What Does a Scrum Master Do?
The Scrum master helps manage software and product development cycles while adhering to Agile best practices and Scrum framework values. These leaders monitor progress and provide process improvements by reducing inefficiencies and offering guidance. They also handle the administrative tasks of day-to-day management within the chosen department.
While these managers train and recruit staff, they also handle risk, scheduling, and facilitation of events and processes. They’re responsible for organizing product testing and demonstrations and creating timelines for project milestones and deliverables.
While a degree isn’t strictly necessary, having a Scrum certification, and working knowledge of the agile methodology and frameworks is vital to succeeding in this position. Additionally, the candidate should possess excellent interpersonal skills, along with developed time and project management skills. Scrum masters should also have strong analytical and problem-solving abilities as ideal candidates.
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National Average Salary
Scrum master salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Scrum Master is:
Scrum Master Job Descriptions
We support teamwork, thinking big, and taking risks in a blame-free environment. We promote self-direction to work on relevant projects while building an environment that provides the support and mentorship needed to learn and grow. We’re excited to see what you’ll bring to our team.
- Works with the Product owner to align team with the product vision, sprint goals, and other necessary information
- Creates an environment of collaboration within the teams that allows for open dialogue and productive solutions for resolving conflicts
- Champions continuous improvement activities to reduce waste and increase productivity
- Coaches teams to conduct continuous improvement events
- Seeks opportunities for improvement to the overall effectiveness of teams and the organization
- Communicates organizational impediments to leadership and clears impediments for the team
- Embraces the concept of continuous learning in your own journey and instills the same in the team(s) you coach
Strengths and capabilities
- BS/BA degree or equivalent experience
- Strong familiarity and adherence to core Agile values and principles
- Experience as a practicing Scrum Master on a team
- Exposure to modern engineering practices like Unit Test-Driven Development, Acceptance Test-Driven Development, and Continuous Integration
- A mindset of servant leadership
- An Agile mindset
- Expert with Agile and Scrum framework and its application in Product Development and delivery organization
- Ability to coach and mentor
- Ability to collaborate with and influence people at various levels
- Sound understanding of Scaling framework such as LeSS
- Leverage skills from coaching, facilitation, conflict resolution, and more to serve the team(s)
The Scrum Master must have strong knowledge in Agile methodology and has the ability to educate others. They provide a path for resolving impediments and help keep the team focused and achieve the goals. They also coordinate all aspects of releases from versioning to production deployment
- Coordinating and managing scrum ceremonies including Sprint Planning, Stand Ups, Refinement, Sprint Review, and Retrospective
- Removing impediments or guiding the team to remove impediments through coordination and creative thinking
- Analyzing sprint data to determine potential risks of meeting sprint goals
- Assisting with internal communication, improving transparency, and radiating information
- Facilitating discussion, decision making, and conflict resolution
- Contributing to the advancement and improvement of Agile practices within the organization
- Coordinating and managing application releases/versioning processes
- 4 years minimum of relevant work experience
- Bachelor Degree
- Experience in playing the Scrum Master role for at least two years for a software development team
- Excellent communication, facilitation, and coaching skills
- Good data analytical skills
- Scrum Master Certification
- Experience working during an organization Agile transformation
- Knowledge of other Agile approaches: XP, Kanban, etc.
- Awareness and experience with widely successful Agile techniques including User Stories, Continuous Integration, Pairing, Automated Testing, Agile Games
The Scrum Master is responsible for empowering delivery teams to effectively deliver business results. A scrum expert, the scrum master leads the team to understand and apply the scrum framework to the work that they do and aids the team in eliminating, reducing or avoiding challenges that may prevent effectiveness. Scrum masters work closely with the Product Owner, Delivery teams, Program Manager, and other Scrum masters and Support teams.
- Champion and drive the Lean Agile mindset, helping the team embrace core values, principles, and agile processes/practices
- Remove and manage team impediments to enable the team to deliver value
- Be a voice and advocate for the team so the team can focus on delivering value
- Bring visibility to the work, impediments, risks, and other areas of importance
- Foster a healthy flow of work that eliminates waste as the team moves through the delivery cycle
- Responsible for ensuring that the Scrum Team adheres to Scrum values, practices, tools and rules
- Assists Product Owner with planning, change management, risk management, and product backlog maintenance
- Monitors Scrum Team execution against iteration plan
- Work with teams to coordinate cross team dependencies and risks
- Enables the team to execute iteration planning, iteration demonstrations and retrospectives, and making certain each results in productive output for the team and project
- Ensures Scrum Team is leveraging standard tools
- Actively participates in product planning sessions, risk management processes and change management/communication
- Tracks team burn-down throughout Sprint execution and works with team to maximize efficiency
- Partners with shared service Scrum Masters, Delivery Managers, and other like roles
- Ensure dependent teams are delivering end to end solutions
- Ensure Transparency to Teams via Jira and executive status reporting
- Ensure that all representatives have an environment conducive to openly and honestly sharing information
- Be a trusted advisor to New York Life Direct clients for project delivery
- Facilitate project activities; be a voice of reason and authority, while enabling the delivery team to self-organize and innovate
- Highly collaborative with good conflict resolution skills
- Excellent team player
- Strong leadership skill
- Ability to work directly with technical and product teams
- Strong command of Scrum framework, Kanban framework, and Agile values and principles
- Experience with end to end software development and delivery process
- Knowledge of modern Agile development techniques such as Dev Ops, test driven development, and test automation
- Sound problem solving skills
- Understanding of SDLC/TDLC type practices
- Strong work ethic to help team meet commitments
- Demonstrated willingness to be flexible and adaptable to changing priorities
- Effective communication skills, with ability to flex style and interaction across diverse stakeholder groups
- Energetic, enthusiastic and a proven ability to work and lead in a team-based environment
- Experience with agile methodologies (Scrum, Kanban, etc.)
- CSM, SSM or PSM certification required
- SPC or other advanced certification preferred
- Bachelor’s degree in a technical field or equivalent professional experience but not required
- Prior experience in software development as an analyst, tester, developer, or project manager
Sample Interview Questions
- What is the difference between Agile and Scrum?
- What makes a good team?
- What would you do if your team didn’t like your idea and suggested a new one?
- What is the best way to communicate with a product owner?
- Should the development team be involved in the early phases of planning?
- What’s the structure of a user story?
- How do you prioritize your team’s efforts?
- How do you assess the value of a story?
- Which Agile frameworks are you familiar with?
- What metrics do you employ when measuring a project’s success?
- Have you written reports for your Scrum projects?
- How do you give feedback to your team?
- How would you ensure that the Scrum process is being applied?
- How does automation fit into Scrum?
- How would you run a daily Scrum?
- How would you coordinate multiple teams?
- What are the five phases of risk management?
- What is the biggest advantage of using scrum?
- Who should take part in a sprint retrospective?