So what exactly does a scrum master do? I hear this question a lot. And the answer is easy: As little as possible.
However, being a scrum master is:
So how do these 2 thing correlate? Let me try to explain.
A good scrum master:
Doesn’t build anything (physically or in code) (the team does this)
Doesn’t test anything (the team does this)
Doesn’t design anything (the team does this – maybe with help from a designer if you don’t have one in the team)
Doesn’t prioritise anything (product owner does this)
Isn’t responsible for delivery (the whole team is)
But what they do, is facilitate the living crap out of EVERYTHING.
A good scrum master is alert and on the prowl the whole time for opportunities to help the team. To try to simplify the conversation. To keep everyone on track and aligned to the goal. To reach a conclusion. To make sure everyone has a voice. To get common agreement on next steps. To encourage learning. To find out what works for the team. To reduce waste.
Now, let me clarify that there’s a bunch of knowledge and experience you need too, in order to know how, what and when to facilitate. To know what killer visuals to pull out. This comes with time. If you find yourself in this role, be prepared to be busy, but remember to focus your energy on clearing the way for others.
Your duty is no longer to yourself, but to the team.
Observe them. Coach them. Protect them. Empower them. Encourage them. And facilitate the crap out of everything you can.