The Scrum Master is a leader and mentor of the Scrum Team and ensures that Scrum is understood and implemented by them. This is done by making sure that the team adheres to the Scrum theory, values, practices and rules. Scrum Master also helps people outside the team to understand which of their interactions are helpful and help others to maximize the value of the product.
A CSM course is highly sought after today because a Scrum Master’s role is one of many responsibilities and diversity. But just having a Certified Scrum Master®(CSM®) certification is not enough as an SM should be thorough with the theory, practices, and rules and also know how to apply them depending on the situation.
These are the must-have qualities of a Scrum Master:
In most organizations, responsibility comes with authority. But this is not the case with Scrum Masters. Ideally, they do not assume responsibility for the success of the project as it remains with the team. Without assuming any power, they takes on the responsibility for the team’s adoption of Scrum and its practice leading them to success.
Just like an orchestra conductor, a Scrum Master should provide real-time guidance and mentorship to a set of talented individuals to create something that none of them would be able to create alone. The role of a Scrum Master is a special type of responsibility that comes without any power.
A good Scrum Master helps maintain a collaborative atmosphere through his/her words and actions and ensures the team members feel supported. They raise issues for open discussions and work together to correct them.
Any inappropriate behaviour is called out by the SM and all external negative pressures are kept at bay. All team members feel the most comfortable and are the most productive and creative during Sprints.
A Scrum Master should never possess ego. They take tremendous pride in the achievements of the team because they helped the members achieve it but they never take it as their own. They does their best to help the development team realize their goals and deliver the best possible products. They recognize the talent in each team member and help them give their best shot at each task.
Commitment is what a Scrum Master is known for. The SM role requires someone who is fully dedicated to it. He has the same commitment or more commitment to the goals and the project itself than any other team member.
Impediments raised cannot be left on pending. These may take time to sweep clean, sometimes more than a day because it may require a series of discussions. Likewise, the duties of a Scrum Master may seem more painful and tedious than that of someone with a regular 9 to 5 job. But commitment is all that matters.
The best Scrum Masters have an array of technical, market or organizational knowledge and imparts them to the team in order to lead them to success. They have read all the works of Geoff Watts, Lyssa Adkins, Tobias Mayer, Growing Agile, Henrik Kniberg and Gunther Verheyen. In other words, they have in-depth knowledge in their area of study.
A successful Scrum Master should be able to influence people from both the inside and outside of the team. They should have an easy air of influence about them without resorting to command and control because Scrum is never about authority.
They should influence others to try Scrum practices and for more collaboration. For example, they must influence the development team to try technical practices like pair programming and test-driven development. A fully traditional team should be influenced by the Scrum Master to try and switch to Scrum by letting them know of its benefits and how it helps businesses evolve.
While personal influence is a must for all Scrum Masters, the ideal Scrum Masters should have a degree of corporate political skill. Although these corporate political skills are mostly looked down upon by many, a Scrum Master who knows how to make the best decisions can be a great asset to the team.
Importance of a Scrum Master
The Scrum Master’s role is one of prime importance when it comes to Scrum. He has to handle multiple roles like that of a servant leader, facilitator, coach, conflict navigator, mentor, manager and teacher. The right Scrum Master can fuel your team in the right direction and lead them to success.