In order to deliver valuable products to the customer, it is necessary to support your team to deliver the products in short time frames, to get quick feedback, and to be able to make continuous improvements. The Scrum Master is responsible for all this and more, so his role is very important in agile projects.
What is a Scrum Master?
A Scrum Master is responsible for implementing the Scrum framework. He helps the developers and the product owner to achieve common goals. For this, he supports the team to work together and helps to get problems out of the way. In other words, he or she is the leader of the Scrum team. He or she removes organizational impediments and ensures that the processes follow the agile principles.
What are the responsibilities of a Scrum Master?
The Scrum Master works with the team and the Product Owner. The following tasks may arise:
At the Daily Standup, each team member has the opportunity to report on what he or she did yesterday, will do today, and if there were any obstacles in completing the tasks. The Scrum Master’s role here is to moderate the meeting. The Daily should last no longer than 15 minutes and everyone should have a chance to answer the three questions. You can find more information here: Tips for Scrum Master.
One of the tasks of the Scrum Master is to train the team members. Everyone in the team should know their role and responsibilities and also be informed about all important processes and structures. Because all team members should also understand the agile processes to be able to implement them effectively.
Support of the Product Owner
The backlog is created and filled by the product owner. The backlog contains the tasks that the team will complete during an iteration. The product backlog changes constantly depending on which tasks have higher priorities and which have lower priorities. The Scrum Master supports the Product Owner by scheduling meetings and writing user stories.
The Scrum Master also looks for possible problems or obstacles that may arise to then eliminate them. This is because the team should be able to concentrate on the actual work. This includes that the members do not participate in unnecessary meetings that keep them from working or also that the Scrum Master takes over organizational tasks if a team member is scheduled in several projects.
Teaching the Scrum Principle
An important task of the Scrum Master is to teach the principles of Scrum. He/She should introduce the Scrum way of working to new employees so that the process can take place without any problems. The new team members should understand the vision and the product and be able to follow the rules of Scrum so that the team can work in a self-organized way.
The Scrum team as a whole is responsible for the success of the product.
Steps to Become a Scrum Master
With these steps you will become a Scrum Master:
1. Know the basics of Scrum
Before you can become a Scrum Master you need to learn about the basic principles and fundamentals of Scrum. For this, you can check out various resources about the Agile principles of Scrum or check out ScrumAlliance‘s eLearning series.
2. Make a Scrum Certificate
It is best to make a Scrum certificate to become familiar with the principle, the procedure, and the roles and have the basic knowledge certified. With this, you can prove your knowledge and there are more opportunities. You can make such a certificate for example here: Scrum.org.
3. Take the exam
After you have obtained the basic knowledge, be sure to take the exam. When doing so, pay attention to what certain organizations require for it. At Scrum.org, for example, you have to complete the Scrum Master course before you can take the exam. Before taking the exam, of course, you should study and be prepared – as you would for any exam. There are many resources offered for this.
About the exam:
- The exam is mostly about agile principles, project management, team building, sprints, communication, and scalability.
- The exam usually consists of multiple-choice tasks
- It usually takes about an hour
- if you pass or fail, you will find out a short time later
- If you pass, you will receive a PDF with the certificate
- Once you have done this and have enough knowledge, you can take the exam
4. Renew certificate every two years
Mostly the certificates expire after 2 years, so you should think about renewing your certificate to stay a certified Scrum Master. Sometimes you have to take some additional hours for this to extend the certification.
Tips to Become a Scrum Master
- Technical understanding
Because Scrum Masters usually work with software development teams, it makes sense to know and understand the technical terms and processes so that obstacles and problems for the team can be removed. Knowledge of programs like Jira or Confluence is an advantage here
- Pedagogical skills
These help the Scrum Master to coach the team members. The Scrum Master needs to know what to do, how to do it, and why to do it. Also, this can help in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the team and strengthen the collaboration within the team.
The Scrum Master must act as part of the team and be responsive to the needs of the members. Therefore, it is good to have leadership qualities to be able to support the team even in conflict situations or when problems arise.
To become a Scrum Master, it is important to be able to respond optimally to the team so that they can fully concentrate on the actual tasks and work effectively. Because the goal is to deliver the desired product for the customer.