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“So What Does a Scrum Master Do All Day ? “

what does a scrum master do

“So What Does a Scrum Master Do All Day ? “

“Success Isn’t Just What You Accomplish in Life. It’s About What You Inspire Others to Do.”

I have attended numerous scrum master workshops and there are some questions that students frequently ask

“Is a Scrum Master for a team of ten be a full-time position or a developer can act as one part time?”

“Is the Scrum Master a project manager?””.The Scrum Master does not have anything to do with the product, so what does he/she do all day?”

 However, it seems far beyond imagination that the Scrum Master’s job could be a full-time job, too. Maybe those who ask [or don’t know], “What it is that a Scrum Master does all day long?”

Servant Leadership:

The servant leadership term was coined by Robert Greenleaf in the 1970s about leading a life of service to make others effective and in turn the ones who are being served follow and get influence by the Servant leader and hence they become leaders. They don’t become leaders by command and control or having authority, instead they lead from behind to make others successful

The Scrum Master is a servant leader. He or She serves the developers, the product owner, the organization and the community to make them effective using the elements of Scrum. In the next segment we look at what service they perform

Service to Developers :

    1. Facilitating any meeting for the Team; includes preparing, moderating and post-processing the meeting results.                                                                                                                               
    2.  Holding retrospectives . An opportunity that Scrum Team should avail, to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements.                                                                                                                  
    3.  One-on-one coaching of team members, including coaching members in self management and cross-functional.                                                                                                                                        
    4.   Helping the Team to identify and get rid of impediments. Mediating conflicts that arise during product development.                                                                                                                                     
    5.  Helping the Team to make decisions. Ensuring that it is positive and productive task.                                                                                                                                                               
    6.  Fostering the Team’s self-organization. Self organized agile teams completely responsible for assigning and tracking their own work and progress.                                                                                          
    7.  Mediating the general conflict between the goals of the Team and the goals of the Product Owner (high technical quality vs. more features).                                                                                                   
    8. Suggesting new metrics for the Team to use as catalysts for change.                                                                                                   
    9. Reflecting Agile and Scrum values to the Team.                                                                                                                         
    10. Reminding the Team of their arrangements, norms and policies.                                                                                                        
    11. Helping the Team to continuously improve their processes.                                                                                                             
    12. Reflecting issues to the Team through observation from outside of the Team.                                                                                           
    13.  Asking open [powerful] questions. Including “Empathy (with you), Listening(I get you), Openness (I hear you), Rapport (I see you ) and Invention(I am willing to know you)”.                                                                          
    14.  Checking all the models the Team uses – Sprint Backlog, metrics, etc. – and illustrate to them differences between the model and the reality.                                                                
    15. Helping the Team to keep focus by acting as a buffer between external distractions and the Team.                                                                                  
    16. Helping the Team to maintain their Scrum tools – Task Board, action board, charts, Backlogs, etc.                                                                                        
    17. Helping Team and Product Owner to establish a suitable Definition of Done and Definition of Ready.                                                                            
    18. Envisioning the future – how the Team wants to work next week, next month, next year…                                                                                            
    19. Building and articulating a common goal/ purpose for the Team.                                                                
    20.  Surfacing Team values and ethos.                                                                               
    21. Helping the Team improve its social [soft] skills, especially with respect to constructive [crucial] conversations.                                                                                                                          
    22. Removing barriers between stakeholders and Scrum Teams.

Service to Product Owner :   


    1.  Helping the Team and Product Owner to write and split user stories. Stories enable collaboration, drive creative solutions and create momentum and keep the team focused.                                                                                        
    2.  Helping the stakeholders and Product Owner to create product visions. This brief statement(product vision) provides a definitive path that can fulfill the projects objective or goals.                                                                              
    3. Helping Team and Product Owner to establish a suitable Definition of Done and Definition of Ready.                                                                                         
    4.  Helping the Product Owner to order Product Backlog items.                                                                              
    5. Helping Product Owner, stakeholders and Team with release planning.                                                      
    6. Being familiar with the product and the Team’s work.                                                     
    7. Bringing people together who should talk to each other, but don’t.                                                            
    8. Keeping in touch with every stakeholder regularly.                                                                                                               
    9. Helping the Team and Product Owner to report meaningful, appropriate and timely information to management.       

Service to Organization:

    1. Continually learning, reading and reflecting on everything regarding Agile (e.g. visit user groups, attend conferences, read books, write blogs, etc.). Scrum comes with its own set of terms and phrases therefore knowledge of these systems and terminologies is absolutely necessary                          
    2. Consulting team members (and the organization) regarding everything Agile. Scrum Master is a liaison between the planner and the doers.                                                                                               
    3. Helping the team to create information radiators (visual controls).                                                                                          
    4. Encouraging the use of Agile engineering practices within the development team. ScrumMaster plays a major role as a change agent in the organization .                                                                                                 
    5. Challenging the Team with Agile management innovations. Many refer to  Douglas McGregor,  renowned management professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management in the middle of the 20th century. In 1960 he published a book called “The Human Side of Enterprise” Theory X and Theory Y.                                                                                                                       
    6.  Exchanging constantly with other ScrumMasters in the organization through Communities of Practice.     

Service to Community :  


    1. Helping to further the Scrum and Agile community within the organization.                                                                                    
    2. Organizing exchange events like Open Spaces, or World Cafés, for the Team, its stakeholders, and its organization.                                                                                                                         
    3. Leading, training, coaching and sharing insights throughout the company via micro-blogging [Twitter], blogging, internal conferences, etc.                                                                                                      
    4. Being a contact person for everyone in the Team and the stakeholders regarding Agile and Scrum.                                                                                                           
    5. Giving learning opportunities to people in the organization through talks, workshops or other forums and letting them learn important Agile concepts.                                                                                                                               

Training and Becoming a Certified Scrum Master demonstrates a true understanding of the Scrum values and provides a level of expertise that goes beyond a typical project manager or team leader. Receiving this type of training can have a great impact on the success of the entire team. Studies have found that 81% of Scrum Masters who received certification agree that it has significantly helped to improve their practice and have a great impact on the success of the entire team.

References: Agile Trail -Agile, Lean, change and improvement by Bernd Schiffer (

Scrum, Product Management, and DevOps: Simplifying the jargon

The internet and social media are full of Agile, Scrum, Product Management, and DevOps jargon, including incorrect and misunderstood concepts. This could be problematic for a learner seeking knowledge. Without a course with Scrum Alliance,, or DevOps Institute, this knowledge is difficult to achieve.

The Concepts & Beyond blog is a free suite of articles and videos packaged in tiny chunks. You will learn or refine your knowledge and skills to help your team and organization be effective. When you want to take your knowledge further, we invite you to join us for our  Certified ScrumMaster(CSM),  Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Certified DevOps Engineering Foundations (DOEF) and Training from the Back of The Room courses across the USA and Canada.

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