Last Updated on September 8, 2022 by Admin
Although a scrum master may sound like a character from a role-playing game, the position is a serious one that requires strong leadership skills. The scrum master is in charge of making sure a genuine scrum procedure is followed throughout a project. They keep the scrum framework together, enabling the process for the business, the product owner, and the scrum team.
According to Scrum.org, Scrum is a framework that enables teams to work on several projects at once and produce high-value products by solving challenges in an adaptive manner. It’s a straightforward, practical, and straightforward approach to project management. It can rotate and supports continuous feedback, enabling a plan to more precisely meet customer demands.
A Scrum Master is an expert in Scrum who has the capacity to coach the team in adhering to the framework’s values, principles, and procedures. The Scrum Master does not have complete authority to make strategic product choices, despite what the title might suggest. He or she is responsible for the Scrum method and the scrum team’s effectiveness, nevertheless. The Product Owner, not the Scrum Master, is in charge of making any choices on the work’s scope.
What is meant by Scrum Master?
Scrum is an agile methodology that enables teams to work on challenging tasks and produce high-quality products by taking an iterative approach to solving issues. It is a well-liked method of project planning that is easy to use, clear-cut, and popular for software and product development projects. The flexibility of agile project management, along with its promotion of user stories and ongoing feedback, enable scrum masters to more precisely meet their clients’ needs.
Agile According to Scrum’s developers, it is “a framework that enables individuals to address complex adaptive challenges while effectively and creatively delivering solutions of the highest quality.” Scrum is a straightforward foundation for successful teamwork on complicated goods. Agile software development is practiced using a specific methodology called Scrum. Consider Scrum as a subset of Agile, a more specialized element within a more general framework.
The team member that is in charge of managing the process alone is known as the scrum master. They do not participate in decision-making, but rather serve as a compass to lead the team through the scrum process using their knowledge and skills.
It’s especially true for teams who are new to the scrum framework that not everyone on the team will have the same knowledge of terms like scrum, product owner, product backlog, or user stories. The project may stall and fail in the absence of a scrum master who can assist product owners and team members in comprehending the philosophy, practice, rules, and values of scrum.
What does a Scrum Master do?
While an essential element of the scrum project management team, a scrum master is not engaged in the planning of agile releases. The product owner and scrum team are in charge of that. A scrum team manages itself; a scrum master does not serve as a project manager. In actuality, the success of the project’s outcome isn’t the scrum master’s responsibility.
However, the entire scrum architecture would collapse in the absence of a scrum master. The daily scrum meeting is facilitated by the scrum master, who does not participate in it. This acts as the glue that ties the project together (one of the four scrum ceremonies). The team’s burndown chart is maintained by the scrum masters, who also organize retrospectives, sprint reviews, and agile sprint planning meetings.
By guiding the product owner in the more technical user accounts and encouraging cooperation between the product owner and scrum manager, they also assist the product owner. Therefore, the scrum master’s guidance is beneficial to every participant in the scrum process. While not operating the vehicle themselves, scrum masters ensure that it is in perfect working order.
Scrum Master roles and responsibilities
In a project, the scrum master is responsible for a variety of functions. The scrum master can be seen as a servant leader, for example. They don’t belong to a hierarchy, give commands, or seek a return on investment.
Instead, they are approaching product development or software development with a more comprehensive perspective, sharing their expertise in agile project management with others while fostering a sense of community and enabling shared decision-making inside the scrum team.
Scrum Master Roles
A scrum master’s core roles include the following:
- The scrum master assists the product owner by ensuring that everyone on the scrum team is aware of the objectives, scope, and product domain.
- Scrum masters help the scrum team members understand the importance of prioritizing urgent user stories in the product backlog by providing agile project management methodologies and tools to manage the product backlog effectively.
- The scrum master’s ongoing communication with project stakeholders regarding the status of the ongoing agile sprint and product or software development activity is another significant responsibility. The different scrum artefacts (such as product backlogs, scrum meetings, and burndown charts) as well as straightforward project management communication efforts can be used to accomplish this.
- Scrum Masters have additional knowledge of project planning in an empirical setting. A scrum master is naturally skilled at organizing agile sprints and capable of managing agile teams. They are in charge of calling scrum meetings as necessary to guide or relay information about the procedure.
Scrum Master Responsibilities
The primary objective of a scrum master in terms of their duties is to take on the role of an agile coach, assisting scrum teams in self-organizing and cooperating cross-functionally in order to manage their product backlogs more effectively and maximize their productivity. They accomplish this through scrum rituals.
The following are some of the primary responsibilities of a scrum master:
- By removing roadblocks in the team’s scrum process and providing coaching during daily scrum meetings or other venues as needed, scrum masters help the team produce high-value products.
- Utilize scrum tools, such as scrum boards, to control the workload of the team.
- The scrum team should be able to depend on the scrum master to open up the way in front of them by clearing obstacles or giving user stories in the product backlog more priority. As a result, they will be able to concentrate on completing the user stories that are currently on their to-do list as quickly and effectively as feasible.
- The scrum master also aids the company by directing and guiding the conversion to the scrum framework. In this role, the scrum master will drive change that boosts team productivity while collaborating with other scrum masters and product owners to support widespread adoption of the scrum methodology inside the company.
Scrum Master vs Project Manager
While a project manager keeps tabs on various team members, the Scrum Master is solely concerned with the team and making sure they are productive and succeed in meeting project objectives.
According to Boggs, “the Scrum Master is not focused on time, scope, or budget, but rather on developing and supporting an environment where a team may incrementally and iteratively develop products and enhance their system.” “The Scrum Master is responsible for making sure the team has all they need and that any obstacles are removed from their path in order for them to be successful. They have no say in what, how, or when the projects are finished; in the Scrum framework, those duties are divided differently between the team and the product owner.
Scrum is frequently mistaken for a general project management approach. The Scrum Guide describes it as a “framework for producing and sustaining complex products.” Scrum recognizes the complexity and uncertainty involved in product development and strongly relies on the principle of empirical process management.
How to become a Scrum Master
How does one go about becoming a scrum master? Formal scrum master training and certification is the most direct path to becoming one. Scrum master certification programs are offered by a number of organizations.
For instance, “Disciplined Agile Scrum Master” (DASM), a scrum master certification program offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), qualifies you as a qualified scrum master.
The Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) designation, which is offered by the Scrum Alliance, teaches the candidate how to encourage scrum teams to perform at their peak.
The process of becoming a Certified Scrum Master has three parts (CSM).
- Acquaint yourself with Scrum, especially its lifecycle and framework.
- Enroll in the two-day CSM course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer. You have to show up in person.
- Finish at least 37 out of the 50 questions in the CSM certification exam with the correct answers.
You are prepared to transition to an Agile Scrum Master if you already possess a strong set of technical abilities. That’s because being a competent Scrum Master requires having a solid understanding of software development. So, if you have strong communication abilities and experience in software development, testing, or design, you’re off to a fantastic start.
What’s Scrum Master Demand Like Today?
It’s a good idea to think about future demand in addition to whether you’ll enjoy the career you’ve selected and the pay it gives. It would be unfortunate if you decided on a career path only to discover that it is no longer viable.
The 2019 Scrum Master Trends Report indicates that more people are using Scrum. In addition, 81% of Scrum users also utilize DevOps, Kanban, and XP in addition to Scrum.
With the growth of the technique comes an increase in demand for Scrum Masters. Scrum is being adopted by an increasing number of businesses and organizations; hence more Scrum Masters are required.
The most obvious industry that employs Scrum teams is software development, so let’s start there. The requirement to manage design projects as effectively and efficiently as possible—something Scrum was designed for—is growing along with the need for software.
But more fields than only software design have jumped on the Scrum train. Scrum teams have been useful in the financial industry for some time, particularly when introducing new customer services. Scrum teams are being used by government agencies to save waste and keep projects from getting bogged down in pointless deadlines or milestones.
Marketing is a perfect Scrum contender because of its emphasis on projects, campaigns, and teams. This shouldn’t be surprising at all, especially given how much modern marketing is conducted online. The worlds of digital marketing and IT, specifically the worlds of applications, websites, and software, intersect.
Scrum teams are used in the manufacturing industry to help generate better products by spotting issues before they become flaws in finished goods. Consider a Scrum team constructing a new car, smartphone, or athletic shoe as an alternative to the conventional Scrum project of creating a new app.
In conclusion, an Agile Scrum team, and of course a Scrum Master to manage it, may be beneficial for any industry that develops a product or service!
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Some common pitfalls / mistakes made by the Scrum Master
The Scrum Master should steer clear of the following typical errors:
Scrum Master conducts himself like a commander
The “command and control” leadership style still a sticking point for project managers who have transitioned to Scrum Masters. They should act like a flexible coach, yet they frequently act more like wardens supervising inmates in a jail. They frequently assume total ownership and accountability for the project, which is contrary to Scrum’s philosophy.
A situation like this prevents the team from ever beginning to accept accountability for their actions. A competent Scrum Master will simply demonstrate how the team may work independently and take ownership of the final result.
The Product Owner and Scrum Master are the same people
Due to the distinct kind of attention that these two roles have, this rarely works well. The product owner represents the stakeholders and the product that is being visualized and is the VOC, or Voice of the Customer.
In order for the team to systematically become more effective at providing value to the stakeholders, the Scrum Master is intended to be focused on the team’s long-term effectiveness. He or she must ensure that the team’s interests are not jeopardized.
One person taking on the roles of both the Scrum Master and the Product Owner on the team could cause the team to get less attention in favor of the stakeholders’ immediate needs.
Interfering with the team’s technological concerns
It is possible that the Scrum Master has a solid background in technology. They could therefore feel compelled to offer technical advice to the development team because they believe that doing so will speed up the process.
This approach isn’t always the ideal one to take. The scrum master should put their trust in the team to make sound technical judgments and should not get involved in them.
Characteristics/Must-Have Skills for a Scrum Master
What qualities must a Scrum Master have in order to excel at their position? The following characteristics make a successful scrum master.
A process coach should be knowledgeable first and foremost if they want to be successful. The same is true for a Scrum Master, who needs to be familiar with both the technologies the team will utilize to develop final solutions and the technical problems the team must solve. Nevertheless, they are not required to be an expert, just knowledgeable about the field.
A Scrum Master must be patient and give the team enough time to come to the right conclusions on their own. Sometimes all that is required is to keep an eye on how the team is handling a particular problem, and to only intervene when they are unable to do so on their own.
To effectively collaborate with the product owner, development team, and all other parties—even those who might not be directly associated with Scrum—as a Scrum Master, you should possess the necessary abilities. To assist the Scrum team members in achieving their objectives, the Scrum Master serves as a process coach.
The Scrum Master should be open and honest in all means of communication, last but not least. There shouldn’t be any unspoken intentions while dealing with team members; what you see and hear from the Scrum Master must be what you receive. Nobody anticipates anything less from a servant leader.
Additionally, the Scrum Master encourages open communication with groups beyond the Scrum team. Without transparency, it is challenging for the organization to review and adjust in order to use Scrum to produce the required business results.
Scrum Master certification programs
The certification process teaches the principles of the scrum framework and aids in familiarizing one with the concepts and practices of scrum, such as team roles, events, artefacts, and rules.
- Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM) by PMI: This scrum master certification program will accredit you as a scrum master who is qualified to oversee agile teams and implement project management approaches including agile, Kanban, lean, and scrum.
- DASM Requirements: There are no entry requirements for this scrum training program. It was developed by the PMI for those who are not familiar with scrum but wish to become certified as a scrum master.
- DASM Certification Test: There are 50 multiple-choice questions on the DASM exam. You’ll be asked questions regarding Kanban, scrum, and agile project management strategies.
- Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Master (CSM): A CSM is a certified scrum master who has the knowledge and skills to deploy scrum project management practices in projects and organizations.
- Requirements for Certified Scrum Masters: The prerequisites for CSM certification are quite straightforward. First, familiarize yourself with the scrum framework. Then there is a two-day, 16-hour course that teaches students how to set up and support a scrum team. It is instructed by a Certified Scrum Trainer.
- Scrum Master Certification Exam: There are 35 multiple-choice questions on the exam, and you must properly answer 24 of them in order to pass. The history of scrum and its fundamentals are covered in the test. Product backlogs, preparing releases, potential issues, scalability, scrum roles, sprints, how to run daily scrum meetings, tasks, reports, and team organization are among the specific subjects covered.
Salary details of Scrum Master
The average yearly income for a Certified Scrum Master is $105,000, with a high of $130,000. The average salary in India is Rs. 1,061,000. Here are some further global average annual salaries:
- Canada: CAD $107,500
- United Kingdom: £ 60,000
- Australia: AU$ 103,000
- Japan: ¥ 10,000,000
- Germany: € 61,000
- South Africa: R438,000
- United Arab Emirates: AED 180,000
- Singapore: SGD 110,000
- New Zealand: NZ$ 80,000
The degree of experience also matters and can have a significant impact. An entry-level Certified Agile Scrum Master (one with less than one year of experience) earns an average of $67,125 a year, according to PayScale.
With between one and four years of experience under their belt, a Certified Scrum Master earns an average income of $81,087. The average salary for Certified Scrum Masters in the middle of their careers—those with five to nine years of experience—is $96,141.
The average annual compensation for a Certified Scrum Master with 10 to 19 years of experience is $103,201. Last but not least, a senior Scrum Master with over 20 years of relevant expertise might anticipate to earn an average of $116,753 each year.
The Scrum Master serves as the team’s defender, ensuring that everyone is on the right path and that the project is up and running without a hitch.
The interests of the development team and the other two Scrum roles, the product owner and scrum master, must be balanced. The Scrum Master should cooperate and offer support in order to serve as a link between these two opposing forces.
The Scrum Master typically assists in establishing and streamlining effective channels of communication, removing roadblocks, and streamlining procedures to ensure timely delivery of high-quality projects.
Certified Scrum Masters are in greater demand than ever before as Agile adoption rises year after year. Profit from the rising demand and begin your Scrum adventure right away!