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Don't waste time! Here are the 6 roles of an Excellent Scrum master

There are many presumptions that industry has created about the role of Scrum master. How many of those are the actual truth as per the Principles of Scrum? After facilitating the ceremonies, does the Scrum master has any work to do? Why is the Scrum master’s role considered as a full-time job? There are many queries on the responsibilities and leadership approach of a Scrum master.

Who is the Scrum master?

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To know the Scrum mastery, let’s discuss the skills a person need to achieve in becoming a Scrum master:

I am a Servant - leader

The honored Leadership practitioner, Robert K. Greenleaf’s everlasting concept “Servant leadership” is the most acknowledged approach of this generation.

  • It means the beginning of the leadership journey as a Servant first with Supplication mindset.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Temenos Founder Siraj Sirajuddin says,Unless there is a sense accountability & responsibility, a leader will NOT rise up.                                                                                
  • The transformation of Servant leadership starts with a person who believes that serving and giving the people what they need should be prioritized than her personal needs. Helping the organization not as a leader but as a normal person "What can I do to make my organization more better?". This thinking manifests a great leadership in a person’s consciousness.                                                                                                                   
  • A Scrum master needs to be a follower of “Servant leadership.”

I am a Coach & Facilitator

Her job is to make people well - versed with the Scrum ceremonies. Mentoring the teams on how and why do they need to do it.

  • In an iteration, a scrum master’s facilitation includes Pre - preparation, watching over the ceremonies, Retrospecting and conveying the important queries to the Product owners or discuss those in Scrum of Scrum meetings.             
  • Scrum master’s job also includes the planning for the next iteration, helping team members in Story writing, formulating acceptance criteria, splitting user stories.                                                                                                                                
  • Very often, the Scrum master’s role is mistaken with the role of Project manager. In traditional models, Project managers are the ones who manage the whole project. It’s kind of similar to the role of Product Owner, as they both face client conversations, responsibility to achieve project goals, maintaining Product backlogs etc. Her job, as a Scrum master is to support the Product Owner activities.                                                                                                             

I Form, Preserve and Strengthen the Team Engagement

Team communication and engagement are the main responsibilities of a Scrum master.

  • It includes coaching the team members, even coaching them one - one if necessary.                                                                                                                          
  • Scrum master doesn’t always try to meddle with the teams. Her only motive is to form Self - organized and Self - managed teams. Up to some point, Scrum master removes conflicts but she instantly withdraws when the team becomes well capable of taking its own decisions.                                                                        

I am Responsible for making Teams more Creative

She perfectly understands that learning is the best possible way to make any plan fruitful. People don’t just get creative on something without getting the minimum required knowledge.

  • A Scrum master’s first job is to make the teams informative with all the buzzwords of the Agile Big picture. She helps the teams to adapt to the changing scenarios by teaching them necessary skills of Lean.                                    
  • As an observer, the Scrum master gives the necessary assessments, feedbacks to improve the team performance. She also encourages teams to take the ownership of their problems and resolve it together.                                                    
  • It’s not just all about theoretical explanations. The Scrum master gives the opportunities to understand the Agile patterns with real - time experiences and examples. She also provides enough space and opportunity in facing challenges to trigger new innovations in teams.                                                                              
  • The Scrum master believes teams can work and grow stronger if they have no communication conflicts. So, her responsibility is to create that open space culture, where people can talk or argue or discuss with a safety net.                       

I am the Strongest Pillar that Supports Teams

Scrum master is the medium between the team and Product owner. She is also someone who helps the teams in their communication with the management.

  • A Scrum master is socially active with the team members, that’s why she is well capable of understanding the internal affairs of the team.                                 
  • The Scrum master has a strong awareness towards present situation. So, she is not only able to notice the changes quickly but also comes up with new strategies to face the urgency. She is highly enthusiastic and passionate.                 
  • She strongly believes in relentless improvement. So, She doesn't miss any opportunity of learning to adorn herself with the technical skills that are needed to coach people.                                                                                                                     
  • A scrum master shines as a leader - a leader who is good at listening what others has to say without making bad criticisms.                                                                   
  • Scrum master’s main point of action includes team empowerment with maintaining transparency between the management and team.                                 
  • Scrum master is a change agent who plays an important role in Organizational transformation. The title is not given on the basis of rank or power but for the person’s knowledge and eagerness to take responsibilities.                                                                                                              

I am a Containeering™Engineer  

As a change agent, the Scrum master creates an environment, where people feel the sense of belongingness.

  • Awareness of roles, aligned visions, and sharing connections creates a container of trust, where individuals play different roles to support the container.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           In building and shaping a container, good leaders always know how to gather everyone in the container, says Siraj Sirajuddin.                                                                                             
  • The knowledge of “Containeering” (Container creation) must be owned by a Scrum master. According to Siraj, "To be a container creator, a change agent must achieve Yugen (An awareness that activates deep emotional response". The awareness originates from immersed Supplication, Humility, Sympathy, Visualization, Observation, Participation and many other elements.                                                                                                                                     
  • In the container called “Team”, a Scrum master must know how her presence can help the container to grow more; How her container’s existence can make people empowered; How she can avoid failing of the container or failing of the individuals in the container. Moreover, the Scrum master needs to possess the courage to face the failure and emerge strongly from it.                                             


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