A scrum master is in essence, a facilitator for an agile development team. It is a framework for team handling strategies used usually within the context of software development. Although the first time that the idea of ‘Scrum’ came about was when Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka applied it to a manufacturing process in a research paper, it is more commonly now used within the context of software development such as agile development. Usually, the Scrum Master is not only trained on ensuring team homogeneity in terms of goals and their vision, but also have a basic understanding of the software itself and is therefore extremely effective.
A Scrum Master is often termed as a ‘servant leader’ as they have no authority to fire any employees while they are implementing their scrum strategies, but are still extremely helpful towards organizational and team success.
The functions of a Scrum Master
Scrum does not actually state anything solely about software development, but is rather a dynamic and effective strategy for team cohesiveness and work management that can be used outside the context of software development as well. Scrum has now been lauded as an effective team and work management strategy, and has even been implemented in a public school after the teacher obtained a PSM Certification.
Teams currently still operate in rather simple terms, relying on completion of day to day tasks with known inputs and data, already expected outcomes. However, with the change in the business environment and software development environment becoming significantly more complex, with high incidences of interconnected, dynamic, and diverse functions, it is necessary for the team to have a clear vision of what they ought to do for the most effective and efficient results. Variable inputs must be taken into consideration, and adaptable and flexible systems are often necessary to stay in tune with the dynamic and ever-changing environment.
The main role of any Scrum Master post the PSM Training is to ensure that the Scrum strategies are effectively and efficiently applied to the functions of the team to ensure high levels of efficiency.
Advantages of Hiring a Scrum Master
The Scrum Master is responsible for making sure that the values and practices of Scrum, that are extremely beneficial either to a software development process or for ensuring the organizational efficiency of an enterprise are applied. Some of the advantages of hiring a Scrum Master are as follows:
- They act as the coach for a team, initiating processes while ensuring project goals and the end result requirement are constantly in focus.
- Improves the efficiency of the team, including the removal of various impediments to functioning, ensuring adequate data and information exchange, and conducting other ancillary functions such as facilitating a meeting and working with the product owner to prevent backlogs.
- A Scrum Master can also be helpful in guiding the team with realistic goals and not be pressured by overly aggressive product owners and can prevent teams from biting off much more than they can chew.