The SCRUM Master is one of the three roles defined within Scrum Framework, together with Scrum Master (SM) and Product Owner (PO).
All the work delivered to the customer is done by The Scrum Team. It comprises a set of individuals (not only developers as you might think at first) working together to deliver the requested and committed product increments. They can be software engineers, architects, programmers, analysts, QA experts, testers, UI designers, etc.
To underline the importance of collaboration and working in teams, Scrum Framework as any other Agile practice does not define a role for individuals within a team, because the team is more important than the individual. To work effectively, it is important that everyone in the team follows a common goal, adheres to the same norms and rules and shows respect to each other.
The norms and rules should be agreed upon from the beginning, otherwise the team will waste valuable time later on to discuss on things that otherwise will be regulated by these norms and rules. Examples of such rules are: time and location of the Daily Scrum Meeting, the Definition Of Done (DoD) used to decide if work is finished or not, coding guidelines tools to use, etc.
The Scrum Team as a whole is responsible to deliver the committed product in time and with the defined quality. A good result or a failure is never attributed to a single team member but always the result of the Scrum Team.
The Scrum Team has to be empowered to define what it will commit to deliver at the end of the sprint, how the expected results have to be broken down into tasks and who will perform the task and in which order they are performed. Only if the Scrum Team is empowered to decide these things, it will work with the highest possible motivation and performance.
The main responsibilities of a Scrum team and its members are:
One other important thing in organising a Scrum Team is collocation. All team members should be in the same location (same floor, same room if possible) to minimise unnecessary communication overhead. If work has to be spread over multiple locations, independent Scrum Teams should be created. But in our days this is also possible, even if the face-2-face communication is preferable.
Ryan Rypley thank about what has happened when Scrum team collocated.
Feedback was immediate: The teams were pair programming and peer reviewing features as they were written. Anyone on the team could see or hear what was going on and could interject as needed. No lost emails or missed chat messages to hold us up.
Conversations gained context: Instead of suffering through the limits of 300 word emails, people could collaborate. The combined team organized in to groups based on the current user story and got to work. Questions were answered and whiteboards were used to clear up any misunderstandings. No mass email could possibly compete with these results.
Face time made a difference: Non-verbal communication IS communication. Your face often says more than your words. So can your body language. These cues enrich the dialogue and help foster stronger relationships and trust between team members. An emoticon in an email just doesn’t cut it compared to a real smile. 🙂
The SCRUM team is the only asset that an organisation has to empower to serve the clients in a better way!
This article is part of a bigger topic called: Agile Software Development
Some (final) thoughts