This is a small investigation of what the scrum master role includes to hopefully make that feeling of uncertainty go away.
"Some people tend to think that a ScrumMaster is just a facilitator, but they basically ignore that a ScrumMaster is, first of all, a coach."
So, after skimming some, reading some and analyzing some of the content that the links goes to this is my summary of the responsibilities of the scrum master. There could absolutely be more points and on a deeper level, but this suits my needs at the moment.
- Learn scrum, keep updated and teach the team.
- Find and act on warning signs.
Daily stand-ups are one possibility for noticing warning signs about something not rolling as it should.
The burn-down chart another, is it too flat, why? Is there any impediments? Can they be solved? Is there a need to spread knowledge to avoid being too dependent on a single team member?
Is the burn-down too steep? Why?
- Keeping an eye on the process. Does it run smoothly, does the team follow the agreed process? For example, are stories worked on in correct prio order? Do team members help each other?
- And yes, facilitation of meetings and identifying any infrastructure impediments like need of licenses or servers.
- Help the Product Owner with the product backlog, like making sure stories are clear, of right size and assist if there are any doubts about prioritization.
- Information radiation. Important information should be visible to all stakeholders. Increases the transparency.
I´m on a new job. Another company just beginning its trip on the path to agility. I´ve been researching more and I think I´ve found the best scrum master description so far.
This is the first part of the description of the scrum master role in the scrum primer:
The ScrumMaster helps the product group learn and apply Scrum to achieve business value. The ScrumMaster does whatever is in their power to help the Team, Product Owner and organization be successful. The ScrumMaster is not the manager of the Team members, nor are they a project manager, team lead, or team representative. Instead, the ScrumMaster serves the Team; he or she helps to remove impediments, protects the Team from outside interference, and helps the Team to adopt modern development practices. He or she educates, coaches and guides the Product Owner, Team and the rest of the organization in the skillful use of Scrum. The ScrumMaster is a coach and teacher. The ScrumMaster makes sure everyone (including the Product Owner, and those in management) understands the principles and practices of Scrum, and they help lead the organization through the often difficult change required to achieve success with agile development. Since Scrum makes visible many impediments and threats to the Team’s and Product Owner’s effectiveness, it is important to have an engaged ScrumMaster working energetically to help resolve those issues, or the Team or Product Owner will find it difficult to succeed. There should be a dedicated full-time ScrumMaster, although a smaller Team might have a team member play this role (carrying a lighter load of regular work when they do so). Great ScrumMasters can come from any background or discipline: Engineering, Design, Testing, Product Management, Project Management, or Quality Management.