Agile can be defined as pre-defined values/principles used to manage the software development process. One of the most commonly used Agile frameworks is “Scrum” With time, Agile principles are gaining in prominence in enterprises worldwide. Scrum is the most flexible development model that has allowed many organizations to develop products at a much faster pace, which is indeed a must in today’s competitive landscape.
Having flexibility in the development processes helps organizations need to come up with quality products to cater to customer requirements. To adopt scrum methodology into your organization and provide what the organization requires, the enterprises need a process expert to manage the work with dedicated timelines. This person is called “SCRUM MASTER.”
We shall take a detailed look at the job description of a Scrum master and why having proper training is essential for Scrum Master for business success:
Overview of Scrum Methodology
The product owners give the project details to the development team, which is headed by the Scrum Master. The project is broken into smaller pieces called “sprints.” Sprints assist to come up with an efficient product lifecycle within the given deadline. The Scrum Master is held responsible for coordinating all the project activities aligned with business objectives.
Who is a Scrum Master?
The scrum master leads the scrum team. They resolve issues and have complete control over the process. They make the team understand and imbibe scrum values and principles. They do every minute thing possible from their end to make the team perform at their highest level.
Scrum Master ensures to remove any sort of impediments hampering the project’s progress and conducts meetings. They coordinate with the product owner to ensure that the product backlog is ready for the upcoming sprint. They are also referred to as the protector of the team.
A Scrum Master facilitates meetings by querying /questioning the team members on the following aspects:
- What was done yesterday?
- What will be done today?
- Are there any obstacles in your way?
The Scrum Master works in the background and is not directly involved in creating a product strategy. Since the Agile processes are reliant on coordination and collaboration between the people, the Scrum Master needs to possess soft skills and essential knowledge of the latest tools and techniques.
Major Responsibilities of a Scrum Master
Let’s gain a thorough understanding of the responsibilities handled by a Scrum Master.
- Handling Intricacies
The main task of the Scrum Master is to identify and remove the hurdles hampering the progress of the project. If the issues are beyond their limit, they can get assistance from other stakeholders as well. The interference of the Scrum Master is essential in removing the impediments when the team members fail to overcome them.
- Ability to Handle a Team
The Scrum Master should be capable of creating a work environment of trust and comfort. An individual in the team would be considered a potent resource when they are not judgemental and discriminative. In case of such issues between the team members, the Scrum Master should be capable of identifying and resolving such matters.
It is one of their significant duties to ensure there is ample coordination and collaboration between the team members.
- Team Coach
A Scrum Master is considered a coach for the Product Owner and the development team. They are responsible for ensuring that the team imbibes and follow Agile practices, values, principles, and the Scrum framework. They take all the measures to ensure to make the team steps to the next level with improved performance.
The Scrum Master doesn’t assist the team in solving the issues. In the case of extreme conditions, they take complete responsibility for the problem and get it answered. Instead of just coaching the team, it would be better if the entire organization gets coaching. This would be helpful for organizations adopting the Scrum framework initially.
- Efficient Communication
Having excellent verbal and written communication skills is essential to ensure that there is proper communication between the development team, the stakeholders, and products that are delivered efficiently adhering to deadlines. On the other hand, lacking proper communication arguably ruins a well-designed project.
It’s the whole and sole responsibility of the Scrum Master to ensure proper communication between the team with the organization. This develops transparency and builds trust across the enterprise. Having a clear communication flow reduces the interruption to the workflow.
It’s a well-known fact that a Scrum Master is the Leader of the team. Often, they are also known as “Servant Leaders.” Their main objective is to improve teamwork and their involvement in work. Being a servant leader is just about giving orders to the team and getting the job done, it is all about serving as a helping hand to the team and working in collaboration with the developers, and getting the work done efficiently.
A servant leader should possess the following qualities:
- Good listening skills
- Cultivating a trust culture
- Being empathetic
- Encouraging behavior
The features mentioned above sum up the responsibilities of a Scrum Master. Now let’s take a look at the traits that make an efficient Scrum Master.
Skills Required to Become a top Scrum Master
When we speak about the Scrum Master, there are specific essential skills that you should be aware of to succeed in this role:
The Scrum Master should be enlightened enough about the product being developed. He must be mindful of the tools and technologies used by the development team. For a Scrum Master, it is somewhat helpful to possess working knowledge instead of being an expert in the business domain to avoid upcoming roadblocks. The Scrum Masters should also possess knowledge on various Agile methodologies like Lean, Kanban, and XP.
A Scrum Master is not the head of the organization; instead, he is a facilitator of the team. He must pay close attention to daily Scrum activities and the team member’s contributions to the sessions. He must also pay attention to the impediments faced by the team.
Firstly, the Scrum Master must possess leadership and organizational skills. They must lead different teams working on a project to attain the project deliverables and milestones.
Every event happening within the team should be transparent enough to relate to communication. At a particular phase of the project, it becomes essential for the Scrum Master to promote communication outside the team as well. Without incorporating transparency, it becomes difficult to attain the desired business results.
It’s the responsibility of the Scrum Master to possess collaboration skills to work in coordination with various teams such as the development team, product owner, and other parties. They must help the team members to accomplish their goals through stand-up meeting sessions, iteration planning sessions, and demo sessions.
Each of the mentioned above Scrum Master qualities will surely benefit them greatly. These can also be considered pre-conditions to take up this role.
How to Become a Certified Scrum Master?
One of the best ways to become a Scrum Master is by taking a certification course. Invensis Learning offers a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) training course worldwide. Participants taking up this CSM course will learn to implement Scrum to attain the best results.
Salary Trends/Salary Insights
In this section, we shall learn about various aspects contributing to Scrum Master’s salary and growth.
According to Glassdoor, the Scrum Master is one of the highest-paid professionals in the USA, with their average salary being $97,319/yr. Cities like Columbus, Charlotte, and Richmond, New York, are considered to be popular destinations for Scrum Masters to work.
According to 2019 Scrum Master Trends, here is a list of the average salary of a Scrum Master worldwide:
Scrum Masters are specialized in various ways. They possess broad reach within the organizational level. They also have a varied portfolio of roles and qualities. They are responsible for implementing Agile best practices to enhance the team efficiency and quality of the product deliverables.
Some of the widely-recognized Agile Courses taken up by individuals and enterprise teams are:
- Certified Scrum Master Training Online
- Certified Scrum Product Owner Course
- SAFe Scrum Master Certification Training
- Agile Scrum Foundation Certification Training
- Agile Scrum Master Certification Training