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Who Is A Scrum Master: Everything You Need To Know

Published on Jul 19,2019 152 Views
Who Is A Scrum Master: Everything You Need To Know

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With Agile project management fast becoming standard practice at most companies, scrum masters are in great demand. Scrum is a powerful framework for implementing agile processes in software development and other iterative projects. Scrum master is one of the three roles in Scrum Framework. In this ‘Who is a Scrum Master?’ article, we will explore more about the scrum master.

Listed below are the topics discussed in this blog:

What is Scrum?

Scrum is a lightweight agile project management framework that can be used to develop and manage iterative and incremental projects of all types. The logic here is to break large complex projects into smaller stages, reviewing and adapting along the way.

Scrum Process - Who is a Scrum Master? - Edureka

In the Scrum process, the product owner creates a list of tasks to be completed and the scrum team breaks the list down to smaller pieces known as sprints. A sprint typically lasts two to four weeks and results in project deliverables ready to be shipped to the customer. The team repeats this process over several sprints. It is a highly successful and widely used approach with multiple benefits. So, where does scrum master fit in here?

Scrum framework is defined by three roles:

  • Product Owner
  • Scrum Master
  • Development Team

Scrum Master is the most misunderstood role and is entrusted with totally new duties when compared to the tasks traditionally performed by a project manager. Let’s explore more.

Who is a Scrum Master?

According to the Scrum Guide, a Scrum Master is “a facilitator for the team and the product owner. Rather than manage the team, the scrum master works to assist both the scrum team and the product owner.”

Here’s a simple analogy. A scrum master is like a lighthouse in the scrum team. Just like a lighthouse, he guides his team to achieve the best results. By that I mean, he helps everyone understand Scrum theory, practices, rules, and values. He also helps those outside the scrum team understand which of their interactions with the team are helpful and which are disadvantageous.

In the next part of this ‘Who is a Scrum Master?’ article, let’s learn what exactly a scrum master is responsible for.

Roles & Responsibilities of Scrum Master


Basically, the scrum master is responsible for three groups, which are:

Scrum Master serves Product Owner in the following ways:

  • Makes sure that the goals and scope of the project are understood by everyone involved
  • Facilitates scrum events as and when requested by the product owner
  • Helps product owner find techniques for effective product backlog management
  • Ensure the product owner knows how to arrange the product backlog to maximize value
  • Helps product owner understand and practice agile practices

Like mentioned in the definition above, the scrum master servers not just the product owner but development as well. Let’s check out how.

Scrum Master serves Development Team in the following ways:

  • Coaches the entire team in self-organizing and cross-functionality
  • Facilitates scrum events as requested and needed
  • Removes obstacles that could slow down the team’s progress
  • Helps development team create high-quality products
  • Guides the team organizational environments in which Scrum is not yet fully adopted and understood

Apart from helping the product owner and development team, the scrum master also contributes his services to the organization as a whole. But how?

Scrum Master serves the Organization in the following ways:

  • Leads and coaches organization in adopting scrum framework
  • Plans scrum implementation within the organization
  • Makes changes to increase the productivity of the scrum team
  • Helps stakeholders and employees understand scrum empirical theory
  • Works with other scrum masters to increase the effectiveness of the application of scum framework

This sums up the roles and responsibilities of a scrum master. The scrum master is at the center of the scrum, coordinating all project activities and linking customers and different teams that are part of a project. But which traits make a good scrum master?

Qualities of a Good Scrum Master

Listed below are some qualities that a good scrum master is expected to have:

  • Influential: Scrum master should be able to strategically motivate various teams and stakeholders at an organizational level.
  • Collaborative: The scrum master must encourage self-organization within the team and encourage team members to make important decisions and improve their collaboration on the project.
  • Observant: Scrum master is a team member and facilitator, so, he/she should be a good listener and pay attention to the challenges faced by the project team
  • Leadership: In addition to being observant the scrum master should also possess strong leadership skills and inspire others in the team to lead and achieve their goals
  • Knowledgeable: Apart from resolving impediments, the scrum master prevents potential problems. This requires absolute knowledge on the product and discipline on scrum master’s part

Each of these qualities will benefit a scrum aster greatly. Then again these are by no means preconditions for taking on a scrum master’s role. But the question is, why should you be interested in becoming a scrum master?

Why Become a Scrum Master?

Well, with agile quickly becoming the standard practice and scrum framework being most popular and widely followed Agile methodology worldwide, demand for scrum masters is skyrocketing. Also, according to Glassdoor, it is one of the 25 highest paying jobs in America. Check out the salary range that Scrum Masters are earning.

  • In the US, the Scrum Master earns an annual salary between $100,000 and $125,000 on average
  • According to payscale, in India, the Scrum Master earns an annual salary between INR 950K to INR 1550K on average

According to the latest data on Glassdoor, the top companies preferring Scrum Master in India are JP Morgan, Philips, Amdocs, IBM, Cognizant, Oracle and many more. That sounds appealing, right? So, how do you become a scrum master? 

How to Become a Certified Scrum Master?

The most linear way to becoming a scrum master is through certification. The Scrum Alliance offers a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) Training that teaches the candidate how to implement Scrum to achieve best results. CSM certification is globally recognized by scrum alliance. Having such certification on top of real-world work experience will place the certified ScrumMaster in a position to expand their career across many industries.

Here’s a simple procedure that you can follow as an individual if you are interested to become a scrum master:

Scrum Process - Who is a Scrum Master? - Edureka

Step1: Register with scrum alliance, an official dealer for the Scrum.

Step2: Attend in-person, two-day mandatory scrum course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer

Step3: After successfully completing the course, you will need to take the CSM test. The test has about 50 questions that you should attempt within 60 minutes time limit. To pass the examination and to get certified, you must answer at least 60 percent of the questions correctly. Don’t let this bother you, as the success rate is usually 98%.

Step4: Upon successfully passing the CSM test, you will be asked to accept the CSM License Agreement and to complete your Scrum Alliance membership profile. Fill up your profile.

Step5: Congratulations! You are a Certified Scrum Master. You can get your lifetime and international valid Scrum Master Accredited Certification Document instantly online in pdf format.

If you fail the test, you can re-attempt it for free of cost twice within 60 days of your first failed attempt. After that, every time you retake a test you will have to pay $25.

Scrum Master accredited certifications prove beneficial to employers, employees, and freelancers for a multitude of reasons. For employees and freelancers, it serves as proof of competence and boosts their career opportunities. For employers, it helps them to improve the efficiency and the quality of their work. Give it a try if you plan to become a scrum master.

This brings us to the end of this ‘Who is a Scrum Master?’ article. I have covered all the basics that you should be aware of if you are planning to become a scrum master. Hope you are clear with all that has been shared with you in this ‘Who is a Scrum Master?’ article.

Make sure you are well versed with the Scrum terminology before you start using it.

Got a question for us? Please mention it in the comments section of this “Who is a Scrum Master?” article and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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