What are the roles and responsibilities of a Scrum Master?

Becoming Agile with the workflow process is giving significant development and growth in the Software and IT industry. The methods of Agile enable better flexibility, process management,  and satisfaction to the end-user with consistent and efficient flow. Frameworks like Scrum have proved to be blissful in the implementation of the Agile Methodology in the organisation, to have a structured and strategic approach for the Workflow process.  The roles and responsibilities of a Scrum Master is the key force, behind the implementation of Scrum Framework, governs all the process effectively for the better and productive outreach within the organisation.

 

Roles and Responsibilities of a Scrum Master: Service to the Organisation

To the Product Owner:

Forging Techniques for Enhanced Product Backlog Management:

Product Owner’s foremost responsibility is to manage the Product Backlog effectively. Being the mentor and leader of the Scrum Team, Scrum Master along with the Product Owner formulates techniques for refinement and management of the Product Development Process.

Creation of the Product Feature:

Scrum Master makes sure that the goal, scope, & Product domain are well understood by everyone on the Scrum Team. Scrum Master facilitates Scrum events to ensure every member of the Scrum Team is well aware of Product features. 

Planning of Product in an empirical environment:

The Scrum Master assists the Product Owner to have planning and development of the product with the work experience of an empirical environment. As sometimes the environment and work culture changes in the organisation, the Scrum Master helps the Product Owner to adapt and react to changes positively.

Adapting Agile Techniques to yield maximised value:

Implementation of Agile Methodology and its techniques decided most of the success rate of the organisation, though it depends most on how the development team, Scrum Master, Product Owner and stakeholders implement it in the workflow process.

With the Scrum Team:

Mentor to the Scrum Team

The Servant leader in any organisation has the main goal to serve, which means they share their knowledge, Power, Experience as a leader to help the team member with growth. A good Servant leader puts the needs of the team first so that they can flourish and develop themselves.

Scrum Master is a leader as well as a mentor of the Scrum Team. Being the leader, the Scrum Master plays the crucial role as Servant Leader, which helps the Scrum Team to develop and be on an Agile Path that yields maximum values and meets the end-user requirement effectively and consistently.

Facilitation of Scrum Events:

Scrum Master facilitates the  Scrum Events to the Scrum Team, at regular intervals or whenever it is needed or requested by the Team Members. At the same time, the Scrum Master also facilitates the Scrum events for the Product Owner to ensure the product is being well developed to meet end-user requirements. 

Formulate approach for adaptation to change:

Scrum Master has the role of a change agent in the organisation. With change continuously taking place, Scrum Master mentors the Scrum Team as well to adapt to the change and have consistent effort in the product development process. Scrum Master also removes project impediments that enhance the productivity and performance of the Scrum Team.

roles-and-responsibilities-of-scrum-master

Roles of the Scrum Master:

 

As a Facilitator:

The role of a Scrum Master is very diversified within an organisation as they not only mentor their respective Scrum team but also they facilitate other members of the Organisation. Scrum Master facilitates the Scrum Team, Scrum Meetings, Product Owners, etc. while continuously responding to the changes.

As a Coach:

Scrum Master is the coach of the  Development team and guides the product owner with the product backlogs. The Scrum Master nurtures the Scrum Team to forge a path that helps the team to become productive and take work effectiveness to the next level with improved efficiency & performance. A Scrum Master makes sure that the team is equipped enough to battle odds, tackle problems and solve it on their own. The Scrum Master helps the Team Member to adapt to changes quickly and respond to backlogs or blockages rapidly during the Product Development Process. 

 

As a Servant Leader:

The Scrum Master is a servant leader for the organisation. Even being the team leader or team coach, Scrum Master is a servant to the Scrum team. A servant leader is the one who prioritises the growth of the  Development Team before their own. A good Servant leader puts the needs of the team first so that they can flourish and develop themselves.   The main motive with this is to enhance and increase teamwork and personal improvement hand on hand. As the leader of the team, Scrum Master encourages, enables and energises people so as they realise their potential. A servant leader should have the following qualities:

  • Determined
  • Trustworthy
  • Cultivator of the culture of trust
  • Acting with humility
  • Encourager
  • Supportive
  • Reliable
  • Effective
  • Empathetic

As a servant leader, the responsibilities of the Scrum Master are:

  • Lead the team with healthy conflict and positive debates on ideas
  • Teaching, mentoring and coaching the organisation for adoption and usability of Scrum.
  • Help the team to have the vision, and they become capable of removing and preventing impediments.
  • Empowering, Enhancing and motivating the Development team on self-management.

 Responsibilities of a Scrum Master:

Removing the Impediments:

The Scrum Master has the foremost responsibility of removing the impediments, mainly the project blockages that impede progress. This is important especially when the team members cannot reasonably remove those impediments themselves. A Scrum Master guides the team to resolve all the impediments and make the workflow process efficient and effective. This results in increased productivity.

Being the Change Agent:

The Scrum Master acts as a Change Agent in the Organisation who develops  a culture that helps other members to react to changes quickly. This helps the team member to build the ability which is crucial in making critical decisions and making the growth in the critical environment as well, with Consistency.

 

Being the Protector 

 For Team:

The Scrum Master acts as a protector. He protects the team from any distractions and interference that results in the delay of delivering the business value with every sprint. Distractions and Interference come from many sources, it can be from managers, external factors, change in culture, different suggestions, and if someone wants to redirect process in the middle of a sprint. No matter what is the source of the distraction and interference, the scrum master acts as a defender and provides the team with the shield.

For Scrum Values & Principles:

 

Scrum Master implements the framework of Scrum and makes sure every member world under the underlying values of Scrum Fundamentals. Being the implementer and executor of Scrum Framework, it’s the responsibility of the Scrum Master to protect the values and principles of Scrum Framework within the organisation, and make sure everyone adapts it with the friendly work culture.

 

Authorising the workflow Process:

The Scrum Master authorises to whether the team adapts, enacts and adheres with the virtue of scrum principles, fundamentals & practices with the specific approaches by the Scrum team. The Scrum Master helps the Scrum Team to enhance the workflow process and helps them in getting higher yield with the consistent delivery of business value. However, having the authority does not give the right to the Scrum Master to hire and fire or the team about the completion of the task. This means that the Scrum Master is not liable for making sure the work gets done. Instead, the Scrum Master helps the team to define & adhere to its own process that makes sure the works get done.

Enabler :

For Team:

The Scrum Master invokes the techniques of Agile Methodology with Scrum Framework which enables the team to become Agile with the workflow process while bringing the culture which adopts the Scrum Framework. The Accuracy with which the Scrum Master implements the Scrum Framework and makes the team Agile while working on the fundamentals of Scrum Framework highly decides the growth rate of the Organisation. This enables the team to gain a high level of Preciseness while being Creative, effective and efficient with the workflow

 

For Processes:

To improve the effectiveness and efficiency, Scrum Masters encourage Scrum & Development to use the approach of continuous integration (CI) and automation. With the help of CI tools, the development team integrates bulks of code into a central repository frequently, from where automated builds and tests run in successive iterations. The repeatable approach helps to reduce the risk, time, and efforts which are associated with the traditional development methods. 

There were the roles & responsibilities of a Scrum Master. Now let’s read more & find out what it needs to become master for the role & responsibilities of a Scrum Master.

Characteristics of a Scrum Master:

Influential

A Scrum Master leads the Scrum Teams that are working with a motive to achieve specific milestones and deliverables. Scrum Master becomes liable to motivate multiple groups, Development Team, Product Owner and stakeholders at an organisational level, that maximises the potential of all at stake. As a team leader, the Scrum Master bridges the gap between the concept of the project and the actions required to complete it with effective implementation at every specific stage. The Scrum Master needs to have strong leadership and organisational skills.

Collaborative

The Collaborative approach in the workflow process serves a great purpose in the participation of every member of the team activities with ease. This helps in solving impediments as well as contributes to the engagement of personal growth as well.

The Scrum Master here helps the team members to have a better collaborative approach among themselves, which brings effective changes and results. Not only the Scrum Master helps the team member but also invokes a purpose which makes the teamwork collaborative and cooperative. In this way, the Scrum Master allows the Organisation to have a work culture where the team nurtures and flourishes.

Observant

The Scrum Master is not only a leader but a team member, mentor and facilitator. Scrum Master needs to be good listeners and pays attention to the challenges the project team faces at every step of the way. The Scrum Master needs to be observant, who pays attention to the Scrum Events and Interaction between team members with motive to have a clear vision of members’ roles and contributions in sprint sessions.

Knowledgeable:

Besides resolving all the issues that arise, the Scrum Master should also proactively prevent potential problems with the knowledge and experience that he/she gains over the year. This requires outreaching the knowledge of the product and workflow process. The Scrum Master experience thus enables the team to avoid blockages and solve backlogs quickly. The Scrum Master needs to possess knowledge of various workflow process formats that embraces agile methodologies such as XP, Lean, and Kanban.

Transparent

The Scrum Master needs to be transparent in all forms of communication. When working with Scrum Team members, there should be transparency with every stage of the workflow process. Transparency with the workflow process gives a better perspective and enhanced approach. Transparency allows the Scrum Master to inspect and adapt to changes rapidly. The Scrum Master also promotes transparency in communication outside of the Scrum team. Without transparency, it is difficult for the organization to inspect and adapt to achieve Business Agility using Scrum.

 Conclusion:

The roles & responsibilities of a Scrum Master is the key force behind the implementation of Scrum Framework within an organisation. The Framework of Scrum emphasises great importance on the role of Scrum Master and the value they bring to the organisation. Scrum Master not only guides the Scrum Teams towards the goal but also plays a vital role in strategic planning and focused vision of the organisation to become Agile with the workflow process..

Working on the fundamentals of Scrum Framework is increasing by every passing day and every big MNCs of today’s world is relying on the Scrum Framework to have effective and improved results every time. Companies like J.P. Morgan, Siemens, John Deere, Capgemini, Sony, BNY Mellon, Schlumberger, Sophos, Continentals and many more have successfully implemented the framework of Scrum in their work process, with effective Scrum Master playing a veritable role for Success with Scrum Implementation.

 

Author :

vijay wade

View posts by vijay wade
Vijay is Lean and Kanban evangelist and has improved many product lines and projects using Lean and Kanban practices. He has benefitted many clients by reducing their product cycle times and overall productivity improvements by Kanban and Lean Practices. He has 22+ years of Experience in Agile and Scrum Coach with Technical agility practices and helped many clients on the path of business and organizational agility.

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