What is an Agile Scrum Master

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Oct 05, 2023

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To understand the exact function of an Agile Scrum Master, also known as Agile Scrum Manager, you should realise that Scrum is among the leading frameworks using which you can implement Agile in your solutions. Now, along with the Team Members and the Product Owners, the Scrum Masters are the three critically essential professionals required for the optimum implementation of Scrum. 

 Among these three professionals, the role of the Agile Scrum Master is very significant because he is responsible for facilitating the entire project. Right from setting up meetings to ensuring the team is on the right course—the Agile Scrum Master role is of tremendous significance. 

The fundamental aim of the Scrum master is to ensure the development team functions with minimal outside interference. They will detect and eliminate roadblocks, trying to function as a safeguard between the team and all other stakeholders who may hinder their functionality. The Product Owner's primary task is to optimise the quality of the solution, whereas the Agile Scrum Master ensure the job is done promptly before the deadline. The scrum master assists the team by removing outer impediments and handling internal constraints through method or workflow adjustments.

 It is a standard industry practice for the Project Manager/Owner to take up the role of the Scrum Master. In smaller, it can be a cost-effective approach. However, in larger projects where complex and comprehensive solutions are being created, it is more logical to have a specialist Scrum master.

Certifications For Agile Scrum Masters

 Opting for the Professional Scrum Master (PSM) course is always the right and prudent approach to becoming a professionally qualified Agile Scrum Master. The Professional Scrum Master I (PSM I) accreditation affirms your understanding and proficiency in the Scrum framework. It shows potential recruiters that you understand and can handle Scrum Master's responsibilities. It is clear proof that you have the expertise and skills to implement the Scrum framework. The industry recognises PSM 1 Certification as a credential that illustrates an optimum standard of Scrum mastery.

Are you interested in getting the PSM 1 Certification? Enrol in the course offered by StarAgile to get certified!


Detailed Role of An Agile Scrum Master

 Scrum masters must be ready to discuss with members of the team and stakeholders how to collaborate most effectively with Scrum. The team members, as well as the stakeholders, may have several issues with the way things are going. So, the Scrum Master comes to the forefront, and he is required to get rid of all the glitches. In essence, the Agile Scrum Master is expected to do anything and everything that it takes to get the job done and keep team members, the Product Owner as well as the Stakeholders satisfied with the progress.

 The Scrum Master dons several hats in discharging his responsibilities and functions. In many ways, he serves as the guide and leader of the team. He assists not only the Product Owner but also the Team Members in carrying out their functions optimally. 


The various crucial roles played by the Agile Scrum Master to the Scrum Team include:

  1. Training the members for cross-functionalities and managing assigned tasks
  2. Enabling the team to concentrate on creating usable Increments
  3. Getting rid of hindrances from the course of the team
  4. Making sure that all scrum events are productive and timely

The critical ways in which the Agile Scrum Master serves the Product Owner are as follows:

  1. Assisting in the development of methods for efficient product objective definition & backlog control;
  2. Helping the Scrum Team understand the importance of concise and precise Product Backlog;
  3. Assisting in the development of empirical solutions

As demanded or required, facilitate stakeholder cooperation. 

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Why Are Scrum Masters Needed? 

 In an ideally managed Scrum Team, all the tasks would be done on time, and all the functions will be carried out optimally. They would use all the necessary tools and processes to deliver the expected Sprints or Iterations. In practice, the Scrum Teams place a lot of emphasis and responsibility on the Agile Scrum Master to manage the team as well as the internal Scrum Processes.

 Also, depending on the Scrum Team, the Agile Scrum Master plays different roles. At times, you will see that his task is limited to merely conducting the daily scrum meets. At other times, you will find that the Scrum Master is more involved in the overall scheme of things when compared to other members of the team.

As required, the Scrum Master meets with stakeholders and team members independently. Differences of opinion within the team about processes and work patterns should be resolved. Whereas many scrum professionals are opposed to one-on-one meetings, believing that these conversations should take place during team meetings. 

 A few teams, especially new teams, favour engaging in these frequent face-to-face conversations with particular team members. Sometimes, the scrum master decides that these one-on-one interactions are essential for team building and becoming acquainted with one another.

Also Read : Agile vs V Model 

Does Your Team Need A Scrum Master?

 Any scrum coach will tell you that every scrum squad needs a professional scrum master. When you are managing without an Agile Scrum Master, you are not following the Scrum Framework. You are doing something close to Scrum but not quite!

 When considering employing a scrum master, one factor stands out. It is logical only if your organisation is dedicated to Scrum. Many senior pros can handle a Scrum team properly, but a scrum master will only be helpful if everyone on the team is committed to Scrum.

 When first beginning with Scrum, having somebody in the position who's seen Scrum in action can be highly beneficial. Even better if he has witnessed numerous examples of Scrum Teams working. As a result, scrum masters are frequently recruited as advisors instead of full-time workers.

 However, each scrum team is unique. Many skilled teams manage the obligations mentioned above as a team, taking pride as well as pleasure in the process's joint planning. The function of the scrum master is rotated among members of the team, who facilitate meetings by taking turns. For other teams, having the same individual assume the role each day is the best option.

 Admittedly, misinterpretation of the scrum master position frequently contributes to current managers assuming it is their function. To best comprehend how this is a concern, let's try comparing the scrum master position to non-scrum positions you might very well already have within your organisation and why it is essential to keep the jobs distinct.


Product Managers as Scrum Masters

 The more engaged a Product Manager is with the project team, the better it is for the time. That participation should ideally be similar to the role of a product owner championing client needs. However, when participation becomes burdensome for the Product Manager, there's a cause for concern. Despite the best of intentions, this utilisation attitude tends to conceal troubles such as deficiencies, hand-offs, and other unpredictable factors. Interleaving scope and procedure have the effect of limiting content, timeline, and efficiency. That's a disaster waiting to happen. So, the Scrum Master's shoes shouldn't be filled by the Product Manager.


Project Managers as Scrum Masters

 Each of these positions is concerned with the "how" of completing tasks and resolving workflow issues through procedure and cooperation. So, does a team require both? Most probably not.

 A conventional Project Manager, as well as a Scrum Master, are both charged with assisting their team members in completing tasks, but their strategies are significantly different. The project manager establishes and monitors timelines and achievements, provides status reports and controls communication processes from a position of power in a conventional managerial position.

 The Agile Scrum Master assists the squad in improving and streamlining the procedures that enable them to accomplish their objectives. They act as a member of the team or colleagues rather than as somebody in command. Because the finest scrum teams tend to be reasonably sufficient on their own, they do not respond optimally to commands from a position of power. So, it is best to have a specialist Agile Scrum Master rather than the Project Manager donning this jersey!


The Takeaway

 All in all, an Agile Scrum Master is needed and desired by most Scrum Teams for their optimum functioning and project facilitation. Various companies across the IT sector require trained and competent professionals for this position. So, opting for the PSM 1 Certification and building a career as an Agile Scrum Master can be an excellent choice for budding professionals if their skill and knowledge levels meet the expectations of the industry. The PSM certification from Star Agile Consulting can enable young professionals to create top-notch opportunities in leading corporations.

So, what are you waiting for? Get enrolled today for a bright career as an Agile Scrum Master!




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