Scrum has emerged as an effective productivity tool for many organizations, but without a scrum master, the process can flounder. But by hiring a scrum master, you can elevate the skill level and productivity of your dev teams, as well as potentially produce high-quality projects faster.
Here’s what to look for when searching for a scrum master, the responsibilities you can expect them to fulfill, and some typical salary figures.
What Does a Scrum Master Do?
A scrum master job description focuses on managing how team members collaborate and communicate during the scrum process. Scrum is an agile approach to project management that focuses on developing many interactions of a product in a continuous manner. In this way, scrum enables teams to generate higher-quality versions of software—or other products—in less time.
A scrum master understands the principle that drives this kind of development, how to motivate team members to buy into the system, and ways to coach them throughout the project lifecycle.
What Scrum Master Roles and Responsibilities Should You List?
A scrum master typically works on the following:
Ensure Smooth, Productive Scrum Processes: Scrum involves regular processes, such as planning sprints, daily check-ins or “stand-ups,” reviewing progress, and conducting post-project reviews. These all have to happen within timeframes and involve precise communication between team members. A scrum master makes sure the team does these things smoothly.
Eliminate Things That Could Impede the Scrum Process: A scrum master identifies issues that are impacting results, timelines, and success and addresses them so they don’t derail the project.
Mentoring and Coaching: A skilled scrum master also coaches team members through the scrum process, which is particularly helpful for those that are used to other approaches to development, such as Waterfall. Coaching may often involve helping scrum team members master the arts of self-motivation and execution, transparency, and the ability to adapt to changes.
Ensuring Collaboration: In a scrum environment, team members constantly communicate around ways to ensure the quality of the next iteration, and a scrum master makes sure collaboration is consistent and effective. For instance, a team focusing on the front-end of an application may need to adjust on the fly to make sure it plays well with a back-end database. A scrum master could make sure this interaction is timely and effective.
Scrum Master Skills
Scrum masters need a range of skills, especially those in connection with leadership and facilitating teamwork. Here are some skills you’d want to keep an eye out for as you evaluate scrum master candidates:
- Understanding scrum principles and methods
- Communicating ideas clearly
- Facilitating diverse teams with different skillsets
- Resolving conflict
- Empowering team members by giving them the tools and methods they need to succeed
An important distinction between a scrum master and other kinds of leaders is a scrum master leads by serving their team members. In other words, much of their day is spent making sure everyone has the resources they need, as opposed to merely telling people what to do and how.
How Much Do Scrum Masters Get Paid?
According to Zippia, scrum masters get paid an average of $65,000 to $114,000 per year. The actual amount you can expect to pay a scrum master will vary according to the level of experience you need and if they will supervise a team. Where your business is located and the extent of the work they’ll be performing can also have an impact on compensation. For instance, scrum masters in California tend to earn more than those in some other areas of the country, bringing in about $101,405 per year.
You can speed up the scrum master hiring process by partnering with Insight Global. Our professionals can identify the best scrum master for your organization, making sure they have the skills, experience, and knowledge you need. Also consider a scrum as a service options under our managed services division, Evergreen.
See how we can partner with your company by connecting with us today.