What is a Scrum Master? Why They’re Vital to Project Success

Businesses are constantly working to refine their workflows and improve profitability. Unfortunately, business practices throughout the whole of a company are rarely transparent. It’s common for delays and mistakes to occur, and with today’s fast-moving markets, it’s also possible for products to be outdated before they even ship. 

In order to streamline workflows and create a more dynamic system that can improve upon itself, Scrum is used to help organize project management. In this piece, we’ll cover what Scrum is and how Scrum masters can use their skills to drive up productivity.

What is a Scrum Master?

To understand the role of a Scrum master and what they do, we first have to cover what scrum is in the first place. Like many big buzzwords, it’s easy to attribute Scrum to better business practice, but difficult to explain exactly what it is and how it works. 

At its core, Scrum is a framework that’s built to handle complex problems. Rather than being a rigid methodology for business practice, it’s a dynamic framework that incorporates productive, creative ideas to develop quality projects. It can be adapted to suit just about any kind of team to help it manage goals and workflow in increasingly better ways.

Ideally, a Scrum framework looks something like this:

Backlog: A project backlog is created. This backlog contains everything a project needs in order to be completed, including tasks, resources, and other important details. Sprint Planning: A sprint plan is a weekly plan created to meet specific goals that will contribute to the project’s overall completion. Sprint Backlog: Much like the project backlog, this includes every task and item that needs to be completed to successfully meet project goals. Daily Meetings: The Scrum team, essentially the team set on completing the project, engages in brief daily meetings to make sure each member has everything they need and that any prospective problems are immediately addressed. Sprint Review: At the end of the week, an assessment is conducted to evaluate how goals were met and how improvements may be implemented. Sprint Retrospective: Potential problems and solutions found in the sprint review are addressed and incorporated into the new sprint plan for the next week.

Much like the name implies, a Scrum Master is the person responsible for managing this framework within a company. They work directly with the Scrum team to keep goals on track but don’t actually involve themselves with the decision-making processes for the company. Because analysis and review are implemented week by week, the framework has the flexibility to make needed changes that meet project goals or possibly even surpass them.

When do You Need a Scrum Master?

A Scrum master benefits multiple people, including clients, upper management, developers, and really anyone who stands to gain from better-managed projects as a whole. This can be broken down simply by the individual parties affected by a Scrum master’s work:

The Development Team: Scrum masters are defined as servant-leaders, meaning they have a unique place between the teams working on a project and the other parts of a company that relies on the team’s work. Rather than being upper management with all the pressure associated with that, Scrum masters work as approachable equals to the team who can mediate the needs of developers with the managers and other

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