The Roles & Responsibilities of a Scrum Master

What is Scrum?

Who is a Scrum Master?

Scrum Master’s Role Accountability

  1. To Product Owner
  • Helping find techniques for effective Product Goal definition and Product Backlog management;
  • Helping the Scrum Team understand the need for clear and concise Product Backlog items;
  • Helping establish empirical product planning for a complex environment; and,
  • Facilitating stakeholder collaboration as requested or needed.
  1. The main role of the scrum master is to ensure effective communication of the product owner’s wish list to the scrum team. The scrum master also must ensure organizing the events and workshops related to the scrum whenever required and optimize the product backlog. Moreover, it is further important to impart the knowledge of product planning in an empirical environment.
  2. To Organization
  • Leading, training, and coaching the organization in its Scrum adoption;
  • Planning and advising Scrum implementations within the organization;
  • Helping employees and stakeholders understand and enact an empirical approach for complex work; and,
  • Removing barriers between stakeholders and Scrum Teams.
  1. The scrum master roles in these organizations vary. It leads the organization in successful Scrum adoption. It also helps to increase the productivity of the team by working efficiently without wasting resources. Scrum Master plans Scrum implementations within the organization
  2. To the Scrum Team
  • Coaching the team members in self-management and cross-functionality;
  • Helping the Scrum Team focus on creating high-value Increments that meet the Definition of Done;
  • Causing the removal of impediments to the Scrum Team’s progress; and,
  • Ensuring that all Scrum events take place and are positive, productive, and kept within the timebox.
  1. Scrum Master works as a coach to the development team in self-organization. Encourages the development team for the creation of high-value products.
  2. Scrum Framework
    Scrum Master also manages the scrum framework. We keep a check that the attendees of the webinars and seminars understand the key purpose of conducting these events. Ensure that Sprint Retrospective is performing in such a way that it imparts positive results and increases productivity.

Scrum Master Responsibilities

  • Resolving Impediments
    By impediments, it means “Hindrances”. So, it means it is the responsibility of the Scrum Master to resolve the issues or hindrances that stop them from giving 100 percent. Therefore, management is needed to fix the problem.
  • Training People
    Scrum Master coaches or gives training to scrum teams. Mentor organizational staff to understand how they function and who they are beneficial to them. The scrum master must make sure that the team is well-equipped to take up all the challenges by themselves. No doubt the scrum master is always there to help in resolving the issue by taking all the accountability and ownership.
  • Process Intervention
    It is one of the most important responsibilities as a scrum master. Maximizing the values and principles of Scrum in the organization. Scrum Master helps the team deliver quality-driven business value. the Scrum Master likewise does not hold the duty of ensuring the work is completed. With all things being equal, the person assists the group by characterizing and clinging to its cycle to ensure the work is complete.
  • Protector
    The Scrum Master goes about as a defender and helps the group by shielding it from outside impedance that comes in the method of conveying the business esteem during each run. Impedance can emerge out of numerous sources. Regardless of what wellsprings the impedance, Scrum Master goes about as an interceptor and tackles the issue agreeably.
  • Issue Resolver
    Sometimes there can be issues internally within the team with the scrum process. During that period, it is the responsibility of Scrum Master to not take a specific side of an individual rather than work as a whole and help to iron out the issue.

Traits of an effective Scrum Master

  • Courage — There are many important skills and traits for Scrum Masters, but when making a top three, ‘courage’ should be in there. As explained in the Skills section, the Scrum Master is a servant-leader. The Scrum Master leads the way. This is especially true for courage. Many organizations are ‘damaged’ in some sort of form. In many organizations, people are afraid to speak up, make mistakes and take responsibility for example. The Scrum Master as a leader has a major role to play by showing people courage, so that they will follow and act courageous.
  • Openness — Transparency, which is needed to inspect and adapt, is one of the pillars of Scrum. Openness is an extremely important value in Scrum. They are both crucial to Scrum being successful. However, being completely open and transparent is scary for a lot of people. Therefore, the Scrum Master should be open and honest, and again, be an example for other people to follow.
  • Empathy — Being able to feel, being able to sense what is going on in a group of people, is crucial to the Scrum Masters’ success. The most valuable things are often said in between the lines or can be read from non-verbal communication. This is often input for the Scrum Master to be used for training and coaching people, to maximize the value of Scrum.
  • Collaborative — Being a Scrum Master, one should have the right collaboration skills to work with the product owner, development team, and all other stakeholders, even those who might not be directly involved with Scrum. The Scrum Master works as a process coach to help the Scrum team members achieve their goals.

Skills required to be an effective Scrum Master

  • Agile Expert — Great Scrum Masters are experts in Agility. They have mastered the Scrum Framework, but they are also highly skilled in other Agile frameworks, methods, and practices. Scrum Masters are experts in Agile values & principles and know how to train, mentor, coach and facilitate other people in adopting these values.
  • Coach-Consultant — Great Scrum Masters are a ‘coach’ for the Development Team, Product Owner and Organization. They can coach people, by asking powerful questions for example, thereby changing peoples’ mindset and behaviors. They are also consultants, who can offer advice, share practices, and provide support for organizations regarding Agile governance or Agile contracting for example.
  • Servant-Leader — The Scrum Master is a servant-leader. He or she leads by example. The Scrum Master leads the way by showing the behavior necessary to make the change happen.

Challenges faced by a Scrum Master

  • Resisting change — Perhaps the most frustrating roadblock is resistance. It can come in many forms, active or passive, overt or covert, says Mike Cohn, the author of Succeeding with Agile and Agile Estimating and Planning.
  • Misunderstanding process — Because Scrum introduces such fundamental change to the way people work, there’s room for great confusion in its daily implementation, experts say. It is common for people to think they understand Scrum but to confuse old terminologies and methods with Scrum processes and terms.
  • Failing to adapt to changing roles — Transitioning to Scrum shakes up roles throughout teams, departments, and even the entire company (cross-functional and self-organization), and that can be scary. Managers, for example, may fear a loss of authority or control, while team members may have trouble stepping up to a group-driven process.





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Satyajit Gantayat

Satyajit Gantayat

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