Professional Scrum Master: How to Become?
Scrum master is a relatively new profession that is very important in the modern IT industry. This methodology allows teams to become more productive. Today, we are going to describe the position of Scrum master (Agile methodology) and to give recommendations for future specialists.
Who are Scrum masters in product management?
Scrum master is a profession that has elements of different areas of knowledge: management, psychology of personality, group dynamics, facilitation, and, naturally, Scrum framework.
Scrum was created because in the post-industrial world the main profit is associated not only with real goods. Ideas and creativity are the most important. That’s why wishing to be useful for the company is very valuable.
Therefore, creative work requires other management methods. For instance, attempts to develop software using directive methods lead to the approach when developers do only what is written in the task without creativity and trying to make a product better. Also, they don’t do anything to warn about risks.
Scrum is a methodology where everyone can affect the result. Also, this approach is flexible when it is possible to correct the trajectory of a group if it goes in the wrong direction. The
Scrum master (Agile methodology) is a person who helps a group become a team.
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What do Scrum-masters need to know?
- How to manage group dynamics. The behavior of people inside and outside the group may be opposite because the group wants a person to do or not to do something. Also, the mindset of a person after joining a certain group can be changed.Psychologists say about group effects such as an effect of social facilitation. According to it, cyclists show the best time when they compete with each other, not with a stopwatch. The fact of being in a group increases motivation to great results. The same logic is applied to IT specialists.
- Meeting facilitation. Scrum takes up to 30% of the working time on team meetings. That’s why efficiency is so important. If after meeting a team doesn’t generate any interesting ideas, it leads to the demotivation of workers and additional spendings of time and money for the company.
- Conflict solving. Team development is a process. That’s why you can’t protect a group of people from it. Scrum master needs to prevent turning conflicts into a war. However, conflicts are a valuable part of the normal working process. The Scrum master has to teach a team that a conflict is always great if it leads to finding a solution, constructive discussion, and improving methods of working on a product.
- Using coaching techniques. To make a team autonomous and responsible, Scrum-master has to help it find a solution autonomously, from their own experience, and only after that propose a solution.
- Expressing an opinion without fear. The Scrum master doesn’t have to be led by a team if they see that it doesn’t work effectively. Otherwise, it makes customers dissatisfied. Understanding how to talk about problems in the team constructively is very important for long-term efficiency. Also, the Scrum master has to discuss them and create a plan of action together. This is a very important skill for the Scrum master.
- Teaching the team all the skills listed above. It is a very bad situation when the Scrum master goes on vacation and the team can’t do anything. The team has to be autonomous. This is a basic requirement of any agile methodology. That’s why teaching a team all the skills listed above is an important requirement.
- Delegation. It is the hardest part of the work of a Scrum master. When he works with a team, they worry about it and want to help. It is understandable but you need to remember the main reason for creating Scrum, which is to make teams flexible and autonomous.
Naturally, the theory isn’t enough to become a Scrum master. Agile methodology requires practice. Only it will help one become professional. Who can become a scrum master? These are people who are managers in teams. They have experience working with people, managing groups, and they understand how difficult this work is.
The most experienced of them try to delegate most of their functions to other people. This approach is the approach of the scrum. That’s why this transition will be smooth. Naturally, you also need to get skills in Agile and Scrum via special courses. However, they can’t make you professional without practice.
Let’s describe some advice for people who want to become professionals Scrum masters:
- Study facilitation, coaching, and conflictology. These skills are basic for each Scrum master.
- Get 1 or 2 years of experience managing groups with 5-7 people.
- Read professional literature, starting with the book “Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time” by Jeff Sutherland.
- Go to different events on Agile, communicate with speakers, ask questions.
- Pass a training on Agile/Scrum to have a certificate that can confirm your skills and education for employers.
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