What is a Scrum and Certified Scrum Master?

Scrum is the methodology that the Scrum master must know and apply in his work.

Scrum is a project management framework that allows products and services to be developed in a flexible way. The work processes are divided into the so-called. sprints that can last between one and four weeks.

The idea is that at the end of each sprint the team will show a working version of the product or part of it, suitable for presenting the client and passing an acceptance test.

Unlike traditional management based on monitoring and control, the Scrum method emphasizes feedback, communication, and empowerment of employees involved in the creation of the product.

Responsibilities and functions of the Certified Scrum Master

  • Leads and educates the coach in its mastery of Scrum;
  • Educates team members in self-organization and versatility;
  • Assists colleagues in following Scrum practices and values;
  • Removes obstacles that hinder the progress of the Scrum team;
  • Helps to find techniques for efficient Product Goal setting and effective Product Backlog management;
  • Helps the Scrum team understand the need for concise and clear elements of the Product Backlog;
  • Ensures that all Scrum events are held in a positive and productive way and ensures that they do not exceed the time limit.
  • The Scrum Master can serve one or more teams at a time, usually made up of a product owner and product developers. It is important to keep in mind that these teams have a flat hierarchy, ie. they have no bosses, they manage themselves, make decisions and communicate with management.

Examples of response situations by a Certified Scrum Master

The development team shares your idea that they want to nominate you for a Product Owner appointment and take over its functions, and for the Product Owner assigned to your team to go to another team and have no contact with it., Reference: Sample Exam (Mock) Questions for the BVOP™ Scrum Master Certification Test, https://bvop.org/posts/scrumexamtestquestions/

I thank them for the offer, but I refuse, explaining that I like and prefer to continue working with them in my role as Scrum Master and take care of their needs and help them remove obstacles and problems. I do not want to combine the two roles, as this would be a great burden for me and I would find it difficult to cope with all the tasks. This puts our work on the project at risk.

In 2 days you have a meeting to present the current progress of the product. Your Product Owner role and most of the Development team are on leave for another 5 days.

In the role of Scrum Master, I am well acquainted (from the daily Scrum meetings) with the current status of the work on the product and I am confident that I can make the presentation of the meeting in question. Reference: Best Scrum Master Certifications for 2022 and 2023, https://eduwiki.me/best-scrum-master-certifications-for-2021-and-2022/

Business stakeholders share the view that the product is not progressing as expected.

I’m consulting with the Burndown chart – the purpose and application of this chart are to quickly and easily view progress on tasks at a glance. In case there is real cause for concern, I gather the team to discuss the situation and find a quick and effective solution.

You notice that the team spends more and more time in the games and entertainment hall in your office.

If this happens outside of business hours, it’s OK. However, if it is within the established working hours and, especially if it affects the productivity and efficiency of the team, I gather my colleagues to draw their attention to what is happening and remind them of the responsibilities they have to the project.

Product Owner role in your team, goes on a business trip for 2 months in one of your customer support centers. No one has made any plans, no comments. The client has not shared anything more, the Development team does not know what they will work on and your colleagues are worried about the future of the project.

I am organizing a virtual meeting with the team and the Product Owner to discuss the situation and decide how to proceed in this case. I propose to maintain communication through regular virtual meetings. Thus, work on the project could begin, although the team is not physically together.

One of the programmers in the team asks the designer for regular adjustments to the visual concepts he offers.

The programmer actually violates the Scrum principles by requiring and setting individual tasks for his colleague. Reference: When to use the Scrum framework in your projects, https://www.muzonet.com/ I intervene with a request to refrain from such actions and in case there are any remarks about the visual concepts or any other features of the product, they should be placed and discussed at the general meetings of the team because it affects everyone’s work.

The QA specialists on your product testing team plan to integrate additional technologies, tools, and testing procedures. According to the product owner, this will double the work and the progress after the sprints will decrease.

The Dev team, in particular the QA specialists in this situation, is free to decide which technologies, tools, and testing procedures to use so as to ensure maximum product value. Additional integration may take place in the next sprint, which will probably require planning adaptation, but this is the daily routine at Scrum – adapting and adapting to ensure quality and valuable product.

The designer and the programmer have decided to exchange part of their work on their own initiative. The designer will take on some of the easy programming tasks, and the programmer will make parts of the interface.

I find this a good example of practicing cross-functionality of the team, as long as it does not critically affect the speed of development of the whole team and the goals set in the current sprint. Reference: “Scrum Master explains the roles to colleagues in the Scrum project“, https://securityinformationeventmanagement.com/scrum-master-explains-the-roles-to-colleagues/

QA specialists want you to assign them good testing tools for the next sprints, as you will already be developing new components that require a different type of test.

The Scrum team is free to choose their own technologies and tools for work, without outsiders requiring specific ones in order to achieve higher results. When the team uses a base with which it has the experience and is accustomed, everyone’s confidence and peace of mind are greater. This can be a factor in increasing the overall quality of the product and reducing possible errors and defects. In this case, I do what is necessary to provide the team with the necessary comfort. Reference: “Why do you want to be a Scrum Master?“, https://www.libraryofmu.org/why-want-to-be-scrum-master/

The development team wants to replace the main software part of your product. We currently use the paid Enterprise popular environment. The license is paid by your customer, who does not think that the cost is a problem.

Once the Dev team has decided that replacing the software part with another one will contribute to a higher value of the product, and the customer is OK with the cost, I see no problem with this not happening.

The Product Owner role wants the designer to increase communication with the product testing team.

I clarify the reasons for this request with the Product Owner as much as possible. Here you can use the technique of the 5 Why. This will help me identify more precisely what the problem is and guide me on how to deal with the team and the Product Owner. Reference: “Why do you want to be a Scrum Master?“, https://ossalumni.org/why-do-you-want-to-be-a-scrum-master/

Your client is not happy with the tests and wants to urgently increase the number of QA specialists in your team, with an additional 6 people as soon as possible. He wants three more senior programmers to join the team by the end of the week. The project budget has been increased accordingly.

First of all, I try to clarify together with the Product Owner what exactly does not satisfy the customer about the tests that the team conducts. We discuss with the team the information received and together we brainstorm what and how to optimize in order to achieve a higher result and meet the needs of the client. Reference: “Scrum and Kanban: similarities and differences“, https://www.policymatters.net/scrum-and-kanban-similarities-and-differences/

We share with the client that attracting so many people to the team is not really a good idea, as it will take time for them to come together, enter the project and start delivering satisfactory results. Part of the additional budget can be used as an additional incentive to increase the motivation of the current team in case they overcome the problem in the short term. Reference: “Scrum Master instead of project manager“, https://60yearsnato.info/scrum-master-instead-of-project-manager/

Your director wants you to move temporarily, for about a month, to another team. He has discussed moving your role with Product Owner, who will take over the Scrum Master function in a month, as he said he has time for that.

I share with the Director that this is not a good idea. The Product Owner role represents the voice of consumers and the desires of stakeholders and businesses. While the role of the Scrum master is mainly taken care of by the team that works on product development and strives to comply with the rules, regulations, and principles of Scrum. Reference: “The differences between Scrum and Kanban methods of working in Agile projects“, https://www.kievpress.info/differences-between-scrum-and-kanban-agile/

Otherwise, there would be chaos, micro-management, and disruption of the peace of mind of the teams. And all this would lead to a decline in motivation, defects, difficult to maintain product, discrepancies in plans, and probably failure in many respects. Reference: “Why apply Scrum to your company projects“, https://www.worldforgemagazine.com/why-apply-scrum-to-your-company-projects/

In case the other team needs me, I could take over the management of both teams for a period of one month (assuming that my team is already a well-oiled machine). In any case, I think this would be a better option than the Product Owner to replace me.