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The Scrum Master beyond Technical Lead

The Scrum Master seeks to ensure that the team respects and follows the values and practices of Scrum. It also protects the development team by making sure that they do not over commit themselves to what they are capable of during a sprint. They acts as a facilitator of the Development Team and become responsible for removing any obstacles that may be raised by the Team during these meetings.

The role of Scrum Master is typically exercised by a technical leader, but in principle, the Scrum Master can be anyone capable on the development team.

The responsibilities of Scrum Master

Scrum Master is responsible for helping everyone involved understand and embrace Scrum values, principles and practices. Also, he or she acts as a coach, running the lead in the process and helping the Scrum Team (and the rest of the organisation) develop their best-performing Scrum approach, respecting the particularities of the organisation.

Scrum Master also has a facilitator role that helps the team solve problems and make improvements in using Scrum. It is also responsible for protecting the team against external interference and assumes a leading role in removing impediments that may disrupt productivity.

Usually, the ScrumMaster does not have the authority to exercise control over the team, so this role is not the same as the traditional function of the Project Manager or Development Manager. ScrumMaster acts as a leader, not as a manager.

The Scrum Protector

As the name implies, the Scrum Master should be the team’s greatest authority on the subject, must know and master Scrum practices and values very well, so as to disseminate it into the group.

Because of this knowledge, he or she should ensure that all participants in the process also know these principles, often acting as a teacher, and must make sure that everyone respects and follows the framework.

This function is essential so that the Scrum Team do not lose these values and practices during the development process, which can occur due to external pressures on the team and deliveries.

Scrum Master as a servant leader

The servant leader is the one who is ALWAYS present in the day to day of his team, sharing success, failure, difficulties, acting as a facilitator to the company, knowing how to listen and how to speak.

The traditional boss is that individual who works in an authoritarian way, where the only criterion is what the organisation wants. The boss still has that figure of an important person without much empathy for the staff his way of asking is like the boss, his way of changing is threatening and hearing a professional from his team is something very complicated for the boss since he never has time.

As you can see, there is a difference between a leader server and a traditional boss. Moreover, it is precisely in this context that the Scrum Master comes in, which ends up making a servant leadership within the companies.

Usually, a servant leader (or a Scrum Master!) has the following behaviours, which sets him apart from others:

  • Feel committed to creating at all times a good experience for team members, with good attitudes;
  • Individually accompanies and assists each member of the team;
  • Keeps informed of everything that is related to the team and knows each of the collaborators very well. Keeps the team connected to each other;
  • Has the habit of anticipating individual and group needs. Do not expect them to question, act proactively;
  • Always show gratitude for the collaboration received;
  • Has a strong sense of justice and ethics.

In this article, I have tried to show behavioural facets that go beyond the software developmental processes, since they are behaviours that typically a good Scrum Master possesses and their relation and influence on the Development Team.