December 7, 2018

Do I Need Domain Knowledge to be an Amazing Scrum Master?

Domain knowledge

Does a Scrum Master really need technical business knowledge? If you’re trying to break in the world of Scrum, you might be asking yourself: Does a Scrum Master really need technical knowledge? Do they need business knowledge? I’m here to set the record straight.

It’s really common for a Scrum Master to come from a software development background or even project management. I’ve met a few that were business analysts or even quality assurance specialists. If this is you, you’ve already got a strong background because a former job required it.

Having a really broad background is extremely helpful because, well, software development teams working with businesses or working with technical teams in order to get value delivered by means of some sort of software or technical solution.  It’s equally important for a Scrum Master to have amazing people skills. They should have an understanding of what makes a team great. They should have a ton of curiosity. They should be patient. They should be self-starters.  And of course, they should always be looking for ways to improve everything.

While it may not be absolutely critical that a Scrum Master has a business or technical domain knowledge, it is absolutely essential that a Scrum Master knows Scrum. Take those words literally: “Scrum Master.” Would you call anyone a master that didn’t understand Scrum? You need to know how to apply Scrum. You need to know how to remove the impediments that prevent Scrum from being successful in an organization. You need to know how to challenge teams in new ways to elevate their performance well beyond what they ever could’ve imagined.

When becoming a Scrum Master, it’s really helpful to have a strong technical or business background. However, it isn’t absolutely required if you can get the job done.

And don’t forget, there are some great books every Scrum Master should read to be amazing at this job, so do check them out.