No, we’re not talking about rugby. A scrum master is a term applied to those who are facilitating scrum management techniques, overseeing work and helping to improve business productivity. A scrum master uses the scrum methodology, which is part of the agile framework, focusing on processes called iterations and sprints.
A scrum master is like a coach for the rest of the team, practising the values of scrum but staying open and flexible to any opportunities for their team to improve their productivity.
As part of the agile way of working, scrum is all about adding structure to a business’ output. The day-to-day responsibilities of a scrum master might include stand-up talks about the work that’s being done, things called retrospectives, burn down charts and sprints.
Some duties required of a scrum master include:
Facilitating stand-ups on a daily basis
Employee coaching to encourage their best performance
Helping to improve the team environment
Getting rid of impediments to effective work
Providing education on the scrum methods
Encouraging and facilitating changes in the organisation
How do you become a scrum master?
You don’t need to be degree-educated or even have specialist experience. You will need to have a good knowledge of the principles of Scrum, Lean and Agile. A bigger company might require you to get a specific Scrum qualification. For Scrum Master Training, visit https://www.althris.com/
The key principles of Scrum
When applying scrum methods, new features are brought in incrementally with the use of ‘sprints’. With each new sprint, a new element of the product or software is made available, allowing the product to be released much earlier in the development process. This results in benefits being available earlier than they would have been if people waited for the product to be complete before release.
Scrum encourages the product owner and stakeholder to maintain clear and open involvement throughout the process of development. Expectations are better managed this way if the progress of the project is transparent from the start.
When using scrum in your development, quality remains key. Testing takes place at each sprint, resulting in regular examination of the developing product at multiple stages. This provides an early opportunity to identify any issues in quality, making adjustments if necessary.
Sprints also allow for risks to be identified much quicker and earlier, enabling team members to respond straight away. With the addition of transparency, decisions can be taken by all involved at more suitable times, making a positive impact on the outcome of the project. Risks are therefore reviewed regularly by a scrum team, greatly reducing the prospect of a failed project.