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Scrum Master: Role or Responsibility?


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Published in: Business, Technology

Scrum Master: Role or Responsibility?

  1. 1. Scrum Master: Role or Title? A Job Like No Other Presented by Mariya Breyter at Agile/Lean Practitioners Meetup, New York, May 2013
  2. 2. Topics 1.Role 2. Qualities 3. Career path Source:
  3. 3. Who is a Scrum Master? “The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that the Scrum Team adheres to Scrum values, practices, and rules. The Scrum Master helps the Scrum Team and the organization adopt Scrum. The Scrum Master teaches the Scrum Team by coaching and by leading it to be more productive and produce higher quality products. The Scrum Master helps the Scrum Team understand and use self-organization and cross-functionality. The Scrum Master also helps the Scrum Team do its best in an organizational environment that may not yet be optimized for complex product development. When the Scrum Master helps make these changes, this is called “removing impediments.” The Scrum Master’s role is one of a servant-leader for the Scrum Team.” - Ken Schwaber,
  4. 4. A Scrum Master is…
  5. 5. “An excellent Scrum Master requires a set of skills similar to that of a line manager, plus the ability and willingness to work as servant leader and coach. Nevertheless, the Scrum Master role is seen as a career path by few.” - Frank Janish, CTO of Crealytics and a former Scrum Master “What do you mean “scrum master career progression”? Scrum master IS a career.” - Jeff Sutherland, Signatoree of Agile Manifesto
  6. 6. “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” Antoine de Saint Exupéry Source:
  7. 7. Think of the Scrum Master as a race car mechanic… * 11/13/13 08:50 PM P. 7
  8. 8. Scrum Master vs. Project Manager 1 2 Source: 11/13/13 08:50 PM P. 8
  9. 9. 1.Role 2. Qualities 3. Career path Source:
  10. 10. What makes an excellent Scrum Master? SKILLS -people skills, team building, and team development; -management skills including change management; -expertise in Agile and in IT delivery - presentation/coaching/rhetoric - honesty, integrity, respect from the team, and the trust; - understands people and teams, their motivations, interactions, and weaknesses; - understands organization is a whole system and leads the changes; - leads and supports people to change, etc. etc, RESPONSIBILITIES - ensures that the team meets business objectives; - creates a collaborative environment where a Scrum team can work efficiently and the business can deliver high-quality products quickly; - identifies and leads the impediments-solving process; - organizes and facilitates team ceremonies; - Garners respect from the team and leads the team towards hyperproductivity; promotes selfmanagement and self-improvement to grow team efficiency and velocity, etc. etc.
  11. 11. •What is Scrum Master: role, job, or dedication? •How to find/hire? •How to develop? •How to grow?
  12. 12. 1.Role 2. Qualities 3. Career Path Source:
  13. 13. What do others think about Scrum Career Path? 11/13/13 08:50 PM P. 13
  14. 14. Scrum certifications have levels too 11/13/13 08:50 PM P. 14
  15. 15. Role or Dedicated Position? Source: 11/13/13 08:50 PM P. 15
  16. 16. What’s in it for the organization? The goals are to: •set up expectations for future hires • provide input into performance assessment for current employees •grow talent by setting clear targets and the ways to reach those •increase satisfaction metrics by compensating employees fairly in accordance with their work
  17. 17. What’s in it for Scrum Masters? • Have a career progression clearly defined • Provide a clear growth goal and set expectations accordingly • Suggest steps and measures for professional development • Position Scrum Master job as a career, not just as a stepping stone in career growth • Indicate the level of experience of a scrum master
  18. 18. Tasks: -is a Scrum Master on one or two medium or large teams; -performs work independently; -participates/volunteers within scrum master community; -performs all tasks in accordance with KTP Scrum Master role description. -team(s) follow all Agile principles and meet commitment for over 70% of their sprints. Experience and skills: -1-5 years of SM experience; -thoroughly understands software delivery process, -possesses subject matter expertise in teams’ products, -possesses CSM or relevant certification (preferable); -participates in Agile community, -attends external Agile events and shared Agile best practices with others. Tasks: -is a Scrum Master on two medium – size Agile teams or one consolidated team; -Performs all tasks in accordance with KTP Scrum Master role description; -builds a self-organizing and highperforming team which meets commitment 90% of sprints; -suggests solutions to complex issues with multiple teams involved; -- garners respect within the scrum master community. Experience and skills: -3-7 years of SM experience; All skills of SM plus: -superb decision making skills, consensus building, communication and facilitation skills; -possesses CSM, CSP or PMI-ACP certification (preferable); -contributes to agile practices within and outside of Kaplan; -expert-level knowledge of SBU products. Tasks: -coaches other scrum masters in Scrum best practices; All tasks of Sr. SM plus: -defines agile practices within and outside of Kaplan; -performs Agile training as needed with over 80% satisfaction rate; -drives complex cross-term issues to effective resolution. Experience and skills: -5+years of Agile experience and 1+ year of mentoring/coaching; All skills of Sr. SM plus: -consulting and/or training experience, -ability to build consensus and explain Agile values to the teams, -possesses CSP, PMI-ACP, or related certification; -positive attitude and ability to propose effective solutions.
  19. 19. Growth from one level to the next one Scrum Master Sr. Scrum Master Agile Coach Team size one or two medium or large teams; two medium -size Agile teams or one consolidated team; all Agile team members at KTP and business stakeholders interested in Agile practices Proficiency in Agile/scrum performs all tasks in accordance with KTP Scrum Master role description advanced knowledge of scrum master best practices and implementation on teams expert in Agile / scrum (“ha” or “ri” level) Mentorship performs work independently and participates in setting best practices mentors junior-level scrum masters and leads setting up best practices at KTP coaches other scrum masters in Scrum best practices Experience 1-5 years of SM experience 3-7 years of SM experience 5+years of SM experience and 1+ year of mentoring/coaching Certifications and training CSM or related certification strongly preferred CSM or CSPO certification required, CSP or PMI-ACP certification preferred possesses CSP, PMI-ACP, or related certification
  20. 20. Scrum Master Career Path
  21. 21. What is important then? Photo by Marissa Textor
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