ROLES OF A SCRUM MASTER

 In Scaled Agile, Scrum, Uncategorized

Scrum master plays an important role in an agile project. Before we address various roles of a scrum master let us first understand on what support a Scrum Master requires in an Agile Project. Ideally a scrum master should be dedicated and responsible for enabling agile practices and so in this article we will try to unfold typical roles of a scrum master. Few points as mentioned below.

#1 Thrill to drive agile practices

Depending on  Agile Project Selection Criteria roles of a scrum master also varies and dependent on organization and need of the project. One of the important roles of a scrum master is having a passion to bring the agile practices Main roles and responsibility are as follows.

  • Support the management team to adopt various Agile Practices for a top down approach.
  • Support in establishing agile culture, team structure and agile ceremonies.
  • Support product owner in maintaining the product backlog.
  • Support team in estimating stories.
  • Leverage agile ceremonies.
  • Support team and product owner in drafting an Initial Release plan.
  • Support product owner in sketching product vision and translating with team.

# 2 Effective use of agile ceremonies

Scrum master also tries in enabling team for effective use of all agile ceremonies. Below mentioned describes a brief ideas on roles of a scrum master.

  • Support team to follow ceremonies like sprint Plan, sprint review and retrospective.
  • Establishing an improved collaboration in distributed environment.
  • Support and work with product Owner and team for backlog grooming.
  • Support in remove blocking factors and risks to avoid possible threats.

# 3 Fostering an effective estimation process

It is very important roles of a scrum master to bring an effective estimation process in place to make sure a common and agreed estimation provided by the team which is workable and realistic.  Few of techniques which are used as follows.

  • Leverage an absolute estimation practice by and Expert Judgments or Analogous Estimation.
  • Educate on relative sizing using complexity and dependency using Planning Poker Game.

In agile environments estimation are widely done by story point using planning poker game.

# 4 Establishing an improved collaboration

Collaboration and team work is the root cause for the success of an agile project. More communication and collaboration between team members helps in shared understanding of business requirements and so creates a shared responsibility to deliver the business need. One of the very important roles of a scrum master is to bring more collaboration between team members. Collaboration also reduces conflicts and brings more transparency.

# 5 Supporting for a continuous  delivery

Continuous delivery is heart of the agile practices. It aims at seamless delivery of product in an incremental fashion for every cycle of delivery. Continuous delivery depends on automation and continuous build integration.

# 6 Putting efforts in removing blocking factors

  • Support team to discuss all dependencies on time and resolved.
  • Find if any blocking cause and raise the flag or a Risk with stakeholders.
  • Understand well the Project Environment and Organizational Factors.
  • Understand well the team member structure, skills and interpersonal Characteristics.
  • Find a common solution for any internal conflicts and keep team at high motivation level.
  • Leverage and set up a better communication between distributed team.

# 7 Generating metrics and analyzing to track the progress

  • Share Metrics like velocity, Story Scope, Adjusted, Capacity, Burn down etc.
  • Attend Weekly Progress Meetings and Share Status with stakeholders.
  • Release level Product metrics, if any.

# 8 Track action items for dependencies and identified risk

  • Negotiate with product owner for adjusting the Scope.
  • Collaborate between team and product owner for Minimum Viable Feature to improve time to market.
  • Support team by leveraging prioritizing requirements with product owner.

# 9 Leveraging an empirical process control

  • Support team to get right feed backs at right time on product increments.
  • Transfer product vision to make sure both team and stakeholders understand the expected behaviors of the product.

# 10 Transparency – Sharing right metrics to all stakeholders

  • Prepare the capacity before planning meeting.
  • Support management team in any resource loading / resource leveling.
  • Support team in maintaining a uniform velocity of team.
  • Track and monitor the status of Sprint, Iteration like Burn down Chart, Velocity, Issues Created, Resolved and pending, Release Status etc.

# 11 Other activities of a ScrumMaster

Other roles of a scrum master: Scrum master helps in establishing the momentum of agile practices between project team, customers and other stakeholders with an open communication.

1.Create an awareness to respect time boxed ceremonies.
2.Follow up action items regularly on identified improvement notes
3.Follow Up with stakeholders to resolve issues and dependencies
4.Share dependencies / risks or any other blocking factors
5.Create awareness on various agile technical Practices.
6.Track and monitor the progress of deliveries in shadow.
7.Involve at various organizational Initiatives to Adopt Agile.
8.Support for a collaborative and informative work space
9.Manage the balance between all stakeholder
10.Minimize any external influence to team
11.Bring harmony between deliveries and process

References:

Pratap Sahoo
Pratap Sahoo is a leading Scrum and agile consultant and enterprise level transformation coach. He holds a track record in transforming organizations on lean and agile approach and helping developers, Scrum Masters, and agile practitioners in adopting agile practices. He is the author of " A Scrum Master's Guide Book" & "Lean Management with Kanban". He also Cofounded PMF Edu group.
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