What is a Scrum Master?
The ScrumMaster is the team role responsible for ensuring the team understands agile values and principles and, follows the processes and practices that the team agreed they would use. The ScrumMaster does anything possible to help the team perform at their
highest level. This involves removing any impediments to progress, facilitating meetings, and working with the product owner to make sure the product backlog is in good shape and ready for the next sprint.
Key Agile/Scrum Strengths:
- Exhibits Lean-Agile leadership – Exhibits the behaviors of a Lean-Agile Leader with a Lean-Agile Mindset. Helps the team embrace SAFe Core Values, adopt and apply SAFe Principles, and implement SAFe practices.
- Supports the team rules – The rules of an Agile Team are lightweight, but they are rules nonetheless, and the Scrum Master is responsible for reinforcing them. These may include the rules of Scrum, Built-In Quality practices from Extreme Programming (XP), Work in Process (WIP) limits from Kanban, and any other process rules the team has agreed.
- Facilitates the team’s progress toward team goals – The Scrum Master is trained as a team facilitator and is continuously engaged in challenging the old norms of development to improve performance in the areas of quality, predictability, flow, and velocity. They help the team focus on daily and Iteration Goals in the context of current Program Increment (PI) Objectives.
- Leads team efforts in relentless improvement – Helps the team improve and take responsibility for their actions; facilitates the team retrospective. Teaches problem-solving techniques and helps the team become better problem-solvers for themselves.
- Facilitates meetings – Facilitates all team meetings, including (where applicable) the Daily Stand-up, Iteration Planning, Iteration Review, and Iteration Retrospective.
- Eliminates impediments – Many blocking issues will be beyond the team’s authority or may require support from other teams. The Scrum Master actively addresses these issues so that the team can remain focused on achieving the objectives of the Iteration.
- Promotes SAFe quality practices – SAFe provides guidance to assist the teams in constantly improving the quality of their deliverables and meeting the Definition of Done (DoD). The Scrum Master helps foster the culture of technical discipline and craftsmanship that is the hallmark of effective Agile teams.