Many companies and businesses are now using agile methodologies to scale their products to gain popularity which increases productivity. One of the approaches that many enterprises are now implementing to achieve this is using the scrum master approach.
The scrum master, which has proven reliability, especially in the hyper-competitive market, has enabled entrepreneurs to scale their products effectively to penetrate the market and bring a positive impact. So, what measures should a business take when using agile scrum methodologies? What roles does a scrum master play to ensure business growth? Keep reading to learn this and more in the next sections.
Understanding a Scrum Master
Simply put, a scrum master is an organizer or a facilitator in charge of guiding and helping the scrum team and the entire organization apply the scrum basics. Therefore, the scrum master helps the team to work effectively by removing distractions and obstacles that may affect the team from meeting their work objectives. This implies that the person, the scrum master links the scrum team and other teams within an organization to meet the desired goals.
In any organization, the scrum master holds a small position yet is influential in the entire establishment while working behind the scenes. The scrum master is not involved in the whole product idea generation up to the launching stage. Their work revolves around the product line and the team.
Since the agile methodology processes require skillful people working as a team, the scrum master, too, must be updated with the current methods and tools.
This is especially significant because software projects have different sections whereby a single programmer can easily lose track of everything. Therefore, a scrum master keeps the overall overview of all activities while helping the teams involved to analyze both technical and organizational aspects of the project at hand to avoid any pitfalls during the process. This, therefore, fosters transparency and accountability and helps the teams meet their deadlines.
That’s all about who a scrum master is; next, let’s evaluate the functioning of a scrum master and the overall responsibilities.
The Scrum Methodology Basics
Here is a short description of how a scrum methodology works:
As a product owner, you simply send a request, then the development team led by the scrum master breaks the project into bits (known as sprints). These sprints are made up of procedures that are significant in creating an effective product life cycle.
Therefore, companies use scrum methodologies to produce reliable products within a short time, whereby the scrum master coordinates all the business activities and the target goals.
Scrum Master Roles and Responsibilities
Having described a scrum master and the scrum methodologies, below are some of the top responsibilities a scrum master needs to accomplish.
Tracking and informing all the parties about the progress
As a scrum master, you need to host meetings daily to ensure all the teams understand the progress and phases of a project. In the meeting, you highlight matters like barriers affecting the progress of the project and how to eliminate them.
They also host meetings to update product owners on the progress of the project in case of any adjustments are required. Ideally, the scrum master should ensure the team accomplishes the project on time.
Coaching all team members
The scrum master serves as a bridge between the owner of the product and the development team. Therefore, a scrum master should ensure the team is well-trained and understand the agile processes well; every member knows their role and stays dedicated to the project. Therefore, it is the scrum master’s role to ensure the team can manage all activities by itself while looking for ways to improve overall productivity and performance.
Helping product owners with product backlog
The product backlog is simply the tasks the team needs to perform and deliver. The product owner is responsible for formulating and maintaining the product backlog, which can often change based on the owner’s requirements.
Therefore, a scrum master can help the product owner to adjust the backlog for a perfect product delivery based on the meetings they host and exchange ideas.
Put in place best practices for project management
It is the scrum master’s duty to create and onboard project teams, integrate them into the organization, and provide a clear image of the required product.
Above all, the scrum master fosters productive communication between the project team and the external groups while monitoring the progress of the project, providing feedback, and embracing the agility culture.
Teach practices and principles of scrum
The scrum master should have adequate knowledge and skills related to scrum methodologies. This is to ensure they mentor and train the team and onboards team members with adequate skills after interviews.
After onboarding new members, the scrum master helps the new members adapt to best scrum practices and principles to ease a good product delivery process. Among the best practices include teaching how to achieve maximum focus and self-organization to enhance productivity.
Introduce Agile Engineering Practices
Of course, scrum methodology requires technical skills to ease the processes. Therefore, the team needs to implement continuous integration and automation, which requires coding skills and the use of related tools.
The technical or engineering practices help reduce risks experienced in traditional methods. Examples of such risks include fixing bugs in one phase to avoid repeating themselves in the next development phase.
Another engineering practice is paring programming, which involves putting together two developers to collaborate at the same workstation to minimize the time while improving the product’s quality.
Of course, during the project development, there will always be some roadblocks and distractions. It is the scrum master’s duty to put in measures to ensure the team stays focused by eliminating possible distractions and roadblocks along the way.
For instance, if one team member experience too many interruptions, it will affect product delivery. Therefore, the scrum master coordinates with the teams and organizers to minimize such interruptions.
Again, the scrum master ensures even distribution of workload to ensure each member has adequate time to meet the project’s goals and objectives.
Hosting Daily Stand-up Meetings
As a way of keeping the team organized and keeping track of all project activities, it is the responsibility of the scrum master to host stand-up meetings to review the progress of the projects. It is in these meetings that the teams discuss and air out any relevant information related to the project at hand. The teams can, therefore, share if they are experiencing any difficulties, share their accomplishments, and any measures they want to put in place to ensure the product’s success.
Therefore, the scrum master must ensure all the teams, both in-house and remote teams, attend such meetings to stay updated with the project’s progress.
Qualities of a Scrum Master
Having described the roles and responsibilities of the scrum master, a good scrum master should have the following qualities:
- Collaborative – to implement the spirit of teamwork and togetherness during the product development
- Influential – to impact the teams working on a project to deliver successful results
- Supportive – to offer direct support to the team, both emotionally and physically
- Observant – to detect any issues and rectify them early enough during the project’s development.
- Knowledgeable – Both technical and scrum knowledge guide the teams to work effectively.
Scrum masters play a crucial role in any organization. Above all, they play a role in implementing agile methods to ensure the company attains successful product development while meeting the deadlines and the desires of the product’s owner.
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