Interesting list here on Global Knowledge (a certification and training vendor (just like Berteig Consulting ) ). CSM is #6 in pay at $107,396 (is it really 6 significant figures of accuracy? Wow!). Anyway, it is cool to see the CSM cert on such a list since I’m one of a small number of Certified Scrum Trainers. If you’re interested in coming to one of my classes and getting this certification for yourself, please check out my course listings in the sidebar on the right here on Agile Advice. There’s many in Canada, there’s some in the US and there’s some in China. Hopefully see you at one of them sometime soon!
The Sprint burndown chart tracks the amount of work remaining in the Sprint day-by-day. The burndown chart is updated daily and is visible to the team and stakeholders. This activity is part of the ScrumMaster’s duty to facilitate the Scrum Process. This activity is part of the ScrumMaster’s job to satisfy stakeholders as the chart allows the team to easily see how it is trending on committed deliverables. This information allows the team and the Product Owner to discuss any necessary adjustments to the team’s commitments for the current Sprint in a timely fashion. What happens if the ScrumMaster fails to create and/or maintain the team’s Sprint burndown chart? Most likely we will be unable to see if the team is on track, late or early in its current Sprint. To find out this information we would have to wait until the Sprint is done which is much too late. Also, without daily updates on the trend of the team it is more likely that Scrum Team Members may slip back into an individualistic approach to work instead a team based approach.
For more information about the turndown chart, visit the Scrum Team Assessment.
Delivery each Sprint of potentially “shippable” is at the heart of a true Scrum implementation. In order to help the team properly implement Scrum and derive the intended benefits of empirical process control and collaboration with stakeholders, the ScrumMaster needs to help the team expand its definition of done at least until it is able to deliver a potentially complete “shippable” increment of product every Sprint. The ScrumMaster should help the team to revise its definition of “done” every Sprint with the necessary adjustments being made as the result of the Sprint Retrospective. As Scrum teams mature, it is expected that their definitions of “done” will expand to include more stringent criteria for higher quality. The ScrumMaster should always be looking ahead to new ways that the team can expand its definition of “done” in order to deliver higher quality product to the stakeholders and exceed their expectations.
For more information on the definition of done, visit the Scrum Team Assessment.
Solving technical problems is the job of the product developers on the Scrum Team, not the ScrumMaster. The ScrumMaster is responsible for the Scrum process and has authority over the team only in this limited realm. By overstepping the bounds of authority in this way, the ScrumMaster becomes an obstacle for the team by reducing its ability to self-organize. A ScrumMaster who is part of a team that has reached a high-performance state may be able to safely make technical suggestions, but should always be careful not to push the team to accept those suggestions.
To learn more about solving technical problems, visit the Scrum Team Assessment.
The ScrumMaster is focused on two main goals: to remove obstacles of all sizes and to help the team become better at using Scrum. Both of these jobs require much work and plenty of skill. To do this well the ScrumMaster will need to refrain from doing hands-on technical work. If the ScrumMaster does this then the team will be protected from interruptions, move faster, and feel supported. If the ScrumMaster doesn’t do this then the team will be interrupted often, become slow, and feel unsafe and in harms way. A ScrumMaster doing hands-on technical is wasteful and distracting.
To learn more about ScrumMasters, visit the Scrum Team Assessment.
The ScrumMaster is a full Team Member of the Scrum Team and is required to be focused on helping the team achieve its goals. However, he does not do the work of the Sprint Backlog. Instead he focuses his energies on removing obstacles and helping use Scrum as best as possible. One way to achieve these goals is to be able to respond to questions by the team within minutes. If the ScrumMaster is able to do, the team will move faster, solve problems easier, and cut through obstacles much sooner. If the ScrumMaster is not able to do this, the team will become stalled, frustrated and likely lose trust in the ScrumMaster and the Scrum process.
To learn more about your ScrumMaster, visit the Scrum Team Assessment.
One of the valuable and important responsibilities of the ScrumMaster is to remove obstacles that impede the team’s work. This is necessary so that the team can become more and more productive in their work which gives greater value to the company. If the ScrumMaster does not work diligently on removing these organizations obstacles, the team will get bogged down by challenges and become demotivated to progress, and their morale will drop and become apathetic to the work and to Scrum. The benefit of removing these large obstacles is that it speeds up the cycle time of the work by the team. This is essential so the Team Members can focus their energies on delivering working software.
To learn more about organizational obstacles, visit the Scrum Team Assessment.
One of the primary ways that the ScrumMaster serves the team is by removing impediments to the progress of the team. If the team does not have what it needs to progress in its work, whether it be technology, tools, the right space, etc., the ScrumMaster must have the authority to immediately fill those gaps for the team. The ScrumMaster should not need permission from management in order to get the team what it needs. There should be request procedure that the ScrumMaster needs to go through in order to get sign-off from acquisition departments and what not. At the same time, if there are interpersonal issues between team members, the ScrumMaster must be empowered to intervene and help individuals overcome their differences without the involvement or permission from their direct line managers. Any process or procedure that the ScrumMaster is forced to follow prolongs the impediment for the team as well as the consequential waste and unrealized delivery of value.
To learn more about in-team obstacles, visit the Scrum Team Assessment.
A ScrumMaster is an individual who both guides and protects the Scrum Team. One of the ways that the ScrumMaster protects the Scrum Team is by shielding it from interruptions. The interruptions that the ScrumMaster cares about stopping are those that are from outside the team when they are in a Sprint. Most interruptions are not related to the team’s current work and need to be blocked by the ScrumMaster so that the team will be able to focus on its current goal: the Sprint and its Product Backlog Items. All of the stakeholders of the team need to be aware that the ScrumMaster is responsible for blocking these interruptions. This awareness creates a freedom for the ScrumMaster to do this very difficult part of the job in a way that is transparent and effective. If the stakeholders are not aware of this part of the job, then they may become upset when interruptions are blocked or find ways around the ScrumMaster to get interruptions to specific team members. If the team is not aware that this is the ScrumMaster’s job, they may feel trapped, may lose hope in the Scrum process, may take on the work themselves (which will be too much for them since they are responsible for the execution of the Sprint goal), feel unsafe which could lead to hiding obstacles (which causes waste and delays), and it may even cause Team Members to accept interruptions as normal which will create an environment where interruptions and unrelated requests become widespread. All of these negatives effects and many more can be solved by the organization knowing that the ScrumMaster’s job is to shield the team from interruptions.
To learn more about a ScrumMasters duties, visit the Scrum team Assessment.
It is the ScrumMaster’s job to remove the Scrum Team’s obstacles that occur through all levels of the organization. To do this properly the ScrumMaster must be able to connect directly with all stakeholders of the team including those outside the organization. This direct communication aids in addressing identified obstacles with the appropriate individual or group. Without the ScrumMaster being allowed this direct communication, he will have to deal with a third party which may distort the information and/or be unable to convey the importance of removing an obstacle or addressing a need. The ScrumMaster is like a catalyst that should be able to set ablaze those individuals that are interacting or connecting with the team either directly or indirectly.
To learn more about ScrumMasters, visit the Scrum Team Assessment.
The responsibility of time boxing (or limiting the amount of time spent) in a Scrum meeting is given to the ScrumMaster. He maintains a time-box so that the Scrum Team will become more and more effective in how they use the time to its full purpose. We, as human beings, thrive in situations where we have simple constraints and focused goals – time-boxing of Scrum meetings fits this perfectly. If a Scrum Planning meeting, for example, is not time-boxed it can become disconnected from the goal of the Scrum Team. Time-boxing also helps Team Members to be engaged, since they have a limited amount of time to achieve the goal of the meeting – such as a Sprint Goal that is generated from the Sprint Planning meeting.
To learn more about how you can improve your Scrum meetings, visit the Scrum Team Assessment.
The ScrumMaster is responsible for ensuring the correct use of the Scrum process. Because the ScrumMaster is usually the most well read on Scrum, always trying to improve the team’s understanding of Scrum, facilitating the Scrum meetings, and developing new ways to develop relationships and structures that allow Scrum to thrive, he is the most able to guide the team in its use of Scrum. This authority holds within the Scrum Team where the ScrumMaster is a member and overrides any external authority as applied to that team. However, this does not mean that the ScrumMaster becomes a guru that withholds learning and understanding and guards it as if it is a treasured jewel. Instead, it is also the responsibility of the ScrumMaster to enable understanding, learning, and action so that the team advances together. Having this authority allows the ScrumMaster to stop any argument about the Scrum process, and ensure that the team is focused on action. If the ScrumMaster does not have final authority on the correct way to use the Scrum process, it is very likely that the Scrum Team will flounder, argue, and limit the progress of the team by not continually improving how they use and interact with the elements of Scrum.
To learn more about the correct way to use the Scrum process, visit the Scrum Team Assessment.
It is crucial for the ScrumMaster to be fluent in all things Scrum. The ScrumMaster is a servant-leader of the team and needs to be able to provide that leadership in words as well as in deeds. The ScrumMaster also needs to be able to help those outside the team understand which of their interactions with the team are helpful and which aren’t. Being able to communicate Scrum with brevity and clarity is essential for this work. Furthermore, it is important for the management and leadership of the organization to perceive the ScrumMaster as possessing a level of expertise and authority with Scrum and again being able to explain Scrum well in addition to be understanding it and believing in it is required for the ScrumMaster to build and maintain confidence in Scrum as a framework throughout the organization. In short, The ScrumMaster is the representative or ambassador of Scrum in the organization and an ability to communicate all aspects of the framework is an essential aspect of representation.
To learn more about scrum, visit the Scrum Team Assessment.
The ScrumMaster duties make up a full-time job on a Scrum Team. The ScrumMaster should not be a manager, a developer or have any other partial duties outside the role of ScrumMaster. This focus allows a ScrumMaster to complete their duties with complete focus and commitment to the success of the Scrum Team. In many ways, the ScrumMaster is like a firefighter. Firefighters should have no distractions from being ready to fight fires. If the ScrumMaster has other duties outside of ScrumMaster duties, then one or more of the ScrumMaster duties are compromised, the ScrumMaster job is not being done and the team suffers. An individual who feels unable to serve as a full-time ScrumMaster should not accept this position or should work with their management to enable it to become a full-time position.
To learn more about a ScrumMaster’s duties, visit the Scrum Team Assessment.
The Scrum Team needs a great deal of help from their ScrumMaster. This help includes: removal of obstacles, advancement and reminders of the Scrum principles and practices, ongoing facilitation of effective Scrum meetings, accompaniment of the Team Members to develop new skills, building of relationships with those outside the team, and ongoing advancement of the use of Scrum by the team. With all of this, the ScrumMaster responsibilities are quite difficult to master. The ScrumMaster must prioritize the most important work to be done, possibly using a list much like the Product backlog. If the ScrumMaster is working with two teams, for example, at some point in time he will have to decide which team to work with for a given problem. Which team is more important? If he choses another team, won’t the other team feel left out and un-protected? One of the most important duties of a ScrumMaster is to remove obstacles as the team identifies them in a timely manner. This responsibility is extremely difficult in some ways since many obstacles have cultural or organizational issues at their root. For a Scrum team to be effective, it needs a ScrumMaster who is full-time. One way to imagine this question is by comparison to a sports team. If the team is a bunch of kids doing the sport for recreational reasons, then its perfectly legitimate to have the coach also working with other kids teams. Not much is on the line. On the other hand, if the team is a professional, world-class team, you would never accept a coach who also wanted to work with another world-class team. The time, the conflict of interest would not allow such an arrangement. Do you want world-class, high performance Scrum Teams? The ScrumMaster should only work with one Scrum Team.
To learn more about working with only one scrum team, visit the Scrum Team Assessment.