How to Find A Scrum Master?
Looking for a person to lead and help your dedicated development team? Finding a Scrum Master can be a hard task on its own. To hire a person, responsible for helping and motivating other team members, you should have a good understanding of what a Scrum Master is and what is his role in the development process, technical skills, personal features and how they can match up.
So What is a Scrum Master?
The main goal of a Scrum Master is to do everything to help the team perform at the highest possible level. This may include removing technical/personal obstacles, creating solutions for emerging problems, facilitating communication among the team members and/or with the product owner.
The Scrum Master:
- helps the team reach consensus during the project’s life-cycle
- protects it from the outside distractions
- helps the team stay focused and follow the rules for daily scrums
- removes obstacles that are impeding the overall progress
The Scrum Master is there to help the team do the best work in terms of scrum methodology. It can also be compared to the help of a personal trainer, who takes care of performing all the exercises in the best possible form. Despite the fact that the professional trainer provides motivation his authority is quite limited.
A Scrum Master can’t make the team members do tasks they don’t want to do. The leader can only focus his agile team on achieving goals through the agreed methods of implementation. Considering that the authority is limited to the level of ensuring the team follows the Scrum process, this role is often more complicated than the role of a traditional project manager.
The main duties and responsibilities of Scrum Master
To start with, the Scrum Master takes on the leadership and administrative roles, making Scrum project management generally possible. Let’s say a product owner is a head that makes decisions; a Scrum team is an executing body, and a Scrum Master is the neck that connects the body and the head, holding everything together. The scrum master manages the process for how information is exchanged – this is how it actually works.
The Scrum Master does:
- Facilitate the daily stand-up;
- Set up sprint reviews and planning sessions;
- Protect the team from interruptions and obstacles that affect the process;
- Encourage collaboration between a Scrum team and a product owner;
- Walk the product owner through more technical issues of the project.
One thing to be clearly understood while hiring a Scrum Master for your agile development team: everything that ties into Scrum is almost always facilitated by the Scrum Master. With his help, the team can stay more focused on the software development job.
However, while looking for an effective Scrum Master you should consider that there are things that the Scrum Master does not perform during the day:
- No management for developers – the Scrum development team is self-organized;
- No release planning – the product owner and the team plan the releases.
The main role is to implement a methodology that allows your team to self-organize and follow agile principles. Even though the title may sound powerful, the Scrum Master is not the project leader and is not held accountable for outcomes.
How to recruit a great scrum master?
How do you find a person able to help prioritize tasks, interface with stakeholders and push a project to completion? Hiring a person that will lead the majority of your software initiatives is not so easy.
There is a lot of information on hiring project managers, engineers, and people of other professions, but there is far not much about recruiting Scrum Masters. It’s hard to name everything that should be considered during the interview process, but you can find a few key issues listed below.
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First of all, before starting the search, it is highly important to determine what you are looking for in a candidate and consider the size and the type of company you are in. Meanwhile, a Scrum Master for a small company may need to wear many hats, a big company usually requires a very specific role.
- Pay careful attention to the way a new Scrum Master complements with some of the required duties.
- Look at the candidates’ experience and give them some project scenarios to understand how they address a particular situation.
The professional background of a Scrum Master depends much on the company’s key objectives your candidate had been working with.
Hidden Talent Recruiting via Online Educational Platforms
Here’s a little hint on how to find a talented Scrum Master through the online educational platforms like Coursera. The platforms alike (Futurelearn, Udemy, and KhanAcademy) offer highly required free online courses from top universities and organizations in the world.
Coursera was the first to charge companies a flat fee for introduction to the best students on the course. Then, the other recruiting services started connecting passionate and dedicated students with positions that perfectly match their skills and knowledge.
If a person does well during the course and is interested in sharing that information with potential employers, you can get their contacts.
Check out the list of the Top Educational Platforms that can make a good base for hiring really committed professionals:
UPD: Coursera Career Services seem to be shut down for a while. We don’t see any mention of it in the FAQs anymore and the webpage does not exist. But that shouldn’t mean Coursera is not going to try something similar in the future. So, while looking for a good Scrum Master for your company, you can still try using this service by sending an e-mail to the official Coursera box.
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