Scrum has been spreading more and more in German companies over the past few years. And this also opens up positions for so-called Scrum Masters (SM) at the same time. However, the actual tasks of these leaders are often drastically underestimated even by the people involved. Because as an SM, the range of tasks is much broader than simply “facilitating” your own team. In this article I would like to explain exactly how the function, the responsibilities and the scope of duties of a Scrum Master look like.

Range of tasks of a Scrum Master

In many job positions there are precise descriptions, responsibilities and requirements that relate to a specific activity. In the case of Scrum Masters, however, it looks a little different. You should be understood more as an all-rounder who, together with the product owner and the development team, make up the Sarum team. The Scrum Master must be qualified and represented in many areas. In addition to his job as a facilitator, he also acts as a leader, trainer and change agent.

The Scrum Master as a leader

As a leader, he has to ensure the autonomy of his team. This means that in addition to the result orientation, he must also guarantee advice and security. In addition, good Scrum Masters ensure that there is a good working atmosphere with fairness and solidarity within the team.

The Scrum Master as a trainer

As the leader of the team, the Scrum Master is of course primarily responsible for the end result. In order to achieve this in the best possible way, he not only has to motivate his team to perform well, but also continuously develop their skills and know-how. As a trainer, he therefore ensures that his team is always up to date, especially in the areas of agile product development and engineering practices as well as design thinking, but also creativity and communication skills.

The Scrum Master as a change agent

In order to be able to lead the team in a performance and result-oriented manner, he must first lay the right foundation. This primarily means, of course, that Scrum is implemented and a suitable team is put together. Afterwards, the SM primarily acts as a kind of change agent by constantly making adjustments and optimizations. This not only affects the development of results and target achievement, but also the team itself. Here, too, it can happen that responsibilities and task packages have to be changed and redistributed again and again. In addition, he has the task of representing his Scrum Team towards other teams and company management.

The Scrum Master as a facilitator

In the end, of course, it is also true that the SM acts as a facilitator. He works with his team in a participatory manner by taking important measures. These include, among other things, designing communication processes, leading and moderating group processes, working out and making decisions and promoting team autonomy.

Conclusion

In summary, the job description of the SM describes a wide range of tasks for which one should have a number of essential skills. These include skills in the areas of product development, management, leadership, communication and business administration.

The fact that the professional field of the SM combines sub-areas of a project manager and team leader, it is extremely demanding. Integrating a more agile and employee-friendly working style into the respective company with the additional mission statement also requires a high degree of persuasiveness and foresight, as well as empathy and assertiveness. And this is exactly where the conflict often arises for good SM. On the one hand, you have to act for the company and its organization, but on the other hand you have to stand up for your own team and earn the necessary respect and recognition from management. Often there is only a fine line left to make the right decisions for all parties.

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Author

I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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