What is a Scrum Master?
Scrum Master is perhaps the most widely-recognised role within a Scrum Team. This could be because Scrum Masters play such a key part in implementing Scrum effectively during a project.
In this article, we try to answer the question “What is a Scrum Master” as fully as possible. We investigate what a Scrum Master does, where they fit within the Scrum Team, and examine why you might want to achieve a Scrum Master Certification.
If you’re completely new to the concept of Scrum, we recommend either reading our article, “What is Scrum Project Management?”
or downloading our free PDF Guide to Scrum
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The Scrum Master within the Scrum Team:
The success of a Scrum approach to project management hangs on a motivated, self-organising team.
The Scrum Team has very clearly defined roles. It functions with plenty of communication, excellent visibility of task progression, and the knowledge that each member of the team is capable of handling their responsibilities.
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What are the Roles in a Scrum Team?
Scrum Product Owner: Often called the “key stakeholder”. Defines priorities. Frequent contact with the customer and Scrum Master.
Scrum Master: Crucial facilitator. Supports the Scrum Team. Works with the Scrum Product Owner to assess progress and reframe priorities where needed. Oversees the application of Scrum to project work.
Scrum Developer / Scrum Team
Creates the project’s deliverables. Works on the project. Presents progress to Scrum Master and Scrum Product Owner.
What does a Scrum Master do?
7 Things a Scrum Master Does to Make Scrum Work
We touched briefly on standout qualities of the Scrum Master job description above. Now, let’s take a closer look at what a Scrum Master does within a Scrum project.
1. Leading through Serving
Scrum Master is one of the ultimate “servant leader” roles. Although the Scrum Master mentors the team, they have no authority over the team.
They do, however, have the last say over the Scrum process and how it wil be applied.
2. Building The Right Environment
Scrum is a high productivity project management framework. Shorter cycles and frequent value delivery means that the team must always be able to operate at optimum levels.
It’s the responsibility of a Scrum Master to create the right environment for the team to do this. They will protect the team from distractions, help them to overcome obstacles, and facilitate meetings where required.
3. Troubleshooting to Stay on Track
Scrum Masters are instrumental in solving any problems that occur.
Part of creating the right environment includes spotting and resolving any issues and barriers to productivity that may crop up.
4. A Fountain of Scrum Knowledge
Scrum Masters must have a thorough understanding of the Scrum framework.
They are the go-to person when anyone in the team has a question about the application of Scrum.
5. Upholding Scrum Values Always
It is also the Scrum Master’s responsibility to ensure that Scrum values are upheld throughout the Sprint (project cycle).
They will be attentive to the implementation of Scrum processes so that they are carried out correctly at all times.
6. Mentoring for Productivity without Burnout
Like its parent methodology Agile, Scrum is designed to be sustainable, meaning that the team should be able to keep up a consistent pace indefinitely.
The Scrum Master helps to maintain this sustainability by mentoring other team members on managing their workload and tasks prioritisation.
7. Collaborating and Prioritising
The Scrum Master works with the Scrum Product Owner on an ongoing basis.
Together, they assess the project’s progress, reframing priorities when appropriate.
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Why is a Scrum Master Important?
As you can see from the job description above, Scrum Masters keep everything and everyone on track during a Scrum Sprint (project cycle).
Scrum is a highly effective form of project management, but only if it is applied correctly and the team are given support at all times. The Scrum Master is an essential part of that support.
Without the Scrum Master, the team – and project – could veer off track.
If you would like to get involved with Scrum project management, we recommend starting with Scrum Master training and certification.
As Scrum Masters need to have such a thorough understanding of the role, it’s a wonderful starting point for your Scrum Knowledge.
By choosing to train and certify as a Scrum Master, you will always be able to step into this pivotal role, even if you carry out a different role at other times.
Want further inspiration
? Take a look at our article, “7 Reasons to Become a Scrum Master”
How do I become a Scrum Master?
Getting trained and certified as a Scrum Master is very accessible for even the busiest of schedules.
Here’s our 3-step approach, which can see you certified as a Scrum Master within 1 month, without disrupting other priorities during this time:
Step 1: Complete Training (On Your Schedule)
Our Scrum Master Certified Course is available as self-led, online training. Once you purchase the course (using the "Buy Now" button below), you'll have 180 days of access to the online learning platform and course material.
Step 2: Study Period (between 2 and 4 weeks)
Following training, you’ll gain access to our online study portal. The duration of your study period will vary depending on your availability, but the average is between 2 and 4 weeks.
Step 3: Online Exam (2 hours)
When you feel ready, schedule your online exam. The exam takes 120 minutes and has 100 multiple choice questions.
Upon passing your exam, you will be a certified Scrum Master!
Find Out More
If you have any questions about becoming a Scrum Master, why not talk to our training consultant team on Freephone 1800 910 810? You can also get in touch by clicking below to "Ask A Question".
You can learn more about our Scrum Master Certified (SMCTM) course, by downloading our PDF brochure using the button below.