I am the ScrumMaster… koo, koo, cachoo

It’s official, and I am a ScrumMaster! My “official name” (the one usually only mentioned when I’m in trouble or buying a house) is even on the Scrum Alliance website.

I’ve been working in an agile environment for over a year now, and while it might not be the right tool for every project, it has a lot of great aspects. If you aren’t familiar with Scrum, here’s a brief introduction or my “Fitz Notes.”

Scrum is just a way to get things done. There are 3 primary roles on a Scrum team, and everyone is considered an equal stakeholder.

  • Scrum Team – people in the trenches working on the project (usually no more than 9 or 10).
  • Product Owner – The liaison between the Scrum Team and stakeholders.
  • ScrumMaster – helps the team constantly improve by facilitating meetings and helping remove impediments.

Projects are time-boxed and developed in “Sprints” and can vary in length (we work in 2-week sprints). Each Sprint, the team works to build a “potentially” shippable product increment. We use a Scrum board (we use JIRA) to track tasks and progress for each Sprint.

The tasks are discussed in a Sprint Planning Meeting before each sprint by ALL the stakeholders. Each member discusses the project and the task in a quick-never-more-than-15-minute daily meeting during the Sprint. There’s a “Sprint Review” meeting at the end of each sprint for the team to discuss and demonstrate the work completed during the sprint and a “Sprint Retrospective” meeting to find out what the team did well and how we can improve for the next Sprint. There’s a lot more to Scrum, but this is my redneck definition of the basics.

ScrumMasters aren’t really the team manager or boss. Their primary role is to work with the product owners to facilitate the Scrum Processes and remove any roadblocks for the team. I believe the simple mission of a good ScrumMaster is to try its best to make sure the team is effective and successful. My primary goal as the “ScrumMaster” is to be a “Servant Leader” to the team.