By: Katie Johns
Before you start searching for a great scrum master, you need to first understand why do you need a scrum master (in case you’re not convinced already). There might be more than one question in your mind, for example, can a scrum master manage multiple teams? Aren’t the roles of product owner and scrum master overlapping? Can a project manager perform the role of a scrum master?
We’ll answer your questions and then tell you of all the qualities that you must seek in a scrum master.
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Why do you need a scrum master?
The scrum master manages the scrum aspect of development. Their daily routine consists of facilitating the daily stand-up meetings, protecting the team from interruptions during the sprint, work on any challenges that the team members might be facing, directing the product owner, encouraging collaboration between the product owner and scrum team and arranging for sprint reviews and sprint planning sessions.
Can a scrum master manage multiple teams?
There is no right or wrong answer to that but one an ideal situation will be if the scrum master manages one team at a time. Managing a single team in an agile project is a full-time and critical job.
Aren’t the roles of product owner and scrum master overlapping?
In the agile methodology, scrum master is the mediator between the product owner and the agile team. The product owner has a vision of the product and the project. It’s a demanding role as the PO must have a clear vision from all perspectives, customers, end users and stakeholders. The person ensures the business value of the product.
Scrum master, as explained above, is expected to improve the efficiency and creativity of the scrum team.
Both have exclusive role with no overlapping responsibilities and best performed if two experts work on them.
Can a project manager perform the role of a scrum master?
A Project Manager is not a scrum master. Only a novice to agile development methodology will say that the roles are the same. Project Manager is the one who leads, makes decisions and, at the end of the day, responsible for the project.
The scrum master supports the product owner, agile team and ensures that the scrum processes are adhered to. The project is the responsibility of the product owner. They consult the product owner to understand how they can effectively manage the team and how product backlog can be managed.
What are the qualities of a great scrum master?
We have listed down all the qualities that a great scrum master must have.
- Must be aware of all the established team development practices. It involves forming, norming, performing and adjourning teams.
- In-depth understanding of agile principles and increase the chances of agile practices
- Scrum master influences the work culture to enhance the performance of the scrum team
- Encourages the team to take ownership of their tasks
- Scrum master helps the team from failing
- Talented scrum master is resourceful, enabling, trustworthy, respected, alternative, inspiring, nurturing, emphatic and disruptive
- Can contribute hugely in building self-organizing teams (encourage team members’ ownership
- Makes the team members feel that each agile team member is working to achieve a common purpose via release goals, sprint goals and team goals
- Ensures that a stable sprint rhythm is maintained and each team member is aware of about it
- The scrum master is a great listener (knows how to listen to what’s said and what’s not said)
- Is perceptive to daily tasks and observes each team member
- They’re great at sharing experiences and are not hesitant to share lessons learned (failures and successes)
- A great scrum master is a brilliant professional coach
- Can remove impediments (and in some cases, tries to prevent them)
- Supports the team in maintaining the flow and is always available for them
- Works closely with product owner and together lays a foundation for great results
- The scrum master is an expert at XP, Kanban and Lean methods.
- Being a facilitator is the second nature of a scrum master
- Most importantly, the scrum master leads by example
You can consider an offshore scrum master who is great at communication and can be located anywhere for a successful project delivery. Communication is the most essential aspect of agile methods, and is the scrum master is great there is no reason why you can’t use an offshore scrum master for a successful agile project delivery. Speak to us to hire industry’s best scrum masters.
Good summary. If the Scrum Master can apply a Scrum tool to help, that would be like a powerful weapon.