They will partner with other members of the team, talk to managers, escalate, find or create solutions and do whatever they need to eliminate the blocks preventing their teams from delivering on their promises. As challenges come up frequently during a Sprint, they is usually found doing something to overcome the block and keep the team moving towards delivery.

Scrum Master Service:

The following are some services that should be taken into consideration by the Scrum Master:

1. Scrum Master’s service to the Product Owner

The Scrum Master both guides and serves the Product Owner in additional ways than one including:

i) Formulating techniques for effective Product Backlog Management.

ii) Helping the team understand the necessity for clear and concise product backlog items.

iii) Facilitating Scrum events as requested or needed.

2. Scrum Master’s service to the development team

The Scrum Master plays an important role with respect to the development team.

 i) Removing the project impediments that come in the way of team productivity and performance.

 ii) Helping the development team to create high-value products.

 iii) Ensuring the development team is working hard, by conducting regular reviews.

3. Scrum Master’s service to the organization

The Scrum Master has several responsibilities within the organization as well.

 i) Helping employees and stakeholders to understand Scrum so that they can implement Scrum practices.

 ii) Acting as a change agent and helps to increase the productivity of the team.

 iii) Leading and guiding the organization in successful Scrum adoption.

 iv) Taking part in planning Scrum implementations within the organization.

 v) Working with other Scrum Masters to extend the effectiveness of the appliance of Scrum within the organization.

Responsibilities of Scrum Master

The following are some responsibilities that should be taken into consideration by the Scrum Master:

1. Standups – Facilitate daily standups (or the daily scrum) as needed.

2. Iteration/sprint planning meetings – Protect the team from over-committing and scope creep. Aid in estimation and sub-task creation.

3. Sprint reviews – Participate in the meeting and capture feedback.

4. Retrospectives – Note areas for improvement and action items for future sprints.

5. Board administration – Work as the administrator of the scrum board. Ensure that tickets are up to date and the scrum tool, Jira software or any other tool, is working well.

6. Internal Consulting – Scrum masters should be prepared to consult with team members and internal stakeholders on how best to work with the scrum team.

7. Reporting – Regular analysis of burndown charts and other portfolio planning tools to understand what gets built and at what cadence.

8. Blockers – They aids the team by eliminating external blockers and managing internal roadblocks through process or workflow improvements.

If you want to know more you can refer this blog.

Written by 

Prince Agrahai is a Scrum Master at Knoldus. He has good skills in Agile Methodology and Scrum Framework. He is also a good team player and likes to achieve milestones together. Also, getting up early motivates him for his work. On the personal front, he loves to travel, play cricket and watch movies.

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