What is a Scrum Master: the role and responsibilities

Date: 15/10/2019| Category: Best Practices Glossary| Tags:

The Scrum Master is a professional who coach the team towards the adoption of the Scrum Framework. The core responsibility of a Scrum Master is to lead the Scrum Team to the correct understanding and enactment of the Scrum theory, practices and rules.

The Scrum Master interacts with all the members of the Scrum Team (the Product Owner and the Development Team) and with the entire organization in order to maximize the value created by the scrum Team.

The Scrum Master is a professional in the Agile Software Development field and s/he responsible for the Scrum Team by monitoring Scrum processes and meetings.

S/he is the professional responsible for ensuring that the Agile philosophy is understood and enabled inside the whole organization (that’s the reason why is preferable that the Scrum Master belongs to the organization instead of being a freelance)

Due to their devotion to the Agile principles, the Scrum Masters are often considered as servant-leaders for the Scrum Team.

The role of a Scrum Master

The main responsibility of the Scrum Master is being a process facilitator for the Product Owner and for all the Scrum Team. Being a team member s/he has no management authority inside the team in fact, the Scrum Master has to lead the team by acting as a facilitator for the Scrum Events (as the development of working software) and helping the team to release the Product Increment. The Scrum Master is considered like a coach for the Scrum Team.

The Responsibilities of the Scrum Master inside the Scrum team

The main responsibilities of a Scrum Master are:

  • to ensure that the Scrum processes are correctly enabled
  • to facilitate the Scrum events of Sprint Planning, the daily scrum, the Sprint Review and the Sprint Retrospective
  • to remove all the obstacles
  • to maintain a friend environment that enables team efficiency
  • conflict management inside the Scrum Team
  • to ensure a smooth relationship within the team and the Product Owner and between the Scrum Team and the other departments. 
  • to protect the team from external threats
  • to provide assistance on the agile practices, give priority to individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
  • Guarantee the adoption of the Scrum framework
  • To help the Product Owner with the following activities:
    • Shaping and ordering the Product Backlog
    • Communicating the vision, goals and intended use of the product to the Development Team
    • Describing Product Backlog items to the Development Team clearly and unambiguously
    • Organizing Scrum events when and as request by the Product Owner
  • To help the Development Teams with:
    • their internal  self-organization
    • the removal of any possible obstacle to their work
    • the development of high value products
  • At the organization level the Scrum Master has to:
    • Lead and assist the overall organization in adopting and implementing Scrum
    • Help colleagues to understand and use Scrum
    • Implement any necessary change to increase the productivity of the team 
    • Collaborate with other ScrumMaster in order to increase the effectiveness of Scrum adoption inside the organization.

The necessary skills for being a Scrum Master

Scrum.org  enlighten the 5 main areas in which a professional has to succeed if  wants to be a Scrum Master. A potential Scrum master has:

  • To understand and to enable the Scrum Framework
  • To develop the individual and the Scrum Team
  • To manage product in the Agile way
  • To professionally develop and deliver products
  • Nurture the Agile organization by boosting its improvement

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