- A SCRUM MASTER facilitates the optimal use of Scrum methodology for greater performance
- The Scrum Master profile leans particularly towards leadership and soft skills rather than technical expertise
- SCRUM is a HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT APPROACH that has a deceptively simple framework, and endless possibilities
An Agile framework that assists in the completion of complex processes, Scrum was hitherto limited to mainly software development projects initially. Gradually, as its scope and effect was understood, many businesses and industries began to use scrum in their operations. The results that they achieved, especially for complex, innovative work was unparalleled. Scrum is a deceptively simple framework, yet its possibilities are endless.
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The below steps elaborate how Scrum works in tackling complex process problems;
- A prioritized wish list is created by a product owner. This is called a PRODUCT BACKLOG
- From this product backlog, the team pulls out a small chunk of work from the product backlog and decides how to carry out the implementation process. This process is called SPRINT PLANNING.
- The team tries to complete this work during a certain amount of time. Called as SPRINT, this usually lasts for 2-4 weeks. The team meets every day however, to assess its progress (daily scrum)
- The SCRUM MASTER has to ensure that through everything, the team is focussed on its ultimate goal
- Once the SPRINT PERIOD is completed, the work/ product should be ready to shipped, handed over, or shown to a stakeholder.
- The sprit period finishes with a SPRINT REVIEW retrospection
- For the next sprint, the team will choose another chunk of work from the product backlog and begin working all over again.
Since a Scrum Master is at the heart of this entire process, and oversees and coordinates the work and the people involved, certification for this role is a must. Being the main coach for the team, he helps in facilitating the optimal use of the Scrum methodology for greater performance and also acts as a link for information exchange.
When considered in a broad sense, the Scrum Master’s role is infinite and regulatory. It differs from companies and processes, but the following details give a clearer idea of what the role entails.
- The master keeps scrum process running smoothly
- He protects the team
- He acts as the moderator of the team
- He helps in organization, conducting meetings to review the proper process functioning
- He ensures that a proper power balance is maintained between the PO, Team and the Management
- He keeps the team focused on achieving the current sprint targets
- He also helps in achieving the sprint goals
- He complements the PO
- He helps in educating the PO, Team, Management and Organization about the work processes
- He helps in solving impediments
- He encourages and helps achieve transparency
- He strives to develop a regular team into a high performing one
- He encourages and protects self-organization
- He constantly educates and focuses a team toward business development
- He supports team building and development by utilizing every individual’s abilities and skills
- He aids in self-help
- He empowers the team
- He addresses the team needs, efficiently and effectively
- He detects hidden problems and strives to solve them
- He also helps the team to learn from their experiences
During the process of product development, team members huddle together for a stand-up meeting, reviewing the project progress. The scrum master plays a role in helping them by asking three important questions;
- What did you do yesterday?
- What will you do today?
- Are there any impediments in your way?
The Scrum Master certification involves of a 2-day certified Scrum master course, which is followed by an online exam. Comprising 35 MCQ’s, one must get 24 or more correct answers in the exam, to fulfill the Scrum Master Certification requirements.
The Scrum Master profile is a very challenging role, and besides the obvious skill sets, what is important is the candidates ability to handle a team. The job profile is actually strongly oriented towards leadership and soft skills rather than technical expertise.