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Top 6 Attributes of a Good Scrum Master

In my last post I asserted that in an perfect world a team would choose its own ScrumMaster, but that it isn’t constantly practical. In this post, I would discuss what to search for in a potential ScrumMaster, whether the selection is becoming created by the team itself or by an individual outside the team. In the following, I present six attributes that your next ScrumMaster ought to demonstrate.


In most organizations, when somebody is given responsibility they are concurrently given the authority necessary for success. ScrumMasters are in a different scenario. Although a ScrumMaster doesn’t assume responsibility for the success of the project?athat remains with the team – a ScrumMaster does assume responsibility for the team’s adoption of Scrum and practice of it. A ScrumMaster takes on this responsibility without assuming any of the power that might be beneficial in achieving in it.

A ScrumMaster’s role is comparable to that of an orchestra conductor. Both ought to offer real-time guidance and leadership to a talented collection of individuals who come together to produce some thing that nobody of them could generate alone. Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart has stated of his role, “People assume that whenever you turn into a conductor you’re into some sort of a Napoleonic thing – that you need to stand on that huge box and wield your power. I’m not a power junkie, I’m a responsibility junkie.” In an identical manner, a fantastic ScrumMaster thrives on responsibility – that special sort of responsibility that comes without having power.


A fantastic ScrumMaster just isn’t in it for ego. A great ScrumMaster will take pride (frequently immense pride) in her achievements but the feeling will be “Look what I helped accomplish” rather than the more self-centered “Look what I accomplished.” A humble ScrumMaster is one who realizes the job doesn’t come with a firm automobile or parking spot near the building entrance. As opposed to putting his own wants very first, a humble ScrumMaster is willing to do whatever is necessary to assist the team obtain its objective. Humble ScrumMasters recognize the value in all team members and by example lead other people to the very same opinion.


A great ScrumMaster will function to make certain a collaborative culture exists inside the team. The ScrumMaster wants to make certain team members feel able to raise problems for open discussion and that they feel supported in doing so. The ScrumMaster really should assist create a collaborative atmosphere for the team by way of his words and actions. Nevertheless, beyond modeling a collaborative attitude, a fantastic ScrumMaster will establish collaboration as the team norm and will call out inappropriate behavior (if not already done by other team members).


Although the ScrumMaster role doesn’t usually call for a full-time, eight-hour-a-day commitment, it does demand an individual in the role who’s totally committed to it. The ScrumMaster need to feel the identical high level of commitment to the project along with the goals of the current sprint as do team members.

A ScrumMaster ought to not end really many days with impediments raised by the team that are left unaddressed. A team’s impediment list can’t be swept clean by the end of each and every day since some impediments take time to remove. For example, convincing a manager to dedicate a full-time resource to the team may possibly take a series of discussions with some time between them.

While the ScrumMaster may not be a full-time job, the ScrumMaster really should program on becoming the ScrumMaster for the full duration of the project. It is quite disruptive for a team to change ScrumMasters in midstream.


To be productive a ScrumMaster will need to influence others both on the team and outside it. Initially, team members might require to be influenced to give Scrum a fair trial or to behave a lot more collaboratively; later a ScrumMaster may influence a team to attempt new technical practices for example Test-Driven Development or pair programming. A ScrumMaster really should know how to exert influence without resorting to a command-and-control “because I say so” style.

Most ScrumMasters will also be called upon to influence those outside the team. A conventional team may possibly need to be convinced to offer a partial implementation to the Scrum team, a QA director may possibly will need to be influenced to dedicate full-time testers to the project, or a vice president could want to be convinced to attempt Scrum at all.

Whilst all ScrumMasters need to know how you can use their personal influence, the ideal ScrumMaster will come having a degree of corporate political skill. Corporate politics is usually utilised pejoratively; even so, a ScrumMaster who knows how decisions are made inside the organization, who makes them, which coalitions exist, and so on could be an asset to a team


The most effective ScrumMasters have the technical, market, or distinct understanding to assist the team in pursuit of its goal. LaFasto and Larson have studied profitable teams and their leaders and have concluded that “an intimate and detailed information of how something works increases the chance of the leader helping the team surface the far more subtle technical problems that should be addressed.”


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