A Scrum Master is a professional team leader who uses Agile project management techniques to see a project through to completion. A Scrum Master facilitates communication and collaboration between upper management and team members to ensure a successful project outcome.

What does a Scrum Master do?

Scrum is the term used to describe an Agile framework used for developing complex projects, most often software. The Agile framework methodology works in short development cycles, or sprints, to continuously improve a product or service.

Scrum is a popular Agile framework applied to the development process of fast-moving projects. The methodology is highly collaborative and the success of the process relies upon the expertise of the Scrum Master.

While Agile methodologies are associated with tech development, the role of Scrum Master has come to apply in every industry across various levels of business development.

A Scrum Master differs from a project manager. Project managers focus on the logistics of a project, such as the budget, timelines and communications. A Scrum Master focuses on team dynamics, interpersonal communication between leaders and workers and how teams can use their skills and knowledge to build success.

Overall, a Scrum Master uses Agile project management principles to champion a project, teams, and team members. A Scrum Master is a motivational force. The expectations of the role change depending on the project, but duties include:

  • Supporting team members in their tasks
  • Facilitating open discussion and conflict resolution
  • Leading project meetings, reviews, demos, and other project-related meetings
  • Coaching the team on Scrum principles and best practices
  • Updating activities in a project management tracking tool
  • Proactively identify and resolve issues

Scrum Master skills

Effective Scrum Masters often have common workplace skills. These skills can be learned, but in many cases are well-honed over years of experience.

  • Problem-solving skills to navigate complex projects.
  • Adaptability to make sudden changes for project success.
  • Motivational skills to encourage team members in productivity.
  • Communication skills that facilitate easy collaboration between team members and upper management.
  • Organization skills to manage multiple tasks, meetings, resources, and priorities.
  • Proficiency in specific technical skills related to Agile management and software development.

Why Do You Need a Scrum Master?

A Scrum Master can play an integral role in a company’s success. They bring a level of expertise and focus to a development project. Their role is to encourage teams, foster creativity and drive projects forward in manageable steps. They work closely with project managers, who keep budgets, deadlines and logistics on track.

A scrum master is often a person who is already part of your team and who shows an aptitude for leadership, a depth of knowledge about the project you want to launch, and a good relationship with colleagues.

A scrum master can take your creative plans for technical development from the planning stages to launch with a team who are supported, on-task and engaged with the project.