When hiring a scrum master companies need to figure out the role of a scrum master in an agile Team. This article will enable them to set job descriptions that are realistic and grounded in their organizational context. This will help avoid disillusionment on part of both the scrum master and the employing organization.
Who is the Scrum master:
The Scrum master is responsible for removing all the constraints and blockers and making sure that things go well in an agile project. The scrum master is envisioned in agile literature as the “servant leader” who serves the team in a multitude of different ways, which include promoting scrum, facilitating the team’s functioning, and
The scrum master is a key player in implementing and sustaining scrum, the most popular agile
software development method. Scrum master activities include facilitating, mentoring, negotiating, process adapting, coordinating, and protecting;
Scrum master and other agile projects Team members
Agile teams are self-organized teams; they can display significant autonomy in taking decisions and managing workloads and allocating work amongst themselves.
Agile team normally includes
- Product owner: mainly responsible for representing the customer and guiding the product vision,
- Business analyst: who understands all the processes and communicates with the IT,
- Scrum master: primarily responsible for facilitating team functioning and removal of impediments,
- Development team: they develop software and test it.
Scrum master serves three entities:
1) the product owner (PO): The scrum master serves the PO by communicating the importance of product backlog management to the team, assisting the PO in maximizing the value derived from the product backlog, and facilitating scrum events.
2) the development team: The scrum master serves the team by facilitating agile adoption, removing impediments, facilitating the performance of scrum ceremonies, and coaching teams which are
starting out in scrum.
3) the organization: the scrum owner serves the organization by leading and planning the organization’s
scrum adoption efforts, helping stakeholders understand scrum, and collaborating with other
What is the role of the scrum master in agile projects?
Scrum master activities include process anchor; stand-up facilitator; impediment remover; sprint planner; a scrum of scrums facilitator; and integration anchor, Bass JM (2013).
1-The process anchor ensures adherence to agile methods,
2-Stand-up facilitator facilitates information sharing during each sprint,
3-Impediment remover clears obstacles,
4-Sprint planner assists in the planning process prior to each sprint,
5-the scrum-of-scrums coordinator coordinates work with other scrum masters,
6-the integration planner coordinates the integration of codebases by multiple teams, the latter two applying in a large-scale context.
in a different study, Scrum master activities include facilitating, mentoring, negotiating, process adapting, coordinating, and protecting; Shastri et (2021)
1-Mentoring: Mentoring involves the scrum master empowering the team on the path of self-organization, educating the team and stakeholders in agile practices, and ensuring team adherence to agile practices.
2-Facilitating: Facilitating involves the scrum master clearing obstacles and issues, facilitating the project teams functioning, and easing the team’s transition to scrum.
3-Process adapting: Process adapting involves tailoring processes to suit project context by customizing agile practices and by integrating traditional project management practices with agile practices.
4-Negotiating: Negotiating involves the scrum master aligning customer expectations with the team’s actual capacity to deliver working software.
5-Protecting: The protecting activity involved shielding the team from external interference and pushing back on scope creep. Protecting the team from external interference was an interesting aspect of the scrum master’s role.
6-Coordinating: The two key coordinating activities carried out by the scrum master were involving specialists in the project and coordinating collaboration between teams from different areas of the organization. This activity involved coordinating collaboration between multiple teams and involving technical specialists in the project.
Bass JM (2013) Agile Method Tailoring in Distributed Enterprises: Product Owner Teams. In: IEEE 8th Int.
Conf. Global Software Eng, pp 154–163. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICGSE.2013.27
Shastri, Y., Hoda, R., & Amor, R. (2021). Spearheading agile: the role of the scrum master in agile projects. Empirical Software Engineering, 26(1). doi:10.1007/s10664-020-09899-4