As Agile and Scrum grow deeper into the market it is valuable for Management to communicate the rewarding and desirable career path that a ScrumMaster can have… even beyond just leading single Scrum teams.
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Q. Is ScrumMaster a job title or a role that someone with an existing job title fills?
A. It is first and foremost a role in Scrum but may also be used as a title where a person is filling that role for multiple teams and it becomes a full time job.
Such as: “Sr. Software Engineer – ScrumMaster”
Q. Can it be a role and still have a career path?
A. Yes, today a typical “career path” at looks something like: I – associate, II – junior, III – senior. The ScrumMaster “path” looks more like steps or supplements added to other job title oriented career paths. It may have options and branches rather than just a “ladder” with various levels. A ScrumMaster could also start as backup for primary on a team.
Q. How do you add it to your tile on email, business card etc?
A. Yes ScrumMasters who meet the qualifications outlined for this career path may append “- ScrumMaster” to the regular job title. They may also show CSM or other certifications from recognized professional organizations.
Q. What models for ScrumMaster and team should we consider?
A. Valid options for ScrumMaster working with a team include:
Q. Is a ScrumMaster on the team – are they considered a team member?
A. The ScrumMaster is a team member. They could contribute either as:
Q. What is a ScrumMaster responsible for?
A. “While a ScrumMaster does not assume responsibility for the success of the project -that remains with the team – a ScrumMaster does assume responsibility for the team’s adoption of Scrum and practice of it.”
Q. How much time should a person expect to spend on ScrumMaster activities instead of primary job title activities?
A. A ScrumMaster should make this role their top priority to focus on benefits to the overall team. Their load will vary from sprint to sprint depending on what impediments and issues the team is dealing with. Newly formed teams typically take more ScrumMaster time; 50%-100%, while experienced ScrumMasters with established well functioning teams might spend 50% or less of their time on the ScrumMaster role.
Q. How many Scrum teams would we expect a full time ScrumMaster to handle?
A. One or at most two teams. See question above about how much time.
Q. If you were a “full time” ScrumMaster what title would you have?
A. “ScrumMaster” when not appended to another title would mean that it is a full time responsibility.
Q. Would the title for a Scrum of Scrums ScrumMaster typically be a Project Manager?
A. Not necessarily. Only if the person previously had Project Management qualifications and experience in which case they could have a “Project Manger – ScrumMaster” title, otherwise their title would just be “ScrumMaster”.
Q. What skills and experience do I gain?
A. ScrumMasters exercise and develop their leadership and interpersonal skills along with training and continuing education in scrum and agile development.
Q. What qualifies as continuing education and who needs to approve it?
A. Example Continuing Education Activities include:
Management has budget approval of the individual’s costs for attending continuing education. The company publishes guidelines for qualified continuing education activities and may review and revise these from time to time with input from ScrumMasters and management.
Q. What professional certifications are applicable to a ScrumMaster?
A. The Scrum Alliance offers several levels of certification:
Q. Should the company support and pay for people to become certified?
A. Yes, The company will support and pay for Scrum related certifications based on the ongoing commitment from the individual to apply the certified skills as outlined in the prior question on applicable certifications.
Q. How does this affect desire for certification in other jobs and roles?
A. In the future we should answer this question as we define career paths in other areas based on the value and relevance to each role or position.
Q. Is certification required?
A. CSM is required to become and serve as a ScrumMaster. Additional Certification is not required but is supported and encouraged. Continuing education is required for active ScrumMasters to spend at least 2 days a year on improving their knowledge and skills for agile software development.
Q. Will the company pay for advanced certifications?
A. Yes, based on individuals continuing commitment to serve as ScrumMaster using the certified skills
Q. What recognition and reward do I receive?
A. Opportunities for recognition and reward include:
Q. Should there be a financial reward for being a ScrumMaster?
A. Additional financial compensation for ScrumMasters who take on this role in addition to an existing job title may be appropriate to recognize the added commitment and responsibility expected from ScrumMasters. Development management and HR should consider their existing position and compensation to determine the appropriate amount.
Note opinions are split on this point. There is value in this to consider that; being a ScrumMaster “feels like a thankless job” and also to make the management’s commitment to the role more tangible. The counter argument was “is this necessary?” This would be a plus but was not necessary.
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