A Day in the Life of a Scrum Master

A great Scrum Master…

  • Ensures the entire team supports the chosen Scrum process;
  • Manages the impediments that exceed the self-organizing capabilities of the team and it prevents them in achieving the Sprint Goal;
  • Recognizes healthy team conflict and promotes constructive disagreement;
  • Is prepared to be disruptive enough to enforce a change within the organization;
  • Understands the power of a self-organization;
  • Understands the value of a steady sprint rhythm and does everything to create and maintain it;
  • Knows how to truly listen and is comfortable with silence;
  • Understands the strength of coaching and has learned some powerful questions by heart;
  • Teaches the Product Owner how to maximize ROI and meet objectives;
  • Is also competent with XP, Kanban and Lean.

A day in the life of a Scrum Master:

  • Start the day with an open and curious mind (and in my case some good coffee)
  • A good first question to consider is “How can I improve the live of the Scrum Team by facilitating creativity and empowerment?”
  • Remember: your agenda is as good as empty! Except for the Daily Scrum and maybe some other Scrum events
  • You attend the Daily Scrum as an observer. You listen to what is and isn’t being said.
  • You consider some of the questions I’ve mentioned earlier.
  • Based on your observations you determine your next steps. This might be coaching, consulting, teaching, facilitating, mentoring, managing, problem solving, conflict navigating or… just sitting with the team, listening and watching the team.
  • Doing “nothing” is a perfect activity for a Scrum Master! The biggest pitfall for a Scrum Master is being too busy and not noticing what is really going on.

Author = Barry Overeem


What makes a good Scrum Master?

Here is what the Scrum Master is NOT:

  • Scrum Master is NOT a project manager
  • Scrum Master is NOT the boss
  • Scrum Master is NOT responsible for talking to stakeholders
  • Scrum Master is NOT the head that rolls in case of project failure
  • Scrum Master is NOT the person calling everyone to the scrum meetings

Here are 8 things that will benefit a good Scrum Master:

  1. Lots of experience! (Has done Scrum projects in the past)
  2. At ease with being inconvenient, annoying and a pita
  3. Ability to watch and listen
  4. No superior
  5. Servant leadership
  6. Empathy
  7. Communicative
  8. No fear (of superiors or being fired)

Author = Matthias Orgler (Hackernoon)


Scrum Master vs Project Manager: How are they different?

Article on roles & responsibilities of PM & SM.

Conclusion = Finally, it’s imperative that a Project Manager’s role is more of a Leadership role. While Scrum Master’s duties include more of facilitating and coaching role. With the advent of PMBOK 6th guide, the role of a Project Manager has become more diversified. A Project Manager’s approach is not only limited to the traditional waterfall as before. But now, he/she can apply incremental iterative models depending upon the scenario. An organization at an early stage of going agile may think – a Project Manager’s role can be transferred into Scrum Master – but it’s a myth. This is because both of these roles are far different in their respective responsibilities and approaches.

Author = Akit Rastogi (Grey Campus)