Initially developed for IT solutions, scrum is a framework used to create, deliver, and maintain complex products or projects. The methodology has since expanded for other industries such as sales and government. It’s easy to learn more about the framework and the scrum master role with the help of an agile scrum tutorial online.
A scrum master is someone who promotes and supports scrum. He or she helps teams understand the scrum methodology, its practices, rules, and values. The scrum master leads and advocates the scrum team, breaking down goals and deliverables into actionable plans and stages.
Here are some of the best habits of highly effective scrum masters.
The most important scrum master role is to take charge.
When they say scrum masters are proactive, they don’t just mean doing whatever task needs doing. A considerable part of a scrum master’s proactivity is empowering the entire team to get things done.
It means not just being energized, but also actively transferring that energy to the rest of the team. You are ultimately responsible for ensuring that everyone knows the process, sees its value, and knows their role.
An agile scrum tutorial like the Agile Project Management: Scrum Step By Step With Examples can educate you on agile project management‘s step-by-step process. Learning the steps by heart equips you with the right knowledge to train your team and your clients on the nuances of the Agile process to get everyone on the same page.
Have a clear vision of the road ahead and the final destination
Any agile scrum tutorial will teach you how to effectively break down a project into manageable stages. However, an effective scrum master role should know how to keep the finished product or the end-goal in mind.
Such can be achievable by clarifying the qualifiers for success, so you know exactly what you want in a finished product. Moreover, maintaining the grand vision or the bigger picture allows a scrum master to serve as the team’s northern star.
It can be easy to get lost in the process as you focus your energy on completing each stage, but with a scrum master at the helm, the team is sure that it is rowing in the same direction.
A crucial scrum master role is to prioritize efficiently
One important thing to remember as a scrum master is a difference between urgency and importance. Some tasks are only important, others are only urgent, and a few handfuls are both urgent and important. It is important to identify where an issue or activity stands in terms of importance so you can put them first.
Keeping an eye on the impact of an activity in terms of its effect on ROI is a preferred strategy that clients appreciate. You can rate the priorities as high, medium, and low. From here, you can start working on top priority items and work your way down.
When setting priorities, remember to be flexible. Revisit your backlogs often and assess or evaluate the arrangement of your priorities in the best way possible to secure the best returns to the client while maximizing the team’s skills and efforts.
An underrated scrum master role is to look out for the team
A crucial scrum master role is to drive the process to achieve a client’s end-goal. However, as any agile scrum tutorial will enlighten you, maximizing a team beyond its capabilities can have severe consequences on the finished project.
It is understandable how some clients may want something so far-fetched and visionary while also trying to cut costs. Anyone would be happy to hire someone who goes above and beyond to meet lofty goals.
However, a scrum master understands that individuals in a team have a maximum capacity and that going beyond that is unsustainable. A good example is a very steep deadline. Insisting on finishing too soon may cause the team to cut corners and produce a substandard output.
That is why a scrum master’s role also advocates for the team’s well-being while pushing them to be their best. You must remember the criteria for success and ensure that the team has ample resources to work in order to meet it.
Part of the Agile methodology is the continuous collaboration between client and team. Therefore, the scrum master role and responsibility is to ensure that the relationship between the two parties is synergistic and mutual.
Each must perceive the other as peers going through the process rather than master and servant. Fostering a collaborative relationship between these two sides ensures that the process goes smoothly, and the end-product is the best possible output.
Clients have to respect the expertise that developers bring to the project. However, developers also need to acknowledge the client’s concerns, needs, and perspectives to come up with solutions that best suit the business and products that meet the needs of their customers.
Genuinely curious and sincere
One thing that is you can’t quickly learn after one agile scrum tutorial is having a sense of curiosity and sincerity. It is an innate characteristic that is taught in our most formative years and takes time to develop.
Although you are implementing a systematic approach to project management, never forget that you are dealing with people during the process. Not only that, but you are also often dealing with two clusters: team and client. Each of these clusters has its own perspectives, concerns, and outcomes they want to achieve, even if it is working on the same project.
An effective scrum master ensures that both parties have the opportunity to air out their side. You need to be genuinely interested in the needs of both clients and the team.
Another great habit that effective scrum masters have is that they can readily dole out sincere praise. When a team member is doing well, don’t assume that they know it and that it does not need to acknowledgement. The feeling of appreciation for your efforts is a sustainable motivator for most employees.
Hungry for improvement
The scrum master role is not only process-implementation but also knowledge feeding. So many updates and innovative best practices come around every time that it’s essential to keep abreast of what’s the latest and greatest. Scrum masters know the importance of sharpening the ax.
When initiating, facilitating, and overseeing a process to the end, you will meet unique situations that may challenge your knowledge of an agile process. That is why you have to always be hungry for self and team improvement.
You can do this by journaling to track your performance and progress as a scrum master, reading books on agile scrum, attending seminars and workshops, and taking an agile scrum tutorial to see a fresh perspective from a different scrum master.
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