What is a Scrum Master: Role and Responsibilities

Date: 16/07/2024| Category: Best Practices Glossary| Tags:

The Scrum Master is a professional who coaches their team during the adoption of the Scrum Framework. The core responsibility of a Scrum Master is to lead the Scrum Team to the correct understanding and enactment of Scrum’s theory, practices and rules.

The Scrum Master interacts with all the members of the Scrum Team (the Product Owner and the Development Team) and with the entire organisation to maximise the value created by the Scrum Team.

The Scrum Master is a professional in the Agile Software Development field and they are responsible for the Scrum Team, monitoring Scrum processes and meetings. They are responsible for ensuring that the Agile philosophy is understood and enabled through the organisation. This is also the reason why it is preferable to have a Scrum Master that belongs to the organisation, instead of a freelancer.

Due to their devotion to the Agile principles, the Scrum Masters are often considered as servant-leaders to the Scrum Team.

The Role of a Scrum Master

The main responsibility of the Scrum Master is to be a process facilitator for the Product Owner and for all the Scrum Team. The Scrum Master has no management authority inside the team, indeed they are considered only a team member. Their role is to act as a facilitator for the Scrum Events (as the development of working software) and to help the team release the planned Product Increment. The Scrum Master is considered a coach for the Scrum Team.

The Responsibilities of the Scrum Master inside the Scrum team

The main responsibilities of a Scrum Master are to:

  • Ensure that the Scrum processes are correctly enabled
  • Facilitate the Scrum events: Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint
  • Review and Sprint Retrospective
  • Remove all the obstacles
  • Maintain a friendly environment that enables team efficiency
  • Resolve conflicts (through Conflict Management techniques) inside the
  • Scrum Team
  • Ensure a collaborative relationship between the Scrum Team and the
  • Product Owner and between the Scrum Team and the other departments.
  • Protect the team from external threats
  • Provide assistance on Agile practices, giving priority to individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
  • Guarantee the adoption of the Scrum framework

The Scrum Master is committed to:

  • Help the Product Owner with the following activities:
    • Shaping and ordering the Product Backlog
    • Communicating the vision, goals and intended use of the product to the Development Team
    • Describing Product Backlog items to the Development Team clearly and unambiguously
    • Organising Scrum events when and as requested by the Product Owner
  • Help the Development Teams with:
    • Their internal self-organisation
    • The removal of any possible obstacle to their work
    • The development of high value products

At the organisation level the Scrum Master has to:

  • Lead and assist the overall organisation in adopting and implementing Scrum
  • Help colleagues understand and use Scrum
  • Implement the necessary changes to increase the productivity of the team
  • Collaborate with other Scrum Masters in order to increase the effectiveness of Scrum adoption inside the organisation.

The Necessary Skills to be a Scrum Master

Scrum.org highlights 5 main areas in which a professional has to succeed if they want to be Scrum Master. The 5 areas are to:

  1. Understand and to enable the Scrum Framework
  2. Develop the individual and the Scrum Team
  3. Manage products in the Agile way
  4. Professionally develop and deliver products
  5. Nurture and boost Agility in the organisation

QRP International is an Accredited Training Organisation (ATO) that offers the Scrum certification: the Scrum Master or Scrum Product Owner. Would you like to have more information? Contact us!

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