[ACCEPTED]-What does a scrum master do all day?-methodology
Unfortunately we don't have the luxury of 3 having dedicated scrum masters. I am also 2 a team leader and senior developer which 1 more than fills the day.
I typically am on Stack Overflow all day. Oh, and I try 1 to co-ordinate lunches.
The key to the ScrumMaster role is to remove 1 impediments.
The ScrumMaster/ Iteration Manager
- Builds the Release Plan
- Builds the Scrum/ Iteration Plan
- Plans and hosts the
- Scrum/ Iteration Planning Meetings
- Show & Tells
- Release Planning Meetings
- Owns the blocker board and actively works with the team to identify and remove blockers
- Updates the team WIKI
- Updates Big Visible Charts in the team room including the story card wall
- Participates in the daily standup
- Participates in the daily Scrum of Scrums
The ScrumMaster/ Iteration 5 Manager is also the sheep dog, that is they 4 protect the team (herd). Finally, the ScrumMaster/ Iteration 3 Manager is the point of contact for the 2 team to external resources but primarily 1 the Project Manager.
"acts as a buffer between the team and any 9 distracting influences"
That is a full time 8 job. There are a bunch of people who would 7 love to get information from the team and 6 it is the SM to handle those questions. To 5 do that job well, it is important to be 4 proactive, not reactive. Therefore they 3 should be keeping all the wheels running 2 smoothly. It is an amazing transformation 1 when the SM is working well.
I think there will be as many answers to 23 this question as there are people to answer 22 it. On a small team with dedicated people 21 who mostly know what they doing, the role 20 of SM is almost invisible; on a larger team 19 trying to cope with vague requirements and 18 power struggles the SM will be highly visible 17 and probably never have a moment to themselves, as 16 they will become the lightning conductor 15 for all the frustrations of the team (and 14 stakeholders outside it).
There's no substitute 13 for knowing what you want to achieve and 12 having a small team of people who know how 11 to achieve it. If you have that, and you 10 "adopt SCRUM", you will probably be convinced 9 quickly that being a Scrum Master is easy. But 8 if instead you have a big mess of a team, and 7 an undefined goal, and a lot of political 6 fighting going on, and you "adopt SCRUM", you 5 will probably come away thinking that being 4 a Scrum Master is a full-time (perhaps impossible) job 3 requiring a combination of very rare talents. Most 2 real teams are probably somewhere between 1 these extremes.
Please note: this question and answer is 22 over twelve years old. The consensus understanding 21 of the role of scrum master has moved on 20 massively since then and so I no longer 19 view this as a valid answer to the question, let 18 alone one worthy of being the accepted answer. By 17 all means downvote it. Beyond that, pay 16 it no heed.
The Scrum Master will do things 15 like ensuring scrums occur, organising sprint 14 planning meetings, retrospectives etc. Also 13 (s)he will be able to explain to management 12 what the team is doing and why the team 11 members cannot be poached off onto other 10 projects until the sprint finishes. Beyond 9 that, there aren't really any defined tasks 8 for the Scrum Master. So one person should 7 easily be able to be Scrum Master for 3 6 teams, and still have time left over to 5 either do management type jobs (holiday 4 requests, procedures, attending boring meetings 3 with directors or whatever), or be free 2 to contribute to the development resources 1 of the team.
While ScrumMaster is a role within the Scrum 14 framework, the individual fulfilling that 13 role must be a member of the Team. In Scrum, Team members should at all costs be full time. Team 12 members should be able to pick up tasks 11 on the Sprint backlog. They might be development 10 tasks, testing tasks, configuring the CI 9 server tasks, etc... If you can't contribute 8 to the burndown then why be on the team? Buggering off and joining another team is the last thing any self respecting ScrumMaster should do. ScrumMasters 7 should be servant leaders that are embedded with and dedicated to their 6 Team and product. ScrumMaster is a role 5 on a Team, not a job title. I disagree with 4 those that think you can be a ScrumMaster 3 on more than one project at a time and still 2 be world class. The fact is, that's just 1 not Scrum.
First and foremost: remove impediments.
It is best if a Scrum 12 Master is dedicated to one team, so that 11 impediments are removed as soon as possible. Some 10 of this can be done proactively, for example 9 by pushing the PO to analyze certain stories 8 better for the next Sprint.
If there is extra 7 time available it is convenient if the SM 6 has some skills that can make him function 5 as a developer or tester on the team. I've 4 seen good result with SM's that delegate 3 as much as possible to a (classical) project 2 manager and focus on development most of 1 their time.
To make a long story short, the Scrum Master 5 is responsible for making things happen. And 4 in practice it is often the case that the 3 Scrum Master is actually a project manager 2 in disguise. At least that's the case in 1 my company.
Working on this basis, and the fact that 13 most businesses are running 2-3 projects 12 at a time, what actual work tasks does 11 a SM do to fill a full time job?
Anything 10 within their skillset to help the Team achieve 9 the goal.
Or, is it not a full time job and that 8 individual do other things such as development, sales 7 etc?
ScrumMaster was not originally intended 6 to be a full time job. ScrumMaster is a 5 role fulfilled by someone on the Team. That 4 team member is dedicated to the product 3 full time. So, when he\she is not doing 2 ScrumMaster duties they default back to 1 burning down tasks on the Sprint Backlog.
Everything and anything that developers 4 need to keep being productive. Order pizza. Go 3 talk to admins, management, other teams. Do 2 bureaucracy kind of stuff. Fix the build 1 server if no one else's available.
The key word here is that a Scrum Master's 25 role is a facilitator's role. And as someone 24 rightly mentioned up there his most important 23 job is to ensure seamless distraction free 22 environment for his team, which means removing 21 impediments, making sure his team has whatever 20 they need at all times. Scrum master is 19 a link between the Product team and the 18 Development team. The decision making is 17 done by the TEAM and not Scrum master. It 16 is bad idea to share one Scrum Master between 15 multiple teams as requirement of one team 14 may be an impediment for the other team 13 and hence defies the whole purpose of a 12 Scrum Master. Also it is very dangerous 11 to have your Manager as your Scrum master 10 as the pressure of delivery on the manager 9 may force him to micro manage which is a 8 killer for any scrum team. Other than the 7 regular stuff which is
- Arrange Sprint planning and retrospectives
- Facilitate daily standups Arrange
- Demo's at the end of sprint iteration
- Address team's concerns mentioned at the standups
A few important things 6 that a Scrum Master has to manage on a day 5 to day basis is
- Foresee and remove any distractions for the team before even it hits the team.
- Encourage team to communicate more
- Maintain constant communication with product team to check what needs to be done in preparation for future sprints
- Make sure the team follows the processes they have collectively agreed upon as sometimes during sprint busyness some processes slip through the crack
- Constantly find ways on how to improve the processes followed by the team
Most importantly a Scrum 4 Master has to standby and support his team.
All 3 this work takes up a lot of time and does 2 require a dedicated Scrum Master who performs 1 no other role.
Scrum Master is like the mother bear for 16 the team. They look after the team's health 15 (project wise), protect them from pesky 14 outsiders and remove any obstacles for the 13 team. I play ScrumMaster for my team but 12 I am also a development lead (for the same 11 team!) who takes part in technical discussions, design 10 discussions, coordinating between the developers 9 and QA on our team(if they arent already 8 doing it themselves). I do try and take 7 on actual development tasks to burn the 6 chart down when time is available.
Isnt it 5 extremely distracting for the ScrumMaster 4 to play that role in multiple teams. God 3 I would find that confusing. Which impediment 2 is blocking which team again?? Wait who 1 was working on this task??
A Scrum Master role implemented correctly, is 17 invaluable to the Project and should not 16 be look upon as a Part time role. The most 15 important aspect of the role is to act as 14 an obstacle remover for any queries raised 13 in the Scrum meetings by the Development 12 Teams. A Technical Scrum Master (which is 11 what most SMs tend to be) should not be 10 a Developer on the team, but should be able 9 to advise on design and solutions (an extension 8 to pair programming if you will).
They are 7 responsible for updating the ProductBackLog 6 (stories should be created by the business), SprintBackLog 5 and BurnLog and for liasing with the business 4 and IT Management on progress. They also 3 manage a SpikeLog for any items that require 2 investigation that may evolve into Stories 1 (again driven by the business).
As drivendevelopment implies, the ScrumMaster 19 is a full team member and thus should be 18 full time. I generally treat my role as 17 "ensuring the team functions as a well oiled 16 machine", which can have a number of meanings 15 at different times. Frequently, a SM spends 14 a lot of time facilitating the team's interactions 13 with people outside the team, especially 12 those related to business analysis and stakeholder 11 expectations. Beyond that, it is a matter 10 of meeting the mechanical items listed by 9 Cam and looking after the physical and emotional 8 state of the team.
Related to one of the 7 earlier answers, one of the fundamental 6 aspects I insist on is that no member of 5 the team is a direct report to me, nor to 4 each other. This precludes things like vacation 3 time, expenses, etc from being part of my 2 job, but goes a long way towards not cluttering 1 the trust relationship that must exist.
As generally understood priority # 1 on 13 scrum-master list is to remove impediments 12 as reported by team. But this should not 11 stop here, he should constantly look out 10 for potential impediments.. and more importantly 9 impediments that are there but not yet identified. Ken 8 said Impediments are opportunities. So scrum-master should avail these opportunities all day along to bring his team(s) to hyper productivity.
Ultimately 7 purpose of scrum is to bring success to 6 projects. Purpose of having a scrum-master 5 is to ensure that scrum succeed in fulfilling 4 purpose of scrum. Now to to fulfill purpose 3 of scrum-master, he/she must think & act 2 at strategic level as well. This is full-time 1 job.
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