Agile Project Management: What is a Scrum Master?

Agile Project Management: What is a Scrum Master? 1

There is a new prevalent trend in agile project management. Although there are some controversies about the exact time of its invention, nobody can deny the fact that it keeps gaining a significant amount of popularity from day to day. In fact, it is considered one of the greatest inventions and frameworks in the agile world. And it is called Scrum.

Here is a brief history to get you started on the topic:

In essence, Scrum is a project management framework that can be used for basically any kind of project. Designed to move the project along and check its progress, this model is known for its “sprints”, which usually last from two to four weeks.

It seems fairly straightforward and can be easy to use once you get the hang of it. However, it also appears that the framework is far more complex than it might look at first glance. Once you start digging deeper and deeper into it, you will find that it is rather difficult to truly master it.

So, the next time you hear the term Scrum Master, don’t take it lightly. Together with the Product Owner and the Development Team, the Scrum Master is a crucial part of any Scrum team. These three are known as the three roles in the framework. Today, I am going to focus on one of the roles.

But, before going into a detailed description of the role, let me just make sure you are aware that this model is, as you can see on this website, vastly used around the whole world. As the German experts will explain, it has also gone beyond software development and is now widely applicable in many different industries. From the military, to universities and more… If you learn how to use it, it will definitely come in handy.

What Is A Scrum Master?

Simply put, this is the person responsible for keeping the team as productive as possible. He, or she, helps everyone understand how the framework works, gets them familiar with its rules, practices, and theories. This individual is also in charge of letting the people outside the team know how to properly and effectively interact with the team.

In general, Masters have to make sure that everyone is following the steps they agreed on, in order to make the whole project run smoothly. They need to establish an environment in which the team can be most efficient. That includes protecting them from any outside interruptions. Additionally, they have to ensure that the relationship between that team and the product owner is up to par.

In a broader sense, Scrum Masters have a series of duties and obligations towards both the Product Owner and the Development Team. They are the go-to person for everything and anything regarding the project. So, I guess you understand the importance of the position.

How Do They Serve The Product Owner?

Firstly, the Masters are the one in charge of helping the Product Owner choose appropriate agile product management tools and techniques. Then, they have to make sure that the management practices are properly established in the enterprise. Of course, providing support in the process of making product decisions is another important aspect.

Additionally, this position includes working with HR, senior management and other important groups in order to ensure that the changes are properly implemented and that efficiency is not compromised. Another responsibility of theirs is to inform all the stakeholders about those changes and their benefits. If any issues should arise between the owner and the project manager, this is the person in charge of successfully resolving it.

Of course, they also have to make sure that the Development Team receives in-depth instructions and remains properly informed about everything that is expected from them. That allows them to make realistic commitments and organize their work in the best possible way. The team has to be encouraged to work with the Product Owner on the product backlog.

Agile Project Management: What is a Scrum Master? 2

How Do They Serve The Development Team?

Naturally, one of the most important obligations of Scrum Masters is to coach the Development Team. They need to teach them about cross-functionality and self-organization, all with the aim to aid them in making high-quality products. They also have to coach them in those environments that have yet not completely adopted this model.

Furthermore, informing the team about the exact needs and requirements of the Product Owner is a crucial part of the job. That way, they are ensuring that everything is plainly explained and correctly understood. And we all know that the key to a successful project is proper communication and clear goals.

If the people don’t know who should be doing what, there is no doubt that the whole project will run into problems. Deadlines might be missed and some responsibilities might be neglected. In any case, someone won’t be happy. The Scrum Master is the one in charge of delegating the work and keeping track of everyone.

In addition to that, they need to make sure that nothing is impeding the work of these people. In order to keep them on schedule and allow them to swiftly and efficiently progress, the Scrum Master has to take care of any issues that might arise, clear up any misunderstandings and keep the working environment in order. All of this leads to highest efficiency and the best possible results.

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