Scrum Master role, like the one heading daily standup meetings, is not to be trifled with. In fact, the part pushes a lot of weight on the individual, especially since he is responsible for many things and has to manage everything on his own.
Scrum master is the person who ensures that all Scrum guidelines are followed during the implementation of the framework. The role demands that the person keenly observe the practical implementation of Scrum rules and guide the whole scrum team through the process.
Successfully performing all the duties expected of the Scrum Master role is a Sisyphean task. In fact, Scrum masters are often called ‘servant leaders‘ since they direct all the individuals in the development team and ensure the successful completion of tasks. They also work with the product owner to create a suitable plan for their work. Furthermore, they make sure that the working of the whole organization is in line with the Scrum framework.
The Scrum Master acts as a facilitator, ensuring that the rules set beforehand are appropriately followed and is responsible for identifying and removing obstacles as and when they threaten the smooth progress of a project.
The discussion above is a testament to how vital the role is for the proper working of an organization. However, the succeeding paragraphs will help you understand how wide-ranging the responsibilities of a scrum master role are, most notably how critical his role is in daily standup meetings.
Responsibilities Of a Scrum Master
As we mentioned above, to say that a scrum master’s sole responsibility is to lead a team would be an understatement. The role goes above and beyond simple leadership.
We are not saying that it’s a specific role but requires mastery in certain areas. And although scrum masters do not practically work on the tasks, they are there to make sure that the ones who do, follow the guidelines for maximum efficiency and high-quality deliverables.
Here are some key responsibilities of a scrum master:
1. Getting Rid of Obstacles
As the one in charge of the whole process, the scrum master has to identify obstacles and devise strategies to overcome them so that the process flows smoothly. He deals with all interruptions and makes sure that the team stays on track.
An efficient scrum master will handle every hurdle like a pro and ensure the timely accomplishment of goals.
2. Scrum Mentor
Mentoring the team as a scrum master is probably the most essential thing needed of the role. A scrum master is well-versed in all the rules and guidelines to be followed during the project. As such, he has to make sure that all the individuals on the team understand their responsibilities and follow these guidelines for the successful completion of tasks.
Also, since he is a mentor, he makes sure that every individual understands the fundamentals of the framework and listens and answers the members’ questions if they have any.
3. Act As a Bridge
One of the core responsibilities of a scrum master is to smoothen communication between the development team and the product owner. He acts as a bridge between both parties, ensuring that all wrinkles are kept smooth and that there are no gaps in the communication.
In this way, the individual makes sure that the work environment is healthy, and the product owner and the development team have a good relationship.
4. Organize The Team and Track Their Performance
Since the ultimate outcomes expected are the successful accomplishment of goals and improvement in productivity and efficiency, scrum masters have to ensure that the team is working at their best and staying on track.
He organizes the team, guides them every step, answers their queries, tracks their progress, provides feedback for improvement, and makes sure that everyone has a clear understanding of their work.
5. Conduct Standup Meetings
This one is another critical responsibility of a scrum master. Standup meetings are conducted every day with all or some team members. Its primary purpose is to ensure smooth communication and clarity of objectives.
The scrum master, in this capacity, is responsible for hosting the meeting, tracking the progress of the team, and identifying obstacles.
All in all, scrum masters have a lot on their plate at all times. Let us now elaborate on Standup meetings and how crucial the scrum master’s role is for this particular aspect of the scrum methodology. Before we dive into the responsibilities of the scrum master in daily standup meetings, let’s take a quick look at standup meetings.
What Is a Standup Meeting?
As the name suggests, a standup meeting is a short meeting lasting for about 5 to 15 minutes. It is called standup because it usually takes place while the members are standing up, which reminds them to be short and precise.
The main purpose of the meeting is to provide an opportunity to the team members for communication and collaboration on the project. The meeting usually takes place simultaneously, and all the team members are encouraged to participate. However, it is not discontinued or postponed in case of the absence of a member.
It is a time-boxed event that helps a team plan for the next 24 hours. The three main questions addressed in the meeting are:
- What did you do yesterday?
- What will you do today?
- Any obstacles hindering your progress?
The answers to these questions clarify the team members and help them move ahead in the project.
What are the responsibilities of a Scrum Master in Daily Standup Meetings?
It is often mistakenly perceived that the scrum master has no real role in standup meetings, but that’s a misconception. Honestly, standup meetings will be pretty much impossible if there is no scrum master in the picture. The scrum master role is a critical one for these meetings.
The following pointers will help you understand the responsibilities a scrum master performs in a standup meeting:
The core role of the scrum master in the meeting is not that of a participant but a facilitator. He is not there to intervene in the meeting or share his feedback or opinion. He only ensures that the team is organized and is maturing with every step ahead.
2. Note Down Impediments, If Any:
During the meeting, he also notes down any obstacles that may be hindering the smooth working of the team. These obstacles are then dealt with and overcome to make sure that the progress is not hampered in any way.
3. Schedule Recurring Meetings:
The scrum master is also responsible for finding an appropriate time to conduct the meeting daily and scheduling recurring meetings. The schedule has to be sent to all the members, including the product owner. A standup meeting is also set where the meeting will take place daily.
4. Ensure Implementation of Scrum Guidelines:
The scrum master makes sure that all the rules and regulations set beforehand are followed during the meeting. He is there to ensure every individual’s practical implementation of scrum guidelines in the meeting.
5. Keep It Short:
The whole purpose of a standup meeting is to keep it short and to the point, but things can get out of hand when individuals get too immersed in a discussion. Scrum masters then have to intervene to make sure the discussion is cut short and only key points are emphasized in the meeting. The details can be discussed after the meeting.
6. Encourage Punctuality:
The meetings have to start and end on time, no matter what. Since these meetings occur daily but only span about 15 minutes, it is important that each member arrives on time otherwise the whole purpose will be lost. Every minute counts so scrum masters have to, sometimes, be strict about punctuality.
7. Keep A Check on Member’s Burn Out:
Team members’ well-being is essential, not only for the business but also for themselves. As such, scrum masters have to ensure that none of the individuals are overloaded with work. Also, they have to keep a check if any of the members in under-occupied. Balancing duties in the team is important for a harmonious and peaceful working environment.
8. Make Sure All Points Are Discussed:
Scrum masters usually note everything that has to be discussed in a meeting. They also note points from previous meetings and check up on them during the next day’s meeting. They have to go through all the points and make sure each is addressed in the meeting.
9. Ensure Clarity:
One of the responsibilities of the scrum master is to make sure that all the individuals on the team have a clear understanding of their role and what it demands of them. They also have to have a firm grasp of the definition of ‘Done’ so that there are no problems in the later stages of the project.
The above pointers are proof of the fact that the scrum master role is a crucial one in daily standup meetings. Without the presence, the meetings will be all chaotic and haphazard with no results.
On the other hand, the presence of a scrum master entails a smooth working better organization that conceive much better results in the later stages.
The role of a scrum master is beneficial for a team that cannot manage themselves or finds it difficult to do so. For such teams, the scrum master acts as a coach, guiding them all the way through until they are mature enough to organize themselves.
Until maturity, scrum masters make sure that scrum framework guidelines are followed, and teams constantly improve their work, ultimately organizing their projects themselves.
We hope the above discussion helped you understand the importance of scrum masters in Scrum, in general, and standup meetings, in particular. If you have any questions, let us know by writing at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will promptly address your query and get back to you as soon as possible.
Till next time, Sayonara!
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