What is a Scrum Master? The Role and Responsibilities
A scrum master is the facilitator for an agile development team. Scrum is a methodology that allows a team to self-organize and make changes quickly, in accordance with agile principles. The scrum master manages the process for how information is exchanged.
Role and Responsibilities
The scrum master role was created as part of the Scrum framework. The role does not generally have any actual authority (also known as servant-leadership). The name was initially intended to indicate someone who is an expert at Scrum and can therefore coach others. The Scrum Master is also responsible for improving interactions between the Scrum team and the organization in order to maximize the productivity of the Scrum team. Finally, the Scrum Master is responsible to arranges and facilitates the team’s meetings – daily Scrum, planning sessions, sprint retrospective, and etc.
The responsibilities of a Scrum Master include:
Establishing an environment where the team can be effective
Addressing team dynamics
Ensuring a good relationship between the team and product owner as well as others outside the team
Protecting the team from outside interruptions and distractions.
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A Scrum Master’s responsibility is simply to ensure that the Scrum Process is followed by the team and that the people external to the team give the team the space required for them to follow the process. The role of Scrum Master is perhaps the easiest to explain even though it can be hard to do, here is the three major challenges that is often happen in a team:
Resisting change – Perhaps the most frustrating roadblock is resistance. It can come in many forms, active or passive, overt or covert, says Mike Cohn, the author of Succeeding with Agile and Agile Estimating and Planning.
Misunderstanding process – Because Scrum introduces such fundamental change to the way people work, there’s room for great confusion in its daily implementation, experts say. It’s common for people to think they understand Scrum but to confuse old terminologies and methods with Scrum processes and terms.
Failing to adapt to changing roles – Transitioning to Scrum shakes up roles throughout teams, departments, and even the entire company (cross-functional and self-organization), and that can be scary. Managers, for example, may fear a loss of authority or control, while team members may have trouble stepping up to a group-driven process.
Scrum Master vs Project Manager
A Project Manager takes a leadership role in leading the team and developing and managing the plan. But what about all those project management activities if the team is Agile?
A project manager helps manage the project timeline, resources, and scope in order to meet business requirements. A Scrum Master, however, helps ensure the scrum team is successful.
A Product Owner works with the customer and team to set direction.
A Scrum Master is a coach and facilitator and coaches the development team in executing Agile practices to complete the work the Product Owner prioritizes.
The Scrum Master works with the Product Owner and the development team to ensure the team members can move forward with development with no impediments, and that the Scrum practices are carried out.
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