Who is the Scrum Master?

In the Scrum framework, the Scrum Master is accountable for establishing Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide. They do this by helping everyone understand Scrum theory and practice, both within the Scrum Team and the organization.

Scrum masters hold the scrum team accountable for their working agreements, scrum values, and to the scrum framework itself.

According to the Scrum Guide:

The Scrum Master is also accountable for the Scrum Team’s effectiveness. 

They do this by enabling the Scrum Team to improve its practices, within the Scrum framework. Scrum Masters are true leaders who serve the Scrum Team and the larger organization. The Scrum Master serves the Scrum Team in several ways, including: 

  • Coaching the team members in self-management and cross-functionality; 
  • Helping the Scrum Team focus on creating high-value Increments that meet the Definition of Done; 
  • Causing the removal of impediments to the Scrum Team’s progress; and, 
  • Ensuring that all Scrum events take place and are positive, productive, and kept within the timebox.

The scrum master helps the scrum team perform at their highest level. They also protect the team from both internal and external distractions. 

The Scrum Master serves the Product Owner in several ways, including:

  • Helping find techniques for effective Product Goal definition and Product Backlog management;
  • Helping the Scrum Team understand the need for clear and concise Product Backlog items;
  • Helping establish empirical product planning for a complex environment; and,
  • Facilitating stakeholder collaboration as requested or needed.

The Scrum Master also serves the Organization, by:

  • Leading, training, and coaching the organization in its Scrum adoption;
  • Planning and advising Scrum implementations within the organization;
  • Helping employees and stakeholders understand and enact an empirical approach for complex work; and,
  • Removing barriers between stakeholders and Scrum Teams.

Thefore, the Scrum Master is a:

  • Coach - when everyone understands the goal, items and product domains, helps the team find techniques and facilitates the Scrum Events as requested or needed ; 
  • Protector - when running interference so the team can remain focused, removing impediments that stop the team from achieving success.
  • Leader - when puts the team first place, leading without authority, coaching the developers in self-organization and cross-functionality and helping the organization in its scrum adoption; 
  • Advocate - when reinforces the agile principles throughout the organization, enabling the practice of agility, planning implementations of scrum and working with other scrum master to increase effectiveness.

What makes a great Scrum Master?

Great Scrum Masters are humble, respectful, empathetic, persuasive & connected.

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