What Is Scrum? Who Is Scrum Master In Agile Process?

In this article, we will discuss the basic concept of Scrum. Also, we will discuss the roles and responsibilities of a Scrum Master.

The Agile methodology is one of the most popular and widely used process mechanisms or frameworks in the IT industry or software development industry. The Agile process is not only popular within the software industry, but it is also popularly used in other industries. Agile methodology basically is a process workflow or practice which is mainly focused on continuous development or related changes in the development along with proper testing throughout the entire software development lifecycle. In this methodology, development and testing work in parallel as a concurrent process which is not possible in the Waterfall model. The Agile methodology always follows the below-mentioned principles.
  1. In Agile, customer satisfaction through early and continuous delivery of valuable software is always the highest priority.
  2. In this methodology, any changes in the already developed or under-development work are always acceptable even in the last stage of the development.
  3. It always promises to deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months.
  4. In this process, developers and a functional team like a business person, end user, etc. can collaborate with each and work together.
  5. At regular intervals, the team members can analyze their work so that they can be more effective, and according to that, they can tune the team members or development process or code mechanism to produce in a most productive way.
If you want to know why Agile is much more important in software development, then you can read my previous article at the below links.

What is Scrum?

 
Scrum basically is a process framework in the Agile methodology which is mainly focused on how to manage development requirements along with tasks in a team-oriented development environment. Basically, Scrum keyword is derived or taken from the activity of a rugby match. In a rugby match, scrum means restarting a play after a minor infringement. The Scrum process is always focused on the improvement of the development team. Scrum always empowers the development team and advice to work in a small team (say 5 – 7 members).

In simple words, Scrum is used as a lightweight project management methodology in which the main target is always trying to complete the work. At the same time, it provides a crystal clear visibility to the team and the stakeholders or management related to the progress of the development. There are many tools available in the market which is mainly designed to track the product backlog, the individual requirements and any issues raised by the team. The terminology in those tools may be different, but the main objects of tools are the micro monitoring of the development process. As per the Agile Report, nearly 70% of the software development team used or follow the Scrum method today. There are many benefits which are achieved by the companies who opt for Agile Scrum methodology like:
  • Better quality products
  • Higher productivity from the team
  • Clear idea who what will be delivered at the end of the development
  • Stakeholder satisfaction
  • Better team engagement

About Scrum Roles

 
In the Scrum method framework, there are three main roles defined.
  1. Product Owner
  2. Development Team
  3. Scrum Master
The Product Owner is the key stakeholder who can be an internal or external person or a representative on behalf of a customer. Product Owner is the only person who explains the whole process and requirement related to the product to the team.

The Development team is a self-organizing team which is mainly involved in the planning, development, and testing process of the product. That’s why the development team can include testers, UX designers, database experts, and DevOps engineers along with the developers. The main objective of the development team is to complete the tasks given by the Product Owner in a mentioned timeframe which is normally known as a Sprint. Scrum teams normally contain 7-10 members and normally, the team does not have any team leader. Each and every team member is responsible to address any issue or problem and solve that. So, each member of the team is an essential part of the Scrum process and responsible to complete the product from a planning stage to the final completion stage. 
 

Who is a Scrum Master?

 
Scrum master acts as a communication bridge between the Product Owner and the Development team. Scrum master is basically a servant leader to the Product Owner, Development Team, and the Organization. The Scrum Master acts as a facilitator. The Scrum master needs to ensure that the development team follows the Scrum theory, practices, and rules. The Scrum Master helps those members who are outside of the Scrum team to understand which type of interaction with the Scrum team is helpful for the team. The Scrum master must have the following qualities.
  1. Influential
  2. Collaborative
  3. Observative
  4. Knowledgeable 
 

Role and Responsibilities of a Scrum Master

 
The Scrum Master is mainly known as a guardian of the development team who has full control over the Scrum process. The major roles and responsibilities of a scrum master are,
  1. The Scrum master must be a good coach in Agile Process mechanism so that can able to provide guidance individuals about the scrum process and its related tools.
  2. The Scrum master must be a friendly communication approach to the development team along with the product owner.
  3. The Scrum master is responsible for facilitating daily scrum, sprint planning, sprint demo, and retrospective meetings.
  4. Needs to provide help to the team to clarify the goals and actions to be taken to achieve them.
  5. Must have the ability to protect the team from the outside distractions and interferences.
  6. Must have the ability to ensure the correct use of the Scrum process.
  7. Must have the ability to track impediments raised by the team and help the team to remove that impediment.
  8. The scrum master must be responsible for managing the scrum process with the help of the scrum team
  9. Needs to assist the Product Owner to prepare the product backlogs for the next sprint.
  10. Need to make sure that the collaboration is happening in the scrum team. 

Responsibilities Towards the Product Owner

 
The Scrum master is responsible for helping the product owners in the following areas –
  1. To help the Product Owner to organize and prioritize the proper product backlog item list.
  2. To communicate with the development team related to the wish list provided by the product owner.
  3. Find and teach techniques for effective Product Backlog management to the product owner.
  4. Help the Scrum Team to understand the need for clear and concise Product Backlog items.
  5. Also, to ensure that the Product Owner knows how to order the product Backlog items to maximize the output value.

Responsibilities Towards the Development Team

 
The Scrum master is responsible for helping the development team in the following areas,
  1. Needs to identify the impediments which are blocking the team from making progress in their work and help the team to resolve them as quickly as possible.
  2. Coaches the development team members for how to become self-organizational and cross-functional.
  3. Coaches the development team in an organizational environment in which Scrum is not fully adopted and understood.
  4. Coaches teams on how to become more productive.

Responsibilities Towards the Organization

  1. Analyze the readiness of the organization to implement Scrum.
  2. Leads and coaches the organization in its Scrum adoption.
  3. Needs to works with other Scrum Masters to increase the effectiveness of the application of Scrum in the organization.
  4. Needs to provide help to employees and stakeholders of the organization to understand and enact Scrum and empirical product development.
  5. Help to optimize the external interactions with the Scrum team to maximize the value created.

Conclusion

 
So, the Scrum Master always has different types of roles, responsibilities, and attributes. If anyone wants to be a successful Scrum master, then he/she must have these characteristics and needs to apply them to ensure timely and high-quality project deliveries.