When it comes to agile software development, the methodology of scrum relies heavily on the scrum master in order to produce a great end product. A scrum master plays the role of facilitator or coach for other members of the product development team. Scrum masters typically keep the project moving as smoothly.
A major part of role involves tackling any and all impediments that may come about to threaten the progress of a project. While a scrum master may have minimal authority over a software development team, they do have authority over the process of the project.
A scrum master plays a vital role in the success of a project and the overall quality of the end product. He or she must keep the team on track and effectively collaborate with product owners and external stakeholders, encouraging a shared vision for all of the parties involved. Being a certified scrum master doesn’t specifically mean that an individual is an effective or successful practitioner. This unique role requires a special skillset to keep a development team on track and produce the best end-product possible.
5 Qualities of a Successful Scrum Master
A successful project may ultimately rely on the ability of the scrum master to keep the team working as efficiently and effectively as possible. Many successful scrum masters share the following qualities:
- Knowledgeable and Always Learning – An effective scrum master needs to be knowledgeable about the scrum framework and methodology, all aspects of the project, and the different strengths and personalities of various team members. Thoroughly understanding how to implement strategies used in the scrum methodology is imperative to success. A scrum master should also have the technical expertise and product knowledge to anticipate challenges and help team members work through any unseen impediments.
- Sense of Responsibility – Responsibility is often times associated with increased authority. As a scrum master, authority tends to be focused on the process rather than the development team. A scrum master assumes responsibility without authority. An effective scrum master needs to be responsible for implementing best practices in the scrum framework throughout the entire project and with each individual member of the development team.
- Collaborative – Communication is vital to any software development project that implements the scrum methodology. A good scrum master should create an environment within the team that facilitates collaboration and open communication. When issues arise in the project, team members should be able to converse freely with the scrum master and one another to fix problems together as a collaborative unit.
- Committed – A scrum should be just as committed to the goals of the project as the team members are. Although a scrum master may not be a part of the team in the traditional sense, their role is integral to a project’s success.
- Influential – A good scrum master should be able to influence the team, product owner and external stakeholders without resorting to a command-and-control leadership style. An influential scrum master will be able to get everyone on the same page while maintaining a collaborative and collegial work environment.
When an organization implements the agile software development approach, an effective scrum master is vital to the success of the project. A scrum master should be thorough in his or her implementation of the scrum methodology. By helping the team successfully respond to project changes, stay on schedule, maintain focus, and stay motivated and excited about a project, an effective scrum master can ultimately take a product from good to great.