Every project needs someone who serves as a guide for the team and allows all steps to be performed correctly. Without that person, more mistakes can happen, and Scrum is no different. The Scrum Master is one of the three indispensable roles of a Scrum, however its importance is still unknown to many companies, as well as its responsibilities, and for that reason applying a Scrum can be daunting for these organizations.
Therefore, we will explain who the Scrum Master is, and why his role is so important in managing complex projects . But first, we need to remember what a Scrum is. Come on?
What is Scrum?
A Scrum consists of an agile project management methodology that works incrementally . It means that, unlike traditional methodologies, agile methodologies separate the activities in stages, executing each one in an iterative way , that is, updating the project according to the needs that arise during its execution.
In Scrum, these incremental steps are called Sprints . A Sprint is planned as soon as the previous one is completed and all have the same duration, usually 2 to 4 weeks, each focused on one or more features of the project. Such features are listed in the product Backlog , organized by importance and defined by the Product Owner . These Sprints are performed by the Scrum Team , the team responsible for executing and delivering the functionalities and, together with the Product Owner and the Scrum Master, form the Sprint Backlog , which gathers the functionalities that that Sprint must perform.
During the execution of a Sprint, Daily Scrum s are held , daily meetings where the activities of the previous day are summarized and the current day is planned. This entire Sprints process is repeated and accumulates until the final product is ready.
Now that you know how a Scrum works, we need to understand where the Scrum Master is inserted in that process. Who he is, what he does, and other questions will be answered below. Keep reading!
To understand in more detail what a Scrum is and how to apply it , check out our text on the subject! But, if you are interested in deploying Scrum in your company, but do not know where to start, our comprehensive guide can help you:
Who is the Scrum Master?
The term Scrum Master means Scrum master, so to play this role, he needs to be familiar with the Scrum process and know how to do it correctly , as he will be like a guide for the Scrum Team. He works in all sectors of the Scrum process, from planning a Sprint together with the Product Owner, among others.
The ideal profile of a Scrum Master is based on the idea of a server leader , a type of manager who does more than monitor the progress of the process and the performance of the teams. Keep reading, as we will explain what a server leader is.
This concept is based on the idea that to lead is also to serve . A leader who only charges teams and does not help, does not collaborate in the execution of a process, receives low quality results and withdraws from his employees.
However, when the leader engages in a process and is willing to help the teams, paying attention to their needs and problems, when he proposes to serve at the same pace he leads , the production process flows more naturally and with less unforeseen circumstances. The leader occupies an important position in the company and among his employees, and his performance causes strong impacts.
The Scrum Master needs to act as a server leader because its function is basically to provide all the knowledge and materials necessary for the Sprints to be executed correctly. He acts as a coach for the Scrum Team, taking any questions and helping to solve problems that may arise, and also for the Product Owner, so that he can get a good view of the objective and how to prioritize certain information in the Scrum Backlog according to your importance.
As you can see, the figure of a Scrum Master is very important in project management, but being a server leader is a requirement, not a responsibility. So, let’s talk about the main responsibilities of the Scrum Master. Check out:
What are the Scrum Master’s responsibilities?
If the entire Scrum process went smoothly, the Scrum Master would not be necessary . For this reason, it only interferes in some process when necessary, that is, when the Scrum Team is having difficulty to perform a Sprint, or when the Product Owner is distancing from the objective to be achieved, among other reasons.
Thus, a large part of the Scrum Master’s actions are indirect , that is, without directly affecting the Scrum Team’s production process or the decisions of the Product Owner. Direct actions will focus on helping to deal with a problem and providing advice when required. Check out:
As already mentioned, the Scrum Master knows the processes of a Scrum, he knows what are the best practices and what type of decision to make in each case. Therefore, he must pass this knowledge on to the Scrum Team, so that they know how to proceed in each situation.
It is important to make it clear that the Scrum Master does not determine who should do each Sprint and how . It gives teams freedom to work as they see fit and provides the necessary resources, in addition to providing advice and direction when asked.
Help the Product Owner
The Product Owner is appointed according to his knowledge of the project’s theme , so it may happen that he is not familiar with Scrum practices. In such cases, the Scrum Master’s help is important to adapt it to this methodology.
In addition, the Scrum Master is the main communication channel between Product Owner and Time Scrum, when it is not going well. It helps the team to understand the vision and goal desired by the Product Owner, while making him understand the limitations and considerations of the team.
A Scrum is performed in a scenario of many risks , since the projects are often innovative and have never been carried out before, and consequently are unknown, not least because the incremental way of working, although fast and efficient, is like taking steps in the dark .
Therefore, unforeseen events will happen, some Sprints can go wrong, and changes will be necessary in the middle of the project. In view of this uncertainty, the Scrum Master needs to resolve the obstacles that cross the path of the Scrum Team, in addition to doing everything possible to prevent further accidents. He does this by thinking ahead of each process, carefully planning each Sprint and always available to the Scrum Team and the Product Owner.
Connect the entire project
One of the most important functions of the Scrum Master is to create connections, not only between Scrum members, but also external connections with the company’s managers, with useful sources for the execution of Sprints, with solutions of possible obstacles, among others.
In addition, the Scrum Master helps in carrying out the Daily Scrums and in planning the next Sprint, always seeking to align the features that should be prioritized and the feedback from the Product Owner and the Scrum Team. These meetings are very important to measure the progress of the project and what changes must be made.