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What does a ScrumMaster do?

01/27/2010 by German Sakaryan

What does a ScrumMaster do?

Dr. German Sakaryan CSP, CSM

As a ScrumMaster, I was asked this question many times. Sometimes I had enough time to explain, sometimes not. But every time it was challenging to provide a clear picture of what a ScrumMaster really does.

To help myself and other ScrumMasters, I have started to write down general activities, which characterize the role of the ScrumMaster (see below).

The priority of activities varies by company.

  1. Keeps Scrum process running
  2. Ensures a proper power balance between PO, Team, Management
  3. Protects the Team
  4. Moderates in the Team
  5. Helps to organize (e.g., Meetings)
  6. Helps to keep the Team focused on the current Sprint
  7. Helps to achieve Sprint goals
  8. Works with PO
  9. Educates PO, Team, Management and Organization
  10. Solves impediments
  11. Encourages and helps to achieve transparency
  12. Strives to develop a Team into a High Performance Team
  13. Encourages and protects self-organization
  14. Educates and focuses a Team toward business-driven development
  15. Supports Team building and Team development by utilizing the abilities and skills of individuals, and fostering a Feedback culture
  16. Helps to self-help
  17. Ensures and supports Empowerment of the Team
  18. Addresses needs efficiently and effectively
  19. Detects hidden problems and strives to solve them
  20. Helps Team to learn from its experiences

Hints for management:

ScrumMaster is a very challenging job. If you are hiring someone for the position, consider which skills the ideal candidate would have.

In my opinion, the job profile is strongly oriented towards leadership and soft skills including moderation, facilitation, presentation, communication and conflict management, and less technically-oriented.