What is a Scrum Master? The Role and Responsibilities

This tutorial, we learned what is a scrum master? What are the roles and responsibilities of a scrum master?

What is Scrum Master

Scrum is a popular collaborative framework under the Agile methodology which enables a team to address complex adaptive problems by creating products in an incremental manner in a productive and efficient manner with the highest possible value involving the stakeholder’s views in an adaptive manner and at regular time periods.

Scrum basically describes a frequent set of meetings with all the stakeholders, the tools, and the roles that help in building the product by structuring the team and helping them manage their work.

Depict the Scrum Framework:

What is a Scrum Master
Source:Google Image

What are the Scrum Events?

Now we learned what is a scrum master? Now let us understand the Scrum events.

In order to maintain regularity, and to minimize the need for meetings, there are prescribed events which are not defined in Scrum.

All events are time-boxed, meaning that they have a definitive time period in which it needs to be completed. The different Scrum Events are:

  • Sprint: It is is one time-boxed iteration related to the continuous development cycle. Within a Sprint, the definitive and planned amount of work has to be completed by the team and made ready for review.
  • Sprint Planning – It is an event in the Scrum framework wherefrom the team determines the product backlog items they will need to work upon during that sprint and discusses their initial plan for completing those product backlog items.
  • Daily Scrum – It is a 15 minutes meeting (time-boxed event), happening on a daily basis whereby the development team synchronizes their activities and create a plan of events which needs to be developed before the next 24 hours.
  • Sprint Review – This is an informal meeting in which the development team, the scrum master, the product owner, and the stakeholders attend. The team gives a demo on the product and determines what are finished (based on the prioritized activities) and what aren’t.
  • Sprint retrospective– It is an opportunity for the Scrum Team to introspect itself and create a plan for improvements to be included during the next Sprint. The Sprint Retrospective occurs after the Sprint Review and prior to the next Sprint Planning.

Once a Sprint begins, its time period is fixed and cannot be shortened or lengthened. The remaining events may end whenever the purpose of the event gets completed; thereby ensuring an appropriate amount of time is spent without allowing waste in the process.  

What are Scrum Artifacts?

After we learned what is a scrum master? Now let us understand a few scrum artifacts.

Scrum’s artifacts represent work or value to provide transparency and opportunities for inspection and adaptation of the product.

Artifacts defined by Scrum are specifically designed to maximize transparency of key information so that everybody has the same understanding of the artifact. The Scrum Artifacts are:

  • Product BacklogIt is simply a list of all prioritized actions that needs to be done within the project. It replaces the traditional requirements of specification artifacts. These items can have a technical nature or can be user-centric e.g. in the form of user stories.
  • Sprint BacklogIt is a list of tasks identified by the Scrum team to be completed during the Scrum sprint. During the sprint planning meeting, the team selects some number of product backlog items, usually in the form of user stories, and identifies the tasks necessary to complete each user story.
  • IncrementIt is the sum of all the Product Backlog items completed during a Sprint and the value of the increments of all previous Sprints. At the end of a Sprint, the new Increment must be “Done,” which means it must be in usable condition and meet the Scrum Team’s definition of “Done”.
what is a scrum master
source:Google Image

Job responsibilities of a Scrum Master

  • Work with the Business to define the agreed content of a sprint, generate User Stories, lead planning and estimation 
  • Coordinate with the infrastructure teams to secure the necessary development and test systems.
  • Ensure the development teams are practicing the core agile principles of collaboration, prioritization, team accountability, and visibility. Facilitate the daily team ‘stand-up’ meetings.
  • Determine, manage and improve the delivery velocity and quality of the team’s outputs
  • Manage the work stack, track and communicate team velocity and sprint/release progress.
  •  Managing key project tracking assets, running project retrospectives to correct the process.
  •  Identifying and removing obstacles that interfere with the ability of the team to deliver the sprint goal
  • Responsible for managing complex stakeholder relationships 
  • Setting up and maintaining strong relationships with stakeholders by effectively managing expectations and inspiring confidence in delivery.
  • Facilitation of ‘show and tell’ sessions to play the sprint outputs back to the key stakeholders
  • Developing and growing team of Agile Project Leaders through training, mentoring and coaching
  • Monitoring project/team performance through quantitative and qualitative measures of value, outcome, velocity, morale, and satisfaction.
  • Managing day-to-day aspects of multiple teams, which includes leading agile meetings (Backlog Refinement, Sprint Planning, Review, Retrospectives, and Daily Stand Ups).
  • Give support using a servant leadership style whenever possible, leads by example, and demonstrates value-add principles.
  • Capturing and using agile metrics and retrospective actions with an eye on assessing agile maturity and process and practice improvement.
  • Embracing a servant leader role across scrum teams and support them by proactively identifying and removing impediments and dependencies.
  • Support the team to identify roadblocks and remove impediments that prevent the team from delivering product features to our customers.
  • Enabling the team to become self-organized and empowered teams that consistently deliver on their sprint commitments.
  • Ensuring the development teams are practicing the core agile principles of collaboration, prioritization, team accountability, and visibility.

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This tutorial, we learned what is a scrum master? What are the roles and responsibilities of a scrum master? Also, we learned What are Scrum Artifacts and scrum events?

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