7 Attributes of a Great Scrum Master

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

Scrum Master is one of the fastest emerging jobs today and we are noticing more and more people getting certified. But who makes a good Scrum Master? Scrum Masters come from a variety of backgrounds; it is not a Manager nor a Project Manager role but you are still influential in keeping the Scrum Team running and project progressing. So if you are transitioning from a similar role or new to the role, it's important to know the personal traits to know if it's a good fit, and to learn and enhance your role.


1. Coach

Coaching the Scrum team on Agile and Scrum principles is a key attribute to a being great Scrum Master. You know Agile and Scrum principles and values and are able to teach and coach the team where there are knowledge gaps. Get your team familiar with the Scrum events and the roles that they play and how to participate.


2. Facilitator

This is a very important part of being a Scrum Master, who facilitates Scrum events and meetings. You carry an arsenal of facilitation techniques for each situation and adjust accordingly.


3. Counsellor

Scrum Masters encourage team unity and are good listeners; you look after the team as an ensemble and also as individuals. This may mean being an informal counsellor to the team to resolve conflicts and even personal issues, but you will need to know your boundaries as to when to bring in line managers, HR, or others for help.



4. Represents Scrum Values

The Scrum Master, as does the whole team, represents the Scrum Values of Openness, Focus, Respect, Commitment and Courage. You encourage these values in everyone that you deal with.



5. Situational Leadership

As a Scrum Master, you are a humble leader rather than a manager to Scrum Team as they are self-managed. You lead by influencing without authority, facilitate events, build autonomy in the team, and remove obstacles. You also protect the team from outside disruptions. You will know when to provide leadership by facilitating meetings and Scrum Events when required.



6. Do Not Need Recognition

The Scrum Master celebrates the successes of the Scrum team and other Scrum teams, you do need personal recognition. Nor are you are solely responsible for project failures. You encourage team unity and help create a culture of high performing teams.


7. Scrum Knowledge

Scrum Masters are the knowledge masters of Scrum for the team and potentially for the company. You are the Scrum advocates; educating the Scrum Team on the Agile Manifesto and Agile Principles and Scrum events and roles. You will also work with other Scrum Masters to educate teams on their roles and responsibilities in the Scrum framework.



We hope you find these useful to make you a better Scrum Master and Scrum Team member as you continue on your Agile and Scrum career journey. Also take a look at the books and certification courses that we recommend to Scrum Masters below. Hope to see you on one of our courses soon!



FURTHER READING

For further reading, here are some books that we recommend starting with from our reading catalog that are aimed at Scrum Masters:

Scrum and XP from the Trenches by Henrik Kniberg

A detailed account how a company implemented Scrum and XP with a team of approximately 40 people and how they continuously improved their processes over a year’s time.

Essential Scrum by Kenneth S. Rubin

Essential Scrum will provide every team member, manager, and executive with a common understanding of Scrum, a shared vocabulary they can use in applying it, and practical knowledge for deriving maximum value from it.

Scrum Mastery by Geoff Watts

For practicing ScrumMasters who want to develop themselves into a great servant-leader, capable of taking their teams beyond simple process compliance.

Scrum Fieldbook by JJ Sutherland

From the son of Scrum founder Jeff Sutherland comes a step-by-step guide to using his revolutionary tool for turbo-charging the output of every team.





RedAgile are Australia's leading Agile Scrum training provider certified by the Scrum Alliance. As Australia's best Scrum training provider we offer Agile Scrum training courses and consulting services both online and in-person. Our training portfolio includes: Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) as well as our new Advanced Certified ScrumMaster (A-CSM) and Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner (A-CSPO) courses.



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