“An adequate Scrum Master can handle two or three teams at the time; a great one can only handle one”. (Michael James – An Example Scrum Master’s checklist)
I found that organisations, teams and new Scrum Masters (even freshly certified ones) often aren’t sure what the Scrum Master role entails and what value it provides.
Here is my attempt to summarize what a good Scrum Master does:
The Scrum Master role
Some teams are like symphony orchestras, so they need a leader who keeps everyone on the same sheet of music. Conductors have to be deeply familiar with each instrument and with the music, yet they don’t play in the band or tell the musicians what to do. They let the music provide detailed guidance; their job is to bring out the best in the musicians, both individually and as a group.” (Mike Cohn – Succeeding with Agile)“A Scrum Master is like a conductor coordinating the efforts of musicians, helping them to play together. Some teams are like jazz bands, so they need a leader who encourages improvisation.
In general the Scrum Master …
- makes sure the team is running (good) Agile development
- assists team members in adopting and improving Agile Development
- helps the team maximise throughput and to work in the best possible way