In a post titled "What does the ScrumMaster Do?"
(I recommend reading it; however, the post is in Portuguese), Rafael Auday, product manager at Concrete Solutions, says, "The ScrumMaster is focused on leveraging the work of the Scrum team, using his or her knowledge of Scrum, people skills, facilitation, communication, and conflict resolution, among others. The ScrumMaster helps the product owner and the development team to be more effective in carrying out the work."
If ScrumMasters are to help the development team to become effective, they always ask this question: Is a ScrumMaster with a technical profile more contributive or more prejudicial for a Scrum team? Must the ScrumMaster know the technical details that support the implementation of a product? The answer is no.
A ScrumMaster's basic knowledge must consist of the Scrum framework and its facilitation. But how many times in a Daily Scrum or in a sprint retrospective have you observed that the development team is taking too much time to deploy a process, or that some team member has suggested that the shared repository have version control? In addition, as the ScrumMaster, you have noticed an overcharge from your quality assurance analysts. For each problem identified, there is a technical solution that could help the team to improve the work.
Imagine that you are the ScrumMaster for a mobile project. If the terms continuous integration
, automated tests
, and pull
sound familiar to you, congratulations! You speak the same language as your team, understand the technical terms, and know, at least, where to begin solving a technical impediment. However, if these terms sound like Greek to you (and you do not speak Greek), it is time to start speaking your team's language. In my experience as a ScrumMaster, it is not cool to be the odd man out in a Scrum team.
I am not saying that you should be an expert in programming or be a technical Level 1 specialist to help your team improve its performance. Neither should you define the technical solutions your team must adopt. However, knowledge of the main concepts of Agile engineering and good practices will certainly help you and your team to achieve your main goal as Agile professionals and deliver the best product possible for your customers. After all, one of the 12 Agile principles says, "Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility."
At Concrete Solutions, we say that the work of a ScrumMaster has four main dimensions: Scrum Framework, Engineering, Removing Impediments, and Governance/Policy. Therefore, we believe that, at the very least, ScrumMasters should know the technical terms and good practices associated with Agile engineering.
The four dimensions of a ScrumMaster, according to Concrete Solutions
What do you think the answer should be? Should a good ScrumMaster have a technical profile? I'd like to hear your opinion.