Scrum is known as an agile process framework focused on the management of small groups during projects, mainly centered around programming and software development. The main objective of a scrum master is to ensure that the team members follow specific parameters as they work through collaborative practices to finish a project. It focuses on a productive mindset in complex environments where flexibility, adaptability, speed, and motivation play a crucial factor in the result of such projects.
A scrum master decides, through a set of practices and roles, how much a project may take and if it’s possible to meet a deadline, and what the development process is going to be followed to finish the project. He or she will ensure that the team follows through, deciding the tasks of the team members.
Projects are usually completed through sprints, also known as goals. These goals are aimed to be completed in small time frames, going from one week to one month. This way, a scrum master makes sure that the project is going smoothly, and won’t have to deal with the problems when the project is almost completed, but face them head-on as they show up.
Check https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrum_(software_development) for more information about Scrum.
A Scrum Master’s Skillset
Since a scrum master has a role similar to a coach or a mentor. It has to make sure that the team follows through everything with the right mindset and proactivity, acting like a problem solver and a facilitator during a project.
With that said, the scrum master has to delegate the right task to the right team member. Ensure that each team member works independently in an organized matter with a team sense of responsibility.
It also organizes daily meetings, also called daily scrums, to discuss the progression of the project, problems, and changes that may arise, and possible solutions.
This way, a scrum master displays possible solutions as the sprint is developed, manages the group dynamics, and designs and enhances the group’s practices as they finish the project.
With that in mind, a good scrum master needs to have:
- High-level communication skills to develop ideas, problems, and possible solutions, and to communicate with team members
- Team management skills to organize the team as it progresses through a project
- High-motivation skills to keep their team members motivated and proactive
- Negotiation skills to ensure doable deadlines and productivity
Without these skills, a scrum master will hardly do a proper job.
Someone who wants to become a Certified scrum master requires a certificate that proves they are up to the task. That requires instruction to get the ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner) title.
Also known as a goal, iteration, or timebox, it can be described as the unit of development of a team. It can also be described as the time a team will be focusing on and developing a part of a project. The time length usually goes from 1 week to 1 month, most commonly being 2 weeks long.
A sprint is usually planned through a meeting where the team members and the scrum master plan a goal depending on the team’s skills, and it’s level of productivity. Team members accept what they think is doable within a certain period of time. The main goal of such a meeting is to decide for a deadline for such a project considering the sprints.
Each sprint then ends with a sprint review to check the progress of the sprint, show it to the customers or stakeholders, and examine potential improvements to the next sprint.
The scrum master essentially becomes the master of the sprint, since it decides a time-length, the tasks needed to be done, by who, and potential improvements and solutions for said tasks.
There’s a 1-hour long test featuring 80 questions at Scrum.org, and it certifies basic knowledge of Scrum and the role of the ScrumMaster. If more than 85% of the inquiries are answered correctly, you obtain the certification. Agile.coach – scrum master is a great option to prepare yourself for the test since they provide courses and teach you how to be a scrum master.
Having a scrum master certification is usually a must for anyone aiming to work for most management fields.
If you want to do an online course focusing on teaching how to be a scrum master, you don’t education per se, but it’s highly recommended to have practical experience in the management of projects or teams. This way, you’ll get the most out of them.
It’s different for the ACP certification, though. There are some pre-requisites you need to follow to be able to do the certification test.
- At least 2,000 hours of experience with group projects or working with teams.
- 1,500 hours with agile project teams in addition to the previously mentioned hours
- 21 contact hours of training in agile practices.