Context of the Scrum Master Job Description
As a Scrum Master, you’ll find many job descriptions that sound like they’re looking for a high-quality Scrum Master but they’re really looking for something else. They’re likely looking for someone that doesn’t represent what a Professional Scrum Master actually does. What follows is an ideal Scrum Master job description written from the perspective of a fictitious ideal company to serve as a guide for you to find the best employment fit between forward-thinking companies and highly skilled Professional Scrum Masters.
The Ideal Scrum Master Job Description
About the company
We really do believe our people are our greatest asset and as such we wholeheartedly support empirical process control using the Scrum Framework to develop our complex products and services. We also completely support self-management on Scrum Teams and throughout the organization in general to achieve the best results. As such we’re looking for an outstanding candidate to fill the strategic role of Scrum Master in our organization. This highly qualified individual will have the full support of the executive leadership team to help increase business agility for the company.
The Scrum Master is a member of a Scrum team who is accountable for ensuring the Scrum framework is implemented effectively and the organization is successful in its usage of Scrum. The Scrum Master serves as a coach, mentor, advisor, and teacher for the Scrum team. They are held accountable for the effectiveness of the Scrum team. They also serve the Product Owner and the entire organization including key stakeholders. They help remove any obstacles that may impede the Scrum team’s progress. Finally, they ensure the team understands Scrum and gets the benefits of using the Scrum Framework.
As a Professional Scrum Master, we expect you to exhibit the following behaviors and characteristics:
- Servant Leadership: A Professional Scrum Master is a true leader who serves the Scrum team rather than commanding or controlling them. You’ll be skilled in building followership by influencing without authority.
- Influence without Authority In this role, no one will directly report to you thus the ability to influence others without a direct reporting relationship will be essential. You’ll do this by building strong relationships with your Scrum Team and the organization and by demonstrating your expertise with a high level of authenticity and humility.
- Empathetic: A qualified Scrum master can easily empathize with their Scrum Team’s challenges and concerns. You’ll be able to provide support and guidance in a way that is respectful and encouraging to everyone involved.
- Active Listener: A Professional Scrum Master is an active listener; paying attention to what is being said and what is not being said. You’ll be an expert at asking questions to gain a deeper understanding of the team’s needs and challenges.
- Facilitator: You’ll be able to facilitate discussions, meetings, and Scrum Events effectively and do so as needed or requested. You’ll guide the Scrum Team towards reaching their goals and objectives without forcing them. Scrum Events should remain positive and productive under your careful watch.
- Continuous Learner: As a Professional Scrum Master, you’ll be a lifelong learner, constantly seeking new knowledge and skills to improve your effectiveness. You’ll stay up-to-date with changes in the Scrum Framework over time and agile development techniques in general.
- Collaborative: You’ll work collaboratively with stakeholders, the Product Owner, and other Scrum team members to improve business agility. You’ll be a trust builder and fosterer of a continuous improvement culture.
- Courageous: You’ll have the courage to speak up when necessary and address conflicts and issues that may arise. You’ll provide constructive feedback in a way that is respectful and helpful.
Overall, as a Professional Scrum Master, you will play a critical role in enabling the Scrum team to deliver value to the business using the Scrum framework and agile development practices. You will possess the behaviors and characteristics listed above to be effective in this role.
- Facilitate Scrum events as needed or requested. This may include but is not limited to Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective.
- Guide, coach, and mentor the Developers and Product Owners in understanding and using Professional Scrum through its practices, principles, and values.
- Identify and cause the removal of impediments that may be preventing the Scrum Team from delivering maximum value or reaching Product or Sprint goals.
- Foster a collaborative and positive team environment, encouraging effective communication and teamwork.
- Help the team define and implement systems that promote transparency and continuous improvement.
- Ensure the team can protect itself from external distractions and interruptions to allow more focus on delivering high-value and high-quality work each and every Sprint.
- Ensure the Developers know how to monitor and track their progress toward Sprint Goals providing transparency to whoever requires it.
- Ensure the Scrum Team is using the Scrum framework correctly to get the benefits it offers.
- Continuously improve the team’s understanding and implementation of Scrum including the use of complementary practices found in the broader agile development industry.
Qualifications and Skills:
- Bachelor’s degree in engineering or related field. An MBA with a focus on organizational design, and operations management, would be a huge plus
- Professional Scrum Master (PSM) or Certified Scrum Master (CSM) or equivalent certification. Advanced certifications are highly preferred
- At least 3 years of experience in a Scrum Master or equivalent servant leadership role, leading and coaching product development teams.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to facilitate and lead meetings effectively.
- Strong problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills.
- Knowledge of Agile development frameworks, techniques, and practices including Scrum and Kanban.
- Experience working with a variety of development tools and technologies.
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team, with a strong focus on collaboration and teamwork.
- Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
Of course, this is not a one size fits all Scrum Master job description. But it could serve you well as a starting point to get the right person for an important and strategic role. Being a Scrum Master involves a broad set of skills. Some of them are people focused, some of them process-focused, and some are tools focused. Scrum Masters wear a lot of different hats at different times and must be versed and comfortable with those hats to be successful. By knowing what you should be looking for in the Scrum Master search you’ll be more likely to find someone that can help.
If we at Responsive Advisors can be helpful to you in finding a qualified Scrum Master, training someone to be a qualified Scrum Master, or if you would like to become a qualified Scrum Master, please reach out. We’re happy to help.