By: Katie Johns
Enterprises are increasingly realizing the benefits of Agile Software Development Methodology. The top 2 reasons for its popularity are since it boosts collaboration and communication. It also helps to discover issues early in the development cycle rather than later when the cost of correcting them increases multi-fold.
In an Agile Software Development project, there’s a common confusion regarding if the scrum master should be located offshore with the team or on-shore. Before I start giving you the answer to that, first to lay the foundation and give you the ground-level definitions. Some of the common benefits of following the scrum methodology are increased productivity and quality, reduced time to market, better stakeholder satisfaction and improved team dynamics. Scrum team, scrum master, product owner, sprint, sprint planning, daily stand-ups, sprint review, and retrospective are terms that you will hear if you’re working on a scrum agile scrum methodology. The role of scrum master is fundamental to agile methodology (besides the scrum team and product owner). The responsibilities of the scrum master involve supporting and overseeing the activities of the project, enabling communication and connection between the scrum team and product owner. The scrum master will not commit to completion of the development work (and therefore has limited authority and management in that respect). The scrum master must provide the tools and resources that can help developers to achieve their tasks. The Scrum Master should coach the product owner and the development team as well. The person champions a project, guides the team members and product owner, and ensures that all agile project management practices are followed in the project.
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Understanding scrum methodology
Scrum (also called as a sub-group of agile) is understood as an agile project management approach used for software development projects where speed and quality are top priorities. It gives a set of principles and values to users as a guideline to develop high-quality software. Scrum is one of the popular methodologies that is used for projects that are complex and ambiguous. In one of our last blogs, the reasons for scrum masters to commonly fail was covered and, in yet another blog, the qualities that a good scrum master should have was discussed.
Are offshore scrum masters effective?
One of the most common concerns for enterprises, when they engage with an offshore software development company, is the location of the scrum master. There is confusion whether to use an offshore, near-shore or on-shore scrum master.
It works best when the scrum master is physically located with the development team so that they can easily reach out when in need. They help the team to identity potential points of contention (in case of missed deliverables) and works towards removing any obstacles that prevent the delivery team to achieve sprint goals. Communication channels must be clearly defined such as email, instant messenger and video/telephonic meetings or conferences. If communication is not prioritized, the project is bound to fail irrespective of the location of scrum master. Communication is the cornerstone of agile methods.
The scrum master has different responsibilities at different levels. For example, at the business level the person ensures that the development environment is conducive and enables multi-direction collaboration. The main responsibility towards the product owner is to ensure that they understand and follow the scrum practices and techniques. At the team level, the scrum master acts as a guide, coach, facilitator and trouble shooter to find a solution to any obstacle that the team members might be facing. Given the responsibilities of the scrum master at various levels, proximity to the offshore software development team makes most sense for them rather than being onsite.
ISHIR has certified, experienced and knowledgeable scrum masters who are proficient at achieving and delivering as per stakeholders’ expectations. They have in-depth knowledge of agile tools, methods and techniques. If you’re searching for a trusted offshore scrum master to spearhead your agile development project, give us a shout right away.