A Quick Guide to Hiring the Right Scrum Master for Your Project
The agile development has increased its popularity over the past years. First, it appeared in the software engineering but it disseminated to other fields as well. This methodology is important for managing of different project types, so we are exposing here some good agile practices. The most important of them are:
- Iterative development: the software is developed during one unit of time (usually from 1 to 4 weeks) that is called iteration. Each iteration is a complete software project, including requirements, design, coding, testing and documentation.
- Product backlog: it is a list of features and properties expected of the final product. Features on the list are arranged in order of priority from most important to least important. The project can be defined to implement big tasks that are divided into several smaller ones.
- Time boxes: the term Sprint represents the period lasting from 15 to 30 days (the length is determined by the team), in which the team creates software product (increment). There are also time-stiffed Scrum meetings, with duration about 10-15 minutes each day.
- Customer collaboration: the client of the software product is always informed about the progress of the project and he decides (together with the team) what should be done in the next sprint. This permanent interaction between the team and the client will ensure that the client will get all the required functionalities.
What is a Scrum master?
The Scrum master is a role in the Agile 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. The team’s dynamics and the company working style are up to the Scrum master’s character. 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.
The Scrum master is responsible for the permanent improvement of the development process, and for the quality of the product and the productivity of the team. 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 to the implementation of the methodology and the overall project development.
What does Scrum master do?
The Scrum master 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 their responsibility to ensure that all obstacles are removed from the project, so as to ensure maximum productivity. Scrum teams are self-organized teams that usually 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.
The Scrum master does not hold the sole responsibility for the project. If something goes wrong, the entire team is also responsible. That is how this project manager differs from other managers. In reality, they just ease change when it comes to the project. If they fail in this duty, it is difficult for the team to work well together.
Contract Scrum master VS permanent hire
If you need to employ a Scrum master for your organization, you have 2 basic options. First of all, you can engage someone on a permanent contract. That means that you will have to keep them on for a certain amount of time. Also, you might want to employ a person on a temporary basis. If you employ a contract Scrum master, it will allow you more resilience than you would usually have. That means that you can use the person for a short period, rather than committing to a long contract.
How can Scrum master add value to your project?
There are several ways in which a Scrum master can bring value to your project. First of all, as we already pointed out, they can speed up the project than it would otherwise be. They can also save you money and time in the long run. If you employ a professional, you can be sure that they will take the responsibility. That means that you don’t need to worry about a thing once they start working hard on your behalf. You should find someone with all the proper certificates so that you know who you can trust.
Finally, before you employ someone, you need to ensure that you ask them the right questions. One of the main things you should discover is whether they can communicate well. Of course, you can determine this part of their personality during the interview. You should ask the candidates how they would help other team members with their role. You also need to know how they oversee various functions and where they see themselves in a group. Scrum masters should be natural leaders. They should be confident, and never imperious. You should ask them how they deliver releases and how they define deadlines. This will help you to choose the real candidate for the Scrum master role.