What Makes Scrum Masters Vital in Agile Teams

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The scrum master does more than what meets the eye.

The scrum master does more than what meets the eye.

In a Scrum team, one of the most essential roles is the Scrum Master, the person who serves as the support for the Development team and a liaison for the product owner. As the point person who leads the whole Team, the Scrum Master is responsible for keeping the team updated on their progress within a given sprint and their project timeline.

A scrum team is a group of people that works on software development projects. The Scrum Master is usually compared to similar leadership roles like project managers or team leaders. But whether they are a Scrum master, project manager, or something else, a person trusted with a leadership role will always have distinct responsibilities on their shoulders that only they could do.

You might be wondering if your company might need one on board – you probably do if your company practices agile methodologies or principles. Here are some things that scrum masters are responsible for.

The Sprint is More Important than You Think

As mentioned in the Scrum Guide, a sprint is essentially the heart of scrum. This means that everything that’s done using scrum is done in increments of sprints.

A sprint is a short period of work days, usually about four weeks, where product components are delivered according to set priorities by the team and product owners. Within a sprint, everything that needs to be completed to finish a working component is done. A new sprint begins right after, which creates a cycle that goes on until the product is completed to a satisfactory level.

One of the biggest responsibilities of the scrum master is managing the sprint. As the one who heads the team, they are responsible for planning the sprint, facilitating regular sprint meetings and reviews, and conducting a sprint retrospective after every iteration to discuss how the project has progressed so far and what can be done to further improve the process.

Scrum Masters are “Leaders”

Technically, they are not leaders but more like a facilitator – the key person who ensures that the Scrum framework is followed along with the responsibility of assigning tasks and ensuring that everyone does their part. Part of their responsibility is to ensure the members are adequately trained and equipped to perform the part assigned to them and monitor their progress. When they notice a team member performs poorly that can lead to the team output getting delayed, scrum masters can step in and provide or coordinate for necessary coaching or training, or perhaps acquire an additional member to keep in line with Agile development principles.

Scrum is Agile, but Agile is not Scrum

Another of their responsibility is to be in constant communication between the team and the product owners. As a result, the Scrum master may be seen as part of the agile and planning team.

However, it doesn’t mean that all Agile teams need one. Scrum is only a part of agile because agile is a philosophy and not a specific process. There are several methodologies that practice Agile principles.

Back to the Scrum master – they are responsible for working directly with the product owner and mediating with teams outside the Scrum team, such as other tasks related to the team’s work.

A Scrum Master is a Mentor

Scrum Masters are also usually responsible for teaching and training developers in preparation for the adoption of scrum.

And as mentioned earlier, they engage the members to create productive team dynamics. They can coach members who may be underperforming and provide an environment that allows the team to maximise their skills. In between iterations, they also recommend possible solutions to improve team performance to project leaders and higher-level management.

Scrum Events Moderator

Along with everything else, the scrum master is also responsible for Scrum Events. These are small events within a sprint that creates a regularity within the team and minimises the need for emergency meetings. A Scrum event is a great way to formally inspect product backlogs and other parts of the development process.

Key Takeaway

Scrum Masters are vital assets in any company employing agile philosophies in their software development process. These professionals know exactly what they are doing and will help you and your developers every step of the way.

When looking for capable Scrum Masters for your Agile team, it is always a good idea to look for remote talent agencies that provide such services. Frontline is one such company as we’re one of Singapore’s leading software development agencies. Our in-house Scrum Masters and Scrum teams are skilled in Agile software development for any platform. If you’re interested in our services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at: https://www.frontline.com.sg/contact/.