Magdalena Czech – Customer-success-oriented agile enthusiast with 7+ years of experience in product development, design and team management at tech companies. Specializing in building strong, self-organizing teams delivering high-quality outcomes with maximum business value. With ITDS since 2022.
In the simplest terms – a Scrum Master is responsible for the right implementation and use of scrum in a given organisation and a team. But what is scrum, anyway? Scrum is a way of conducting projects and developing applications which aims at maximising the achieved value.
With scrum, we have a certain “set” of events, roles and values which construct the way we work and the way we approach software development. A Scrum Master helps understand and implement these elements, so that the team and various processes can be as effective as possible.
Working in scrum is based on the so-called sprints – fixed, repetitive cycles of work. A sprint can last for 1-4 weeks, and it results in a value increment which was previously defined and planned with the business unit. As a part of the methodology, we receive several events and artefacts. The most important ones include: sprint retrospective, sprint planning, daily scrum, product or sprint backlog, and increment. A person responsible for defining the product value, requirements and, more broadly, its vision and contact with the business is a Product Owner, whereas the Development Team is responsible for producing the planned value at the end of a sprint.
Everyday work of a Scrum Master strongly depends on the team’s development level, as well as product maturity and business environment. However, the basic parts of the Scrum Master’s day will definitely include: conducting and facilitating team meetings, supporting the Product Owner in the process of managing and planning a product, supporting the team in daily problems and solving them.
What is the best strategy to become a Scrum Master if you do not have any experience? It is a good idea to get some solid theoretical knowledge, starting with checking out a Scrum “handbook” – the Scrum Guide and widely accessible online resources (podcasts or blogs run by Scrum Masters / Agile Coaches, or organisations and associations which promote agile software). Summing up your knowledge by passing the PSM 1 examination (scrum.org) will definitely give you an advantage. It is currently one of the most commonly required certificates listed in job ads.
If you are a beginner or an aspiring Scrum Master, it will certainly be a good idea for you to implement the scrum elements in your current team, even if it is not really IT-related. Many of the solutions known from the scrum theory support work organisation and are applicable in many or even most areas. A smart implementation and measurement of used elements will be a great conversation topic with your future employer. Another effective way of becoming a Scrum Master is to start your adventure in a scrum team in a different role: a developer team member or a Product Owner. In this case, you can take over some of the Scrum Master’s responsibilities and see for yourself whether it is the right path for you – and then change your role gradually.