Not rugby players. Scrum masters.
Scrum. A way of resuming play after a minor, technical offense within rugby. But it also exists within companies, as a flexible product development framework. A way of working, inspired by scrum within rugby, yes. Cooperation, adaptability, speed and self-managing teams are part of this way of working.
What’s the role of a scrum master within scrum? For the record, even though we love rugby, we’re talking about scrum within companies as of now 😉
A smart mindset
Understanding the role of a scrum master starts by understanding the mindset behind it. The agile way of working. A response to the constantly evolving world and technologies. Agile empowers organizations to keep up with rapid change and to deal with uncertainty. Not by working harder, but smarter. Allowing them to offer direct value to customers within less time, mindful of the wellbeing of employees.
Every company has its own way of implementing agility within its organization. Always through people, involvement of the client and adaptability though. The agile way of working focuses on teamwork and communication with self-managing teams and a lot of freedom. Where employees/teams choose where, when and how they want to work. Only if it remains within the objectives of the project and the teams stay in interaction with the client of course. Making it easy to respond to feedback and changing markets. And all of this, with the right technology to facilitate it.
And what about scrum?
Scrum is the most well-known framework within the agile way of working. In which they believe in empirical thinking and knowledge is based on experiences and decisions instead of predictions to minimize risks and embrace change.
Each self-managing team works on one task: the development of a certain product. They do this within short cycles, called sprints. Each sprint has a fixed structure that makes room for flexibility and adaptability. We hope you like post-its… 😊
There are three pillars for success: transparency about the progress, inspection of the work and rapid application of feedback. Where cooperation within the team (called a squad) is also very important for success. And that’s where the scrum master comes in.
A role with multiple hats
A squad exists out of a development team, a product owner and a scrum master. Whereas technical decisions and development of the software are being done by the other members of the squad, a scrum master is more like a facilitator. Responsible for the team and the environment they work in. As a coach who supports the team to be more productive and efficient. With their motivation and cooperation as their main concern. As a promoter of agile values and principles. Stimulating the team to do the work with an agile mindset. Responsible for the organization of the scrum process and the budget. It might seem like a leading role, but in scrum there is no real hierarchy. Therefore, think of it as more of a servant-leadership role.
It’s clear that a scrum master has a unique role within this way of working. A role that asks for knowledge about scrum and some IT language. But mainly soft skills, like collaboration, communication, project management, active listening, and adaptability, … Does this make you think of experienced profiles? Well, think again. In cooperation with BNP Paribas Fortis, we believe that the potential to develop these skills is enough to grow into the role of a scrum master. All of this, in only two years.