Scrum Master - Role And Responsibilities

What is a Scrum Master?

In simple words, a Scrum Master is the facilitator for an Agile development team; they are responsible for managing the exchange of information among team members. 
Scrum Master Role and Responsibilities

What does the Scrum Master role demand?

We have often heard folks getting confused and thinking that a Scrum Master is a project manager or team lead. That’s not the case at all. The following are some responsibilities a Scrum Master is required to fulfill:
  • Servant Leader – Scrum Master has no direct authority
  • Change Agent – He/she works like a catalyst
  • Not a manager – Scrum Master cannot make decisions on behalf of the team or Product Owner
  • Process Owner – Scrum Master serves as authority for Scrum framework and upholds Scrum values in the Scrum team.
  • Scrum Master focuses on people development more than on getting results.
  • Scrum Master is a facilitator – He/she works mainly on how you are conducting the scrum and how effectively you are doing it.
  • Scrum Master also helps people to understand why Scrum processes are required rather than pushing for it to be done.
  • Problem Solver and People Protector – His/her responsibilities mainly are to ensure that every problem is resolved, that way the team is getting better
  • Scrum Master must have good communication, good negotiation and soft skills.
The first role which I have explained is that of Servant Leader, that means he is there to serve the Scrum Team, but with the qualities of a leader. Let’s understand his services to the Scrum Team.

Services to the Development Team

The following services are facilitated by the Scrum Master to the Development Team,
  • Teaches Scrum and ensures that the development team members understand and adhere to Scrum theory, practices and rules.
  • Protects the team from external disturbances.
  • Facilitates Scrum Events as needed.
  • Coaches and helps the team in self organization and cross functionality.
  • Removes impediments (when requested) and gets outside help for the team when needed
  • Resolves Conflicts within the development team, works like a mentor of the dev team for Scrum.
  • Acts as a mirror and helps the Development Team to reflect and improve as a Team.
  • Coaching the Development Team in organizational environments in which Scrum is not yet fully adopted and understood.

Services to the Product Owner

The following services are provided by the Scrum Master to the Product Owner,
  • Teaches Scrum and ensures that the Product Owner understands and adheres to Scrum theory, practices and rules.
  • Helps the Product Owner understand how to create and maintain product backlog effectively.
  • Helps the Product Owner understand how to order/prioritize Product Backlog items to maximize value, and also helps the Product Owner with prioritization techniques for Product backlog.
  • Coaches Product Owner in writing clear, concise product backlog items.
Along with these responsibilities with the Development Team, a Scrum Master also provides services to the organization and  has a few responsibilities for developing the Scrum mindset.

Services to the Organization

  • Working with other Scrum Masters to increase the effectiveness of Scrum in the organization.
  • Coaching organizations on Scrum.
  • Helping employees and stakeholders embrace an Agile Mindset and implement Scrum.
  • Being a change agent and creating an environment and culture of empirical product development.
I hope that after reading this, you have a  basic understanding of a Scrum Master’s role and responsibilities. Happy learning.