5 Must-Have Qualities of a Great Scrum Master
The Scrum Master organizes the team in the process of developing the plan, trains the team in order to implement the methodology, and removes obstacles in the implementation of the methodology and the overall project development.
We should point out that the Scrum master is a role in the Scrum environments, (not a job position), so people that have other job positions can be a Scrum master: the project manager, the team leader, the senior team-member, etc. It is up to the Scrum master character, the team’s dynamics and the company working style. In other non-Scrum environments people like project managers, team leaders, senior team members can fulfill partially, (or completely) the role of a Scrum master.
We will elaborate some useful tips that will tell you how to assist your team to succeed, and how to perform the role of Scrum master with a great success.
1. Always think about your team
To be a successful Scrum master you should adopt new management prospective (and not the classical approach).
It is well-elaborated in the literature that “The scrum master is the conscious of the Scrum team”.
If we compare to the real life, whenever our mind works faster – we can fix errors more quickly and get back to the right track in case we floated. When our mind is more “sleepy” – the more deviations we will do from the right track without having any guilt feeling.
The Scrum master should enforce this “awaken mind”, that will alarm the people which are deviating from the right path, and to guide them to the right path again.
You should activate an alarm when people neglect the Scrum events, when the events do not reach their purposes, when the company does not respect the team, when the product owner tries to overload the team, when people do not respect the values, when the team gets busy with personal conflicts and forgets the main goal.
You can also remind yourself of many other situations where wise action and fast mind are required.
2. Provide Service to other team members
As a Scrum master you will have the managerial role during the project development. Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that the project is carried out according to the rules, values and processes of Scrum, and it is progressing as planned. Scrum Master cooperates with the project team, the client and managers. It will be your responsibility to ensure that all obstacles are removed from the project, so as to ensure maximum productivity.
As a leader you should be helpful, honest, and transparent, and to put the benefits of your team ahead of your own benefits. Also you will assist the team to achieve high-valued results, and to establish self-organization practices.
3. Have an Agile mind and share the agile values.
Scrum teams are self-organizing teams and therefore all team members should share some common values. These values include: respect, openness, courage, focus and commitment.
Scrum teams also share empirical thinking principles: adaptation, inspection and transparency.
All Scrum masters should apply these qualities and values in their everyday work, and they should clearly understand the importance of being honest and transparent, to respect all team members, to be open to new ideas and changes. As a Scrum master – you should believe in these values, you should transfer them to the team and the whole organization, and finally you should live with them.
4. Control the process while tending for continuous improvement.
As the project goes in an advanced stage, the next iterations will become simpler and you can predict next steps more accurately. The Scrum master should convince all team members about the benefits of using Scrum; you should defend the process and make sure it is applied properly so your team and the organization will get benefit from it.
The Scrum master is responsible for permanent improvement of the development process, and for the quality of the product and the productivity of the team.
You should organize and attend all Scrum events; you should carefully consider the scrum artifacts, and let the team to optimize the process and their performance step by step in every subsequent sprint.
Even if you don’t use Scrum methodology, but any other project management approach – you should tend to improve it step by step.
5. Improve your knowledge
In today’s world – things and systems are changing on a daily basis and if we do not adapt it will mean that we are going back. The Scrum master should always improve the team’s capacity and it can be done only by continuous learning and improving his own skills and knowledge, in order to transmit these skills and knowledge to our team.