The exciting thing about the name scrum master is that its definition catches most people by surprise. The first time I came across the word, I thought it was a character in an indoor game. It is far from that.
A scrum master is tasked with ensuring that a scrum framework is implemented effectively throughout the project process. Scrum is a practical framework that has been used over time in projects. It is characterized by sprints which are short work processes and daily meetings. All these are designed to assess and tackle every step of the project until its completion.
Scrum masters or managers are responsible for the project framework. Here are the key responsibilities of a scrum master.
1. Hosting meetings
As aforementioned, the scrum project framework is characterized by daily meetings. The scrum master is responsible for hosting and moderating them. The sessions usually last about 15 minutes.
The scrum masters allow the team members to answer questions regarding the project. For instance, what they did the previous day, and what the plans for the week are. During this time, the team members also can talk about the challenges they are facing in the process.
The scrum master also asks the members when they think they will be able to complete the assigned tasks. The goal of the meetings is to establish how much progress has been made on the project.
The scrum master also probes to understand the impediments that are there in the projects.
While the scrum master’s role may not be decision-making, they are tasked with leading their teams in understanding the project. They ensure that the members are well versed in the processes of the project.
The scrum master creates a sense of ownership in the project by helping the team members understand their roles and their importance to the projects.
3. Elimination of distractions
It is the role of the scrum master to remove roadblocks that may be affecting the progress of the project. It is for this reason that identifying obstacles is among the agendas of the daily meetings.
Roadblocks could be anything from time constraints to the shortage of resources. For instance, if the daily meetings are getting in the way of some members to meet their deadlines, the scrum master can determine whether they need to be in all the meetings.
4. Maintaining the product backlog
There is a need for maintaining and grooming the product backlog. It ensures that there is a smooth workflow and also enhances transparency in the processes. The scrum master uses the data collected in the daily meetings to update and refine the backlog.
In my years of experience in project management, I can confirm that the scrum framework is ideal for agile project teams. It can not only reduce project costs but also promote high productivity. For the process, however, to be effective and efficient, it needs a leader.
A scrum master is responsible for the success of scrum projects. While they are not involved with the planning, they are undoubtedly instrumental in managing and implementing the project.