What do you do as a scrum master?

I help the cross-functional scrum team in becoming high-performing and self-managed.

What is a self-managed team?

Self-managed teams are autonomous teams to decide what, how, and who within the team.

What is a cross-functional team?

A team of people coming up from different backgrounds such as IT, marketing, business, operation, quality, etc.

What you do to have a cross-functional self-managed team?

I uphold scrum, facilitate team decisions, coach, mentor, teach, and work on impediments.

What do you mean by upholding scrum?

It means I ensure Scrum team respects rules, enable transparency at work, abide Scrum values, and practice empiricism.

What’s the role of a Scrum Master in delivery?

Scrum Master commit to the sprint goal, make strategies with the team to meet the goal, and help them stay focused by removing impediments.

What facilitation means?

As a facilitator, my job is to facilitate Scrum events such as sprint planning, review, and retrospective whenever needed to achieve maximum value. Although my most time goes in facilitating team decisions and sometimes I also facilitate conflict resolution.

How a Scrum Master enable transparency?

Scrum Artifacts are there for transparency, and I ensure those artifacts are up to date, visible and help everyone get actual updates at any given point of time.

How do you deal with conflict within the team?

Self-managed team resolves their conflict themselves. Sometimes I do facilitate conflict resolution, but when the team requests to facilitate.

Why a full-time Scrum Master needed?

Scrum doesn’t mandate to have a full-time scrum master, but part-time scrum masters struggle with task-switch and can’t focus on scrum mastery. Most part-time scrum masters only focus on facilitating scrum events and impediment resolution and hardly spend time teaching, mentoring, and coaching.

What do you do to keep technical debts as low as possible?

I teach teams on consequences of technical debt, teach, mentor, coach them on engineering practices to reduce technical debts. These engineering practices covers test first, TDD, refactoring, simple design and code reviews, etc.

What is story point, and why is it better than person-days?

Story point is a relative estimation technique based on the wideband Delphi method. It is base on effort, uncertainty, and complexity of work. Person-days estimation is an absolute estimate, usually based on past experiences. A team does the work in scrum rather than an individual. The team has collective ownership, and work can get done by anyone in the team. It is difficult to agree to one number as the team member’s experiences may vary. Having range helps in coming up with estimates faster that helps in forecasting.

What you do to minimize obstruction to ensure the team focuses on their commitment?

I help the team draw a boundary by coaching on self-management, but I also help stakeholders by opening the door to reach out to the team. I educate stakeholders on the best way to reach out to the team is to go through the product owner and get their work listed in the product owner. If the product owner sees value in the requested work and the product owner will get it added to the product backlog.

How a Scrum Master motivate teams?

Scrum Masters need not do anything special to motivate the team. Right adoption of scrum enables autonomy, helps the team gain mastery, and sets a purpose for doing work in the sprint.

What kind of services a Scrum Master provides to the Product Owner and Organization?

As per the Scrum Guide and my experience, the scrum master serves the product owner in several ways, including understanding the need for clear and concise Product Backlog items, establishing empirical product planning for a complex environment, and facilitating stakeholder collaboration as requested or needed.

The Scrum Master serves the organization by leading, training, and coaching the organization in its Scrum adoption.

When mentoring and coaching needed?

Mentoring becomes a must during role transition, such as program manager transition to the product owner role or architect’s role in the development team. Scrum Masters should prepare a mentoring program and execute either themselves or with the management team to have a smooth role transition. Scrum masters should be champions in coaching conversions to enable critical thinking within and outside the scrum team. Coaching helps the team to move from self-organization to self-management.

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Author's Bio

We are a team of Professional Scrum Trainers (PST) and Enterprise Agile coaches actively working as Scrum Trainers, Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters/Product Owners aimed at delivering quality and consistency for our students across the globe.