Agile Software Development

What Is the Scrum Master’s Duty?

We can all benefit from a reset to our expectations from time to time. For instance, there are lots of different ways that people view scrum masters, and not all of the perceptions are accurate. In a post for Voices on Project Management, Christian Bisson briefly overviews all the right and wrong ways that people picture scrum masters.

The Real Identity

Bisson has heard of people describing scrum masters as “elves of happiness,” as “coordinators,” or simple as “useless.” The elves-of-happiness notion comes from the misperception that agile is all about aimless hippy-esque love and togetherness. Of course, agile is anything but aimless, so that cannot be right. Scrum masters are not mere coordinators either, in that it would be wrong to think they are just the people who report on team status to the product owner. And I think we can all agree without long conversation that capable scrum masters are never “useless.”

If those are the falsehoods, then this is what Bisson says scrum masters actually do:

  • Help teams grow
  • Facilitate anything
  • Keep the focus on the right place

Alright, there is an element of elves of happiness in there, but it is strictly in the pursuit of strengthening the team and better pursuing objectives. This what Bisson says about helping teams grow:

One of the scrum master’s main tasks is to educate the team with agile principles, but also to help the team become self-sufficient. In a way, their main duty is to actually become useless as the team becomes more mature.

Scrum masters can do so by sharing agile knowledge and by coaching teams as they go through retrospectives where the team is motivated to talk about how they can improve.

Hmm. In that case, maybe there is merit to the argument of calling them useless after all. Nonetheless! Share this information around if you know someone who has the wrong idea about scrum masters.

You can view the original post here:

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