Scrum Guide

What Is a Scrum Master?

What Is a Scrum Master?

There are several advantages to the Scrum project management framework. For starters, teams using Scrum can break up large projects into manageable sprints, incorporate feedback from stakeholders, and optimize project delivery.. But leveraging the effectiveness of Agile Scrum doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s up to the Scrum master to clear obstacles, coach the team, and facilitate Agile processes and principles. 

What is a Scrum master?

Scrum master is a critical “servant leadership” role within a Scrum team. While they are not decision-makers on the team, a Scrum master works to implement Agile processes and establish an effective Scrum environment. 

Though the Scrum master does not manage the backlog like the product owner or do technical work like the development team, they are still crucial to the team’s overall success. But what exactly does a Scrum master do?

What does a Scrum master do?

Scrum masters remove impediments, ensure Scrum processes are being followed, educate the team on best practices and tools, and facilitate Scrum events like the daily Scrum meeting and sprint review. 

The role of Scrum master is best served by an individual who has experience with Scrum and can effectively coach others. In summary, the Scrum master has the following responsibilities: 

  • Creates a conducive Scrum environment where the team can be effective 
  • Removes obstacles that may impede the work of the team 
  • Ensures that the team does not succumb to outside disruptions and diversions
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How to become a Scrum Master

Wondering how to become a Scrum master? Anyone can embark on the path to becoming a Scrum master regardless of their educational background. Begin your educational journey in a few steps. 

  1. Read and understand the core concepts of the Agile methodology. This is at the heart of the Scrum methodology. A potential Scrum master should have a thorough understanding of the Agile Scrum framework.
  2. Register for a Scrum master certification program. There are plenty of Scrum certification programs to choose from, and they range in price depending on level, location, and other factors. These Scrum master certifications programs educate aspiring candidates on fundamental concepts, best practices, and Scrum ceremonies. 
  3. Pass the Scrum master certifications exam. An aspiring Scrum master must pass the certifications examinations, with at least a 75% score. Successful candidates will become a Certified Scrum master.

With this, they receive certification that must be renewed at the end of a two-year period.

What is a Scrum master certification?

A Scrum master certification is a certification program that anyone wanting to become a Scrum master must undertake to become professionally certified. There are a handful of certifying bodies whose credentials are worthwhile to employers. Having their mark of approval will show that you have the prerequisite training and skill to lead Agile teams successfully. Some examples of organizations that issue Scrum certifications include Scrum inc, Scrum.org, and Scrum Alliance

There are no formal requirements for candidates who want to obtain a Scrum master certification. After training, candidates are tested with a 60-minute exam. Successful candidates are given a license agreement and a membership profile.

Why every Scrum team needs a good Scrum master

The role of the Scrum master facilitates the conditions for development teams to achieve successful outcomes. Here are some benefits of having a good Scrum master.

Empowers collaborative group dynamics
The Scrum master ensures that positive group dynamics exist among team members and miscommunications and misunderstandings are quickly addressed and ironed out. The Scrum master perpetuates a healthy group culture, ensuring team members develop a collaborative approach to project delivery. 

Facilitates rapid implementation of change
During the ongoing development, there may be a need to pivot, either to adjust the goals for the project or to incorporate information from the sprint retrospective. The ability to quickly implement change within Scrum teams is of utmost importance because it directly affects the chances that a development project will be completed in time.

The Scrum master facilitates change within the development team and ensures that the group morale isn’t damaged when there’s a need to make a pivot. In playing this role, the Scrum master helps the development team stay on the path to success and easily weather any big changes. 

A coach for Agile Scrum implementation
The success of a development team hinges on the proper implementation of Agile methodologies. The Scrum master plays a crucial role as a coach that guides the team through product development while upholding the core values of Scrum. 

Timely product delivery 
The Scrum master mediates the product development process and its successful delivery by ensuring that the team remains agile and maintains clear priorities. The efforts of the Scrum master in this regard help the team deliver featured products consistently and efficiently. 

Scrum has clearly defined roles and rituals that should be followed to assure effective execution. 

A good Scrum master is committed to the Scrum practices and values and maintains flexibility and openness in accessing opportunities to improve the team’s workflow.  

Further reading
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