Having recently become a certified scrum master, I have been thinking about what being a Scrum Master really entails. I’ll start with the definition. There are a number of frameworks that exist under the overarching “Agile project delivery banner” and the most widely known and used is known as Scrum.

The term scrum originated from the sport, rugby– it does not involve 2 teams locking heads to restart a rugby game, but relates to the way in which projects are delivered, and is in reference to the stop-start manner in which each section of the project is managed. Scrumalliance.org definition “Scrum is an agile framework for completing complex projects, originally formalised for software development projects, but also works well for any complex, innovative scope of work. The possibilities are endless. The Scrum framework is deceptively simple.”

What Makes the Role of a Scrum Master Important in Projects?

The role of a scrum master is as a facilitator for a product development team using scrum as a development framework so that teams can self-organise and make changes quickly. The scrum master manages the process for how information is exchanged. In other words, the scrum master’s role is to ensure that the project sticks to the objectives and ensures efficient communication exists between the scrum team.

As someone who has considerable experience in the traditional risk and up front planning methodologies, the role of a scrum master comes both as a culture and mind-set “shock”. It goes against many of the principles I am used to applying. There is no upfront risk management or planning all of which is done in near real time via time boxed events known as sprints. As each sprint commences the plans and risks are identified and worked on during that sprint. The advantage of this approach is that although there is adaptability and flexibility inherit within it, the traditional concept of control comes in the form of time boxed events. Risk mitigation is turned into stories, yes stories, strange notion but once involved it becomes clear.

In the past I have been engaged with the delivery of software development projects but I have no formal certification, however, recently that changed after being certified as a professional scrum master via the scrum.org portal by passing the online exam. The material is all contained within the scrum guide, downloadable from the scrum.org portal. The infamous phrase “fail to prepare, prepare to fail” is no less prevalent here.

It’s a great feeling to achieve the recognition that certification brings!

Do you want to speak to Xceed Group about managing your project in an Agile way? Contact us, we will be delighted to help.