ScrumMaster

What is a Scrum Master? The ScrumMaster is essentially responsible for making sure the Scrum team lives up the the values and practices of Scrum operation. The ScrumMaster is known as the mentor and coach of the team, helping the team work as efficient as possible. The ScrumMaster is also known as the process owner, creating a balance with the project’s key stakeholder, who is referred to as the product owner.

The ScrumMaster is responsible for motivating their team to perform at their highest levels. This involves removing any holes in the progress, facilitating meetings, and doing things like working with the product owner to make sure the product backlog is in good shape and ready for the next sprint. The ScrumMaster role is commonly filled by a former project manager or a technical team leader but can be anyone.

What is a Scrum Master role and how does it fit into the project?

Many who are new to the ScrumMaster role struggle with the apparent contradiction of the ScrumMaster as both a servant-leader to the team and also someone with no authority. The seeming contradiction disappears when we realize that although the ScrumMaster has no authority over Scrum team members, the ScrumMaster does have authority over the process. Although a ScrumMaster may not be able to say, “You’re fired,” a ScrumMaster can say, “I’ve decided we’re going to try two-week sprints for the next month.”

The ScrumMaster is there to help the team in its use of Scrum. Think of the help from a ScrumMaster as similar to a personal trainer who helps you stick with an exercise regimen and perform all exercises with the correct form. A good trainer will provide motivation while at the same time making sure you don’t cheat by skipping a hard exercise. The trainer’s authority, however, is limited. The trainer cannot make you do an exercise you don’t want to do. Instead, the trainer reminds you of your goals and how you’ve chosen to meet them. To the extent that the trainer does have authority, it has been granted by the client. ScrumMasters are much the same: They have authority, but that authority is granted to them by the team.

 

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