In the fast-paced modern business landscape, Scrum Masters have emerged as important facilitators of efficient business practices. Professional Scrum Masters coordinate cross-functional teams to deliver products or projects without hassle.
This blog will comprehensively guide you on everything you need to know about becoming a skilled Scrum Master and the path to earning relevant certifications to boost your employment chances. You can also pick up Scrum Master interview questions here to assist you in your job preparation.
What Is Scrum?
The word ‘Scrum’ originates from the ‘teamwork’ in rugby. It is an Agile project management framework that guides teams using values, principles, and practices. Scrum emphasises learning from experience, self-organisation, and continuous improvement, like a sports team refining its strategy after each game. It is built on three pillars — transparency, inspection, and adaptation, promoting iterative work.
Who Is a Scrum Master?
If you are wondering “What is Scrum Master?”, a Scrum Master is a professional proficient in Agile project management. A Scrum Master guides a team throughout a project’s journey. Their primary responsibility is to empower the team to become self-sufficient. They foster seamless communication and collaboration between team members, enhancing the company’s overall success.
Scrum Masters operate in diverse contexts, which may lead them to assume various roles, including that of a facilitator, coach, or project manager, depending on their work environment.
Industries Employing Scrum Masters
Initially developed for efficient software creation, Scrum has become indispensable in various industries. Companies across sectors, including product development, consulting, finance, and marketing, seek Scrum Masters to lead projects effectively.
Here are some industries that actively hire Scrum Masters:
- Financial services: Scrum Masters ensure digital financial applications operate smoothly, saving time and money while maintaining accurate product backlogs.
- Product development: They prevent costly production errors, enhance efficiency, and improve customer experience.
- Consulting firms: Scrum Masters boost project success, productivity, and client satisfaction.
- Government entities: They save costs, keep projects on schedule, and benefit vendors, stakeholders, and the organisation.
Skills of a Scrum Master
There is a specific set of hard and soft skills that every Scrum Master must have. These Scrum Master skills are as follows:
Solid Scrum training
A Scrum Master‘s core responsibility is ensuring the team adheres to Scrum and Agile principles. Proficiency in the terminology and practices of these frameworks is imperative for effective guidance. Obtaining Scrum certification demonstrates a deep understanding of Scrum values and practices, elevating the Scrum Master‘s ability to facilitate collaboration and team success.
A Scrum Master is responsible for maintaining a well-structured and efficient organisational system. Teams operating under Scrum require meticulous planning to stay on track. Scrum Masters must implement organisational strategies that help teams remain focused.
Identifying and resolving issues promptly is central to the Scrum Master‘s role. Adept problem-solving accelerates the Agile process and contributes to overall project success. Scrum Masters should excel at recognising challenges and brainstorming creative solutions.
A valuable skill for a Scrum Master is adopting lean thinking. This skill empowers them to scrutinise processes and policies, pinpoint wasteful elements, and guide the team in eliminating inefficiencies. By cultivating a lean approach to development, the Scrum Master facilitates creating and delivering enhanced customer value.
A crucial skill for a Scrum Master is technical proficiency. This encompasses a deep understanding of the project’s products, effective communication with development and product teams, rapid issue identification, and team collaboration.
Apart from hard skills, certain soft skills make an able Scrum Master. Some of the essential soft skills are:
Scrum Masters are pivotal in coaching and motivating their teams throughout the project lifecycle. Effective leadership involves inspiring team members, offering clear direction, and removing obstacles hindering progress.
Scrum Masters require adept conflict resolution skills as they oversee teams with diverse perspectives and work styles. They must act as skilled negotiators and facilitators to resolve conflicts efficiently and encourage compromise.
Negotiation skills are a vital asset for a Scrum Master. They facilitate interpersonal decision-making processes, fostering collaboration among key stakeholders like the Product Owners, development teams, and stakeholders, ensuring a balanced workload and preventing backlog overflow.
Embracing an empirical approach enables the Scrum Master to make informed decisions swiftly. This fosters transparency within the team.
Check out our free technology courses to get an edge over the competition.
Responsibilities of a Scrum Master
The role of a Scrum Master encompasses various responsibilities integral to the effective functioning of Agile teams. Here are some tasks they are entrusted with:
- They facilitate sprint planning meetings, where the Scrum team collaboratively decides on prioritising items from the product backlog for the upcoming sprint.
- A Scrum Master identifies and removes roadblocks that hinder project progress. They are problem solvers, ensuring a smooth workflow and bridging gaps between Agile teams and stakeholders.
- They regularly analyse burndown charts and other portfolio planning tools to gain insights into project progress and delivery frequency. This involves understanding what features or tasks are being completed and at what pace, enabling data-driven decision-making.
- They promote open and effective communication within the team and between the team and stakeholders. This includes ensuring that information flows transparently.
Guide on Becoming a Certified Scrum Master
The Certified Scrum Master (CSM) examination follows a multiple-choice-based pattern. Follow the below-mentioned steps to learn how to get CSM certification:
- Enroll in a CSM training course and understand all Scrum-related concepts, including Sprint, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, and Sprint Review.
- Participate in live training sessions led by accredited Certified Scrum Trainers.
- Prepare thoroughly with mock exams.
- Finally, take the multiple-choice-based exam and score at least 74% by answering them in 60 minutes. This is how to get Certified as a Scrum Master.
Read our Popular Articles related to Software Development
|Why Learn to Code? How Learn to Code?
|How to Install Specific Version of NPM Package?
|Types of Inheritance in C++ What Should You Know?
How To Get Scrum Master Certification
A professional Scrum Master certification is extremely popular and has lifetime validity. Here’s how you can become a Professional Scrum Master:
- Attend an online Professional Scrum Master (PSM) training session with a Professional Scrum Trainer.
- Remember, it is not mandatory to take the training. However, the training course is highly recommended since it is extremely challenging, and candidates need an 85% passing score.
- You will receive an exam link and an assessment key upon completing the PSM training course.
- Take the PSM assessment online and try to secure a minimum score of 85% within the 60-minute time limit.
- Additionally, you may visit Scrum.org and register for the exam if you do not need a training course. After registration, you will receive a personal password and an assessment key, allowing you to take the exam.
Check Out upGrad’s Software Development Courses to upskill yourself.
Guide on Becoming A Scrum Master Without Experience
If you are wondering how to become a Scrum Master with no experience, here’s what you can do:
1. Have a basic understanding of Scrum
Start by researching and reading about the Scrum framework. Various online resources, books, and articles introduce Scrum principles and practices.
2. Develop problem-solving skills
Scrum Masters often need strong problem-solving abilities to navigate complex team dynamics and project challenges. Practice problem-solving through real-world scenarios. You can create hypothetical situations and apply Scrum principles to find solutions, honing your critical thinking skills.
3. Enroll in Certificate Courses
Consider pursuing online Scrum certifications. These programmes offer structured curricula and assessments to validate your Scrum knowledge.
4. Look for job opportunities
Actively seek Scrum Master job openings online and through your connections. If you are a working professional, look for Scrum Master job openings in your company. If your current employer hires Scrum Masters, your chances of getting the job will be slightly higher, even without work experience.
Explore Our Software Development Free Courses
|Fundamentals of Cloud Computing
|Data Structures and Algorithms
|React for Beginners
|Core Java Basics
|Node.js for Beginners
Reasons to Employ a Scrum Master
Here’s how companies can leverage when employing a certified Scrum Master:
- Enhanced customer satisfaction through improved delivery commitments and capacity planning.
- Accelerated time to market with increased flexibility and reduced cycle times.
- Improved software quality by addressing defects early and prioritising thorough testing.
- Increased collaboration, team ownership, and a trusted, safe working environment.
- Mitigated risks through effective change and uncertainty management.
- Elevated team morale by fostering a positive and supportive atmosphere for risk-taking and learning.
- Aligned work with business goals, ensuring efforts contribute to the company’s objectives.
Scrum Master vs Project Manager
Table comparing Scrum Master and Project Manager:
|In charge of small teams with simpler group dynamics.
|Employs larger teams.
|Ensures team proficiency in Agile practices and coaches Scrum teams for project completion.
|Has defined goals that include risk planning, budget management, scope control, and timely project completion.
|Facilitates Scrum ceremonies.
Educates teams on Scrum and Agile principles.
Executes product backlog based on product owner’s priorities.
Handles team conflicts through effective communication.
Ensures project alignment with the upper management.
|Plans budgets and executes project-related tasks.
Collaborates with other departmental project managers if needed.
May work directly and provide instructions to the team to achieve project goals.
|INR 14.1 LPA
|INR 16.7 LPA
Scrum Master vs Product Owner
Table comparing Scrum Master and Project Owner:
|Ensures Scrum processes are adhered to by the team and guides the team towards successful product delivery.
|Collaborates between development teams and clients to understand and deliver the requisite needs.
|Helps teams maximise productivity.
|Responsible for making decisions for the product backlog.
|Provides upper management with reports detailing the team’s efficiency and quality management aspects.
|Responsible for providing timely updates to both clients and upper management.
Benefits of Pursuing a Career in Scrum
Check out why you should pursue a career as a Scrum Master:
- The demand for skilled Scrum Masters is rising across various industries, offering excellent career prospects. Companies such as IBM, Wipro, PwC, and several government sectors are hiring Scrum Masters.
- With the growing demand for Scrum Masters, most companies are ready to pay lucrative salaries. Scrum Masters earn between INR 6.25 lakhs and INR 26 lakhs in India.
- Beyond technical skills, you’ll develop soft skills like communication, conflict resolution, and leadership, enhancing your overall professional growth.
- A Scrum Master‘s role directly influences project success, helping teams deliver valuable products and services faster, ultimately increasing customer satisfaction.
In-Demand Software Development Skills
The adoption of Scrum is increasing with the passage of time, indicating an increase in demand for Scrum Masters. Thus, this is the perfect time to exploit this promising arena. Prospective applicants can better explore this professional field with certifications like Certified Scrum Master, Professional Scrum Master, and SAFe Advanced Scrum Master.
Remember to take up a training course before taking any Scrum certification exams. Various online platforms offer comprehensive training on Scrum that prepares candidates to ace their Scrum Master interview questions and answers.
How long does it take to become a Scrum Master?
There are several training courses available online that offer Scrum training. These training sessions last a day or two. Usually, students are adequately ready to take the exam after the training, but it depends upon an individual’s learning pace.
What are the Scrum Master qualifications?
There are no minimum educational requirements for Scrum Master certification. However, some organisations prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree and relevant work experience.
What is the cost of Scrum Master certification in India?
The fee for a Scrum Master certification in India is variable. The fee depends on the platform you choose. However, it typically ranges between INR 17,000 and INR 20,000.
Can a beginner become a Scrum Master?
A beginner can easily become a Scrum Master by acquiring the relevant certifications.
Is Scrum Master a stressful job?
A Scrum Master is in charge of other team members, and the team's efficiency depends on him/her. Thus, it can be a stressful job for some.