What is the role of the Scrum Master

The master of Scrum. It almost sounds like a Metallica song.

Who is this magical creature?
What does he/she do?
What is their responsibility?

In my view, and you can have a completely different one, the Scrum Master is a Coach. The main goal of a Scrum Master should be to make himself not needed anymore. Coach the team to full autonomy.

Scrum Master, S.M. for short, is a servant-leader. Someone that is there to aid the team, so they can be successful in delivering value.

More about the role itself can be found in the scrum guide, but I would like to leave here the ones I find more important.

Scrum Master Service to the Product Owner

  • Ensuring that goals, scope, and product domain are understood by everyone on the Scrum Team as well as possible – one of the biggest issues in every organization is communication, the S.M. must coach the product owner in translating business requirements into developer lingo.
  • Ensuring the Product Owner knows how to arrange the Product Backlog to maximize value – coaching the P.O in techniques that would optimize prioritization and focus on the M.V.P.
  • Understanding and practicing agility – agility is the most important one. Forget the buzz words, agility means being able to change and adapt to whatever happens.

Scrum Master Service to the Development Team

  • Coaching the Development Team in self-organization and cross-functionality – in one sentence, making yourself and any external people not needed.
  • Removing impediments to the Development Team’s progress – in order to get self-organized, the S.M. needs to coach the team in finding ways to remove the impediments by themselves. Until they are able to be autonomous, the S.M. needs to facilitate the removal of any impediments for the team.
  • Coaching the Development Team in organizational environments in which Scrum is not yet fully adopted and understood – this means, SCRUM, not SCRUMBUT.

Scrum Master Service to the Organization

  • Leading and coaching the organization in its Scrum adoption – it is the S.M. responsibility to coach the organization, in the end, we are “the master of Scrum”.
  • Helping employees and stakeholders understand and enact Scrum and empirical product development – one of the hardest ones and sometimes left out. Empirical product development needs to be based on objectiveness, this means KPIs. Without it, discussions are subjective and the empirical process is lost.

In summary

A coach.
A leader.
Someone with the goal to make himself not needed.

Cheers,

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