A highly collaborative and well-managed scrum team is ideal for agile software development. With values like: courage, openness, commitment, and respect, these scrum teams feature a more collaborative and transparent management style organized to best complete the tasks at hand.
A scrum team consists of different roles which all work together to create a new product from start to finish. The scrum master is the person designated to keep group members focused on the project. The short sprint style, in which this software development methodology organizes and completes work, requires a scrum master to coach and push the team forward.
Because a scrum master is essential to an agile team, their role has many different obligations. They are often expected to provide a clear and coherent vision of the project, ongoing support and organization, clear documentation, and much more.
There are several ways that the scrum master is able to improve overall performance, while maintaining structure. Here are four of them:
- Strengthens Agility: Scrum teams need to be able to shape-shift and go with the project flow. Agile development came about in part as a response to deficiencies in the waterfall method. Software development with scrum focuses on the collaboration and organization of the entire team. As the leader of the team, the scrum master is tasked with helping the team work together while allowing for flexibility. Becoming agile and adaptable only improves the team’s ability to work with all of the issues that may arise over the course of a typical project.
- Increases Velocity: As a scrum master, it is your job to keep the software development team moving forward even with setbacks. Scrum masters work hard to encourage and support team members in their effort to deliver high quality results as efficiently as possible. This involves careful documentation, managing stakeholder expectations, providing realistic time estimates, and much more.
- Improves Communication: A scrum team is known for its collaborative approach to software development. Communication is at the heart of this collaboration. Daily scrum meetings are a great way to improve the team’s success. This meeting is typically brief but also extremely informative and helpful. Ongoing communication throughout the project is a trait all effective scrum masters share.
- Builds up Morale: A scrum master has a very important perspective on the team, focusing more globally on all the people involved on the project. Working together in a close-knit style, it’s necessary for the team to not only get a long, but to ideally develop trust and friendships. Creating an open environment where people feel valued is extremely important for the team. Even when things are going smoothly, it’s important to continually strive to improve morale, encouraging team members to support one another and to effectively work through conflict, if it arises.
While a scrum master may not be directly involved in coding software, user experience design, or QA testing, their role on an agile team is extremely important. Not only do they tend to understand the more granular day-to-day work expectations, but they also have the bigger aerial view of the project and all of the people involved.
While the scrum master may be the main leader of the team, other team members are encouraged to take responsibility and initiative for their work. Many have found that this collaborative and organized approach to software development offers the best in terms of leadership and project management.