What is Scrum?
In Simple words we can say that Scrum is a framework or layout to manage a Project. It mainly focusses on software development although it has been used in other fields like sales, marketing, research, and advanced technologies. Scrum is a lightweight and incremental framework which is used for developing and delivering complex products, ensuring that its sustainability is intact.
Key Idea behind Scrum Framework
A key principle of scrum is the dual recognition that customers can change the scope of work anytime without any prior notice based on new business requirements and these changes can be very unpredictable and volatile in nature—for which a traditional and predictive approach will not work effectively. These changes can come from different sources or stakeholders, but according to scrum changes should simply be embraced and analyzed for benefits.
The fundamental unit of scrum consists of small team of people in which we have a product owner, a scrum master, and few developers. The team is self-organized, cross-functional and focuses on one objective at a time to meet the product goal.
Who is Scrum Master?
Scrum master is the one who facilitates the Scrum. He is the one who is responsible and accountable for removing impediments to the ability of the team to achieve the deliverables and deliver the product goals within the time duration. He is s not a traditional team lead or project manager but act as a firewall between team and any distracting influences. Scrum Master ensures that the scrum framework is followed diligently by the team by teaching them scrum theory and concepts. He often facilitate key sessions to encourage the team to grow further and stay motivated.
Key Roles and Responsibilities of the Scrum Master
Scrum Master job entails a high level of responsibility The Key role of a scrum master is to guide the project and team members by applying various agile project management methodologies. Below we have illustrated the core responsibilities of a scrum master:
- To Help the product owner to maintain the product backlog that ensures the needed work is well understood and the team can continually make forward progress.
- Guide and educate the team on several scrum principles and methodologies so that high-quality features for its product can be delivered.
- Root Cause Identification and Resolution of Issues.
- Promoting self-organization and cross-functionality within the scrum team to meet the product goal.
- Holding daily review meetings, demos, and other project related meets.
Scrum Master Education
Officially there is no such strict educational requirement for a scrum master job. However, most companies preferred a look for a candidate who has done bachelor’s degree in IT, business administration at related stream.
Scrum Master Certifications
The best way to get a scrum master job is to get a recognized industry certification. This will stamp down and validate your expertise in Scrum framework methodologies in front of potential employers. A Scrum certification can put you on right track to become a Scrum Master and enhance your project management skills. It recognize your competency in scrum project management. Below are topmost-mentioned Scrum certifications in Job openings on across LinkedIn, Simply Hired and Indeed.
- Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)- This certification is administrated by the Scrum Alliance. It is highly recommended certification as its asked in most of the job openings for a scrum master. Other advanced certifications from Scrum Alliance on Scrum Master are Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (ACSM) and Certified Scrum Professional ScrumMaster (CSP-SM) certifications. Depending upon the course the cost ranges from $450 to $1000 for this certification.
- Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
- Professional Scrum Master (PSM I)- This certification is offered by Scrum.org, an organization which was founded by Ken Schwaber. The PSM I is the first level of Scrum certification, further you can opt for PSM II and PSM III to test more complex Scrum processes. The cost is around $150 for the certification.
- Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)
- SAFe Scrum Master (SSM)- This certification is preferred if you are looking for openings in an organization which mainly works on Agile, Lean, or DevOps concepts. This certification is administered by Scaled Agile. The course ranges from $600 to $1100.
Scrum Master Career Path and Opportunities
A scrum master career path open doors to several lucrative careers in Top class industries and Organizations. Curious Scrum Masters are continuously developing their skills constantly looking for new opportunities beyond Scrum Master. Below are the few Job Roles which you can opt as a Scrum master:
Agile Coach- A agile Coach helps company to maximize ROI through the many aspects of enterprise coaching. Agile coach required higher level of execution ability as compared to Scrum master job. One should be aware of business agility concepts for better implementation of an Agile approach. Average annual salary for an Agile Coach is $112,600 in US and ₹24,16,600 in India.
Product Owner-If as a scrum master you are interested in the business aspect of the product you can opt for a Product Owner role. Product Owner works with the scrum team to develop a better product that meets all customer needs. Average annual salary for a Scrum Product Owner is ₹14,78,880 in India and $101,820 in United States.
Senior Scrum Master- Scrum master should diligently work on this scrum master career for good amount of time to further advance to the senior level- Senior Scrum Master. Key responsibilities for Senior Scrum master is monitoring subordinate scrum masters, removing barriers in the project, and developing numerous product types. Average annual salary for Senior Scrum Master is $117,064 per year in the United States.
Chief Information Officer (CIO)- We have seen in the past that Scrum Masters with a great deal of experience becomes great CIOs. Their passion, dedication, and commitment to excel, improve relentlessly and motivation gets the best out of the team for the project and the organization. Average annual salary for a CIO is $106,770 in United States, and ₹13,77,300 in India.
Project Manager- In non-agile Projects Scrum master can opt for a role of Project Manager. A good project manager having quality knowledge of scrum can motivate the whole team to strive towards a particular goal in dedicated timeline. Average annual salary for a Project Manager/Scrum Master is $96,455 in US.
A Scrum Master has several roles and responsibilities to perform in an organization, right from maintaining the Developers to help the organization implement Scrum. However, depending upon the requirement for some organizations their role becomes ambiguous, and they ends up taking up numerous job responsibilities and designations. Due to versatility nature of their job profile a Scrum Master can easily find and opt for a suitable career path in any deemed organization.