Scrum Master Job Description, Responsibilities and Characteristics

BhavincalenderAugust 01, 2018book20 minseyes2410

Table of Contents

Scrum is the framework for software projects development by using agile project management methodology by following agile values and principles with well-defined specific instructions for practice followed in software development process. Scrum delivers benefits like increased productivity, improved quality product, decreasing delivery duration, better collaboration among Scrum Team, meet stakeholder expectations. Scrum is widely in use for complex projects. Scrum events enable Scrum Master to share information transparently so that team can inspect and adapt change quickly.

The Scrum Master is an influential role among the 3 roles of Scrum framework. S/he is not successor authority to any team but acts as a coach in order to build a self-organized team who follow processes of Scrum framework. S/he should be both techno-functional experts with vast experience. S/he assist uncovered insights and assist Scrum Team to explore solutions of business need and protect from impediments by offering all possible solutions. S/he does work with different peoples in organization. S/he must communicate transparently and encourage everyone in organization to do transparent communication.

Characteristics of Scrum Master

• Experience

It is not mandatory for the Scrum Master to have prior experience as a team lead or project manager rather Scrum Master should have technical knowledge to understand need of Scrum Team in a better way to lead them. Prior work experience as Scrum Master in software industry using Scrum will be an advantage.

Certification like CSM or PSM-I required to prove Scrum Master’s knowledge of Scrum fundamentals. For some of Scrum Master jobs advance certification like A-CSM or CSP-SM, PSM-II or PSM-III required by the organizations based on business need.

• Mentor

The Scrum Master motivate Scrum Team in order to increase efficiency and meet the organizational goal. S/he keeps eye on team with the purpose to establish a good team and support everyone in his or her goal. S/he assist Scrum Team to create their goal and vision of the self-organized team.

• Transparent

Communicate transparently among Scrum Team, which enable artifacts to share information and take decision faster. S/he arranges in person meetings between Scrum Team whenever needed for effective transparent communication. Sometime it happens that person is not able to express himself and to overcome from such situations, S/he uses Visual elements and methods like Whiteboard, burndown graphs, burnup graphs, graphic notations, flip charts, etc.

• Collaborative

The Scrum Master interact with everyone in organization for effective collaboration, discuss Scrum process, various tool and techniques. S/he make sure that Scrum Team do collaboration with right mindset by ensuring that no one do self-promotion, do blaming, fight, or transfer wrong information. S/he enable coloration by imposing habit of listen & respond, disagree with respect, courage to speak and give open feedback, attitude like winner and stay focused.

• Guide

Guide and educate people in organization about Scum principals and rules. S/he should be aware with wildly used Agile approaches like Kanban, XP, etc. and apply various well-known techniques to fill gaps, which are left out in Scrum approach. S/he must be familiar with various tools, which support software project management in Scrum way. S/he believes in the abilities of Scrum Team. As a coach, s/he is adaptable and versatile, caring and sympathetic, Empathetic, Open and Respectful, Neutral yet decisive when required. S/he enables individual wellbeing for all members in Scrum Team. S/he establishes trust and prevents confidentiality of personal issues. S/he shows a mirror to Scrum Team, guides how to improve.

• Facilitator

Scrum Master is a leader for Scrum Team but S/he is a servant for Scrum Team first. S/he must correct use of scrum process in organization. S/he organizes and arranges meetings for Sprint events like Daily Scrum meeting, Sprint Planning meeting, Sprint Review meeting, Sprint Retrospective meeting, Product Backlog Refinement meetings.

• Protective

The Scrum Master identifies obstacles and tries to deliver possible of impediments. S/he protect Scrum Team from external interruption and intervention. S/he support and help Product Owner to analyze and understand business requirement, helps in writing user story, in project backlog grooming, in writing user stories.


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Scrum Master Job Description and Responsibilities

• Coach

The Scrum Master guides to an individual for expected mindset and conduct by explaining points of view in order to gain potential outcomes. S/he empowers individual to utilize Scrum better and help to take the path towards agile adventure.

The Scrum Master provides training and guidance to Scrum Team helps in evacuate boundaries between artifacts so that development takes place smoothly. S/he continuously observe how Scrum Team is practicing Scrum and help Scrum Team to improve performance by changing their attitude, behavior, and mindset. In case of any impediment reported, S/he works on it to resolve it. S/he encourages to provide honest feedback to improve quality.

The Scrum Master make Product Owner aware of his responsibilities by coaching and helping him to do product backlog grooming, writing user story and amplify business results. S/he collaborate with Scrum Team, ensure Development team get what they need and convey Product Owner request to Development Team for improvement.

• Servant Leader

As mentioned early, the Scrum Master is a servant to Scrum Team first. S/he plays an important role for Scrum Team, ensures that Scrum Team need are met to ensure effective work is being done. S/he focuses on a coordinated effort, trust, compassion and the utilization of intensity morally to improve teamwork. S/he act as a bridge between organization and Scrum Team to understand need of each other and expectation to deliver business values.

• Process Authority

The Scrum Master is process authority for Scrum Team. Acceptance and practicing scrum by Scrum Team during project implementation is the observed by the Scrum Master. S/he uses his experience and knowledge to guide and support Scrum Team to improve practice they follow whenever needed to increase delivery and achieve business goals. S/he allows team freedom, safety, and space to be a self-organized team.

• Interference Shield

The Scrum Master safeguard Development Team from external interruption like managers order team member, redirect to help other teams and intervention so team stays focused on its delivery for the sprint. S/he intercepts such happening and manages in a way that Scrum Team continues focusing on sprint goal.

• Impediment Remover

When Development Team cannot remove impediments by own, its Scrum Master’s duty to handle and remove impediments, which prevent Developer Team to do productive work. For example, Scrum Team is not meeting sprint goals constantly due to servers’ issues while testing as one of the checklists of Definition of Done. S/he will take lead and do work around with operation team and stakeholder to have stable servers.

• Change Agent

The Scrum Master help to change people’s mind and make them understand need for changes affecting Scrum Team by explaining the impact of Scrum and benefit of it. S/he make sure that required change gets into effect throughout organization by keeping long-term gain using Scrum.

All these actions will come under scrum master job description. These are the main roles and responsibilities


In this article gives glimpse about Scrum Master job description and responsibility in project using Scrum framework. Scrum Master job is to

– Do coaching and mentoring to team apply Scrum practices

– Lead team by serving

– Facilitate for transparent communication

– Do arrangement for various events during sprint

– Remove impediments and project team

– Encourages adopting Scrum practices

– Assist Product Owner for requirement analysis, story writing and estimation.

– Lead organization to meet business goal.

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