What is a Scrum Master?

Learn About the Role of the Scrum Master

Servant LeadershipAs described in the Scrum Guide, the Scrum Master is responsible for promoting and supporting Scrum. Scrum Masters do this by helping everyone understand Scrum theory, practices, rules, and values.

The Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Scrum Team. The Scrum Master helps those outside the Scrum Team understand which of their interactions with the Scrum Team are helpful and which aren’t. The Scrum Master helps everyone change these interactions to maximize the value created by the Scrum Team.

Roles a Scrum Master Plays

Service to the Product Owner

Sprint Planning Workflow
                    Sprint Planning Workflow Example

The Scrum Master serves the Product Owner in several ways, including:

  • Ensuring that goals, scope, and product domain are understood by everyone on the Scrum Team as well as possible.
  • Finding techniques for effective Product Backlog management.
  • Helping the Scrum Team understand the need for clear and concise Product Backlog items.
  • Understanding product planning in an empirical environment.
  • Ensuring the Product Owner knows how to arrange the Product Backlog to maximize value.
  • Understanding and practicing agility.
  • Facilitating Scrum events as requested or needed.

     

Scrum Master Service to the Development Team

The Scrum Master serves the Development Team in several ways, including:

  • Coaching the Development Team in self-organization and cross-functionality.
  • Helping the Development Team to create high-value products.
  • Removing impediments to the Development Team’s progress.
  • Facilitating Scrum events as requested or needed.
  • Coaching the Development Team in organizational environments in which Scrum is not yet fully adopted and understood.Project Definition

Scrum Master Service to the Organization

The Scrum Master serves the organization in several ways, including:

  • Leading and coaching the organization in its Scrum adoption;
  • Planning Scrum implementations within the organization;
  • Helping employees and stakeholders understand and enact Scrum and empirical product development;
  • Causing change that increases the productivity of the Scrum Team; and,
  • Working with other Scrum Masters to increase the effectiveness of the application of Scrum in the organization.

Scrum Master Learning Path

Already a Scrum Master or ready to start your journey?  Visit our Scrum Master Learning Path to take a guided tour through suggested resources for continued learning for Scrum Masters.

Scrum Master Training

PSM I LogoThe Professional Scrum Master (PSM) course is a 2-day course where students learn how to use Scrum to optimize value, productivity and the total cost of ownership of software products. Tools are provided to enable students to relate to behavioral shifts, work with people and teams, coach and facilitate techniques, and address the organization.

PSM II LogoThe Professional Scrum Master II (PSM II) course is a 2-day Advanced Scrum Master course designed to support experienced Scrum Masters in their professional journeys.  This course is a combination of instruction and facilitated exercises looking at the challenges that Scrum Masters face and how the principles and values of Scrum help them to deal with those situations. 

Scrum Master Certification

Scrum.org provides 3 levels of Professional Scrum Master certification.  

  • PSM level I demonstrates a fundamental level of Scrum mastery.
  • PSM level II demonstrates an advanced level of Scrum mastery.
  • PSM level III demonstrates a distinguished level of Scrum mastery.