The Scrum Master (SM) or project facilitator, is the figure that leads the teams in the agile management of projects. Its mission is that the work teams reach their objectives until they reach the “final sprint” phase, eliminating any difficulties they may encounter along the way.
In other words, the Scrum Master is responsible for following the practices and values described in the Scrum model. The role of the Scrum Master can be compared to that of a coach / mentor who will accompany the team to the success of the project.
As a project facilitator, he is responsible for carrying out all those projects that use a Scrum methodology: from the preparation of the Product Backlog (the file that gathers the tasks and functions to be developed), and Sprint Bakclog (document that shows the division of tasks among the members of the team), the Sprint (where all the actions are carried out and tested if the actions performed work) until the Burn Down (the analysis and control of the tasks performed and all that remains pending).
Many Scrum Masters have previously played the role of Project Managers, so not only facilitate the tasks to the rest of the team, but in many cases also helps find solutions to problems.
What are the main characteristics of a Scrum Master?
- Advises and reinforces team members so that they can work in a self-organized manner with team spirit and awareness. For this, it is responsible for managing “group dynamics” that contribute to the development of the objectives set.
- Eliminates any impediment that the equipment is in to achieve its final objectives.
- If the developers do not know how to approach the tasks, the Scrum Master will gather them all to explain what they are and what task each one will tackle.
- Facilitates the final sprint phase to the team. When the team members are presenting the project to the stakeholders (profiles interested in the products), they avoid getting stuck in the final sprint, acting as a guide and moderator of the presentations in many cases.
- Helps to carry out the daily standups, that is, to provide all the updates that the team needs for the development of the projects.
- Sometimes you can perform the tasks of an agile coach. That is, it ensures that all team members learn and use the appropriate methodology.
- He works hand in hand with the Product Owner (the client’s representative) and, from the outset, defines the objectives of the project, detects risks during the sprint phase and looks for updates for the tasks to be developed.
- Like the Product Owner, the Scrum Master works with other figures such as stakeholders and represents the work team in Scrum of Scrums meetings. In these meetings is where the Scrum Master presents the topics of technical skills and actions carried out by the team.
- The figure of the Scrum Master reinforces the idea that this methodology improves teamwork, focusing all efforts on achieving the same objective to meet the needs of stakeholders.
Six keys to being a good Scrum Master
Focus the team on the objectives of the current iteration, keeping them on the right track: having a short window in which to deliver work software helps keep the team focused, but if that is not enough, the Scrum Master is there to help keep the objectives visible, keeping the daily meeting focused on the objectives and eliminating distractions that would otherwise interfere in achieving those objectives.
Eliminate the barriers that block the team so that it can offer software with the highest quality: A Scrum Master monitors possible ditches, the complexity of unnecessary procedures, resource-based delays, or work environment or human factors challenges, and help the team protect themselves from all of them.
Works closely with the Product Owner, providing control and balance between doing more and maintaining high quality and efficiency: The Product Owner is legitimately concerned about receiving the most visible value. The Scrum Master makes sure that this is done, but not at the expense of software quality.
Keep the team trained in Scrum project management practices through:
- Form organic, self-organized and agile teams and integrate them into the company.
- Create a team vision, project vision and product vision that serves as a guide and is shared.
- Implementation of simple and adaptable methodological rules to offer business value quickly and reliably.
- Create an open flow and exchange of information between the members of the project team and external groups.
- Maintain a light touch by supporting team autonomy, flexibility and customer value focus without sacrificing control.
- Monitoring and monitoring of the project to obtain timely and relevant feedback while systemic learning and adaptation is instituted.
Introduce practices and tools to help ensure that each iteration is potentially susceptible to be sent, including any or all of the following list:
- Automated constructions and continuous integration: Reduce the time and effort associated with manual constructions.
- Simple Design and Refactoring: They prevent incremental development from leading to poor architectures.
- Test-based development: Reduce the time and effort of testing and allow developers to make changes with confidence.
- Pairs programming: Increase the quality of the software without affecting the delivery time.
- Implements best industry practices, standard corporate practices and procedures that can benefit the project.
Encourages and facilitates collaboration with practices such as the following:
- Release Planning Sessions (Sprint Planning): To determine what a release should include and when and when it should be delivered.
- Iteration Planning Sessions (Sprint Planning): Elaborate, estimate and prioritize the highest value products for the next iteration.
- Daily Standup meetings (Daily Scrum): Very brief meetings to quickly take the pulse of the project, address the challenges and coordinate the activities of the team and the owner of the product.
- Review of Iteration / Demonstration Sessions (Sprint Review): Demonstrate full functionality to stakeholders and users to show progress and obtain important feedback.
- Retrospective iteration sessions (Sprint Retrospective): Reflect on the themes of the project and the process and take appropriate action. Continuous collaboration and process improvement