A scrum master is the facilitator for an agile development team. Scrum is a methodology that allows a team to self-organize and make changes quickly, in accordance with agile principles. The scrum master manages the process for how information is exchanged.
Have you ever funded a 2-year software development project and found after a year of team effort has been invested, the project is killed because something new made the work obsolete? While some of the software may be reused you have to ask if the team spent the typical 3 months in planning and documentation which is now going in the trash can.
You can help your company avoid this problem by using Agile development and the SCRUM framework. This approach has been successful for years overseas. Realizing large productivity and efficiency gains, it has recently started growing in popularity in the US. You can’t afford to miss this paradigm shift.
Processes and Procedures have been replaced by new frameworks. The project manager is gone, and the developers decide what they will work on, committing to get the work done in small increments during short term sprints. The Project manager has gone the way of the dodo in favor of Agile development and the SCRUM framework.
Scrum reduces the complexity with three main roles: the product owners, developers and team coaching by a SCRUM master. The product owner is the link to the business developing a list of prioritized items to work on; the developers determine which task they can complete in a short sprint, reviewed with the product owner; and the development team makes a commitment to get the agreed work done in a short sprint work session, typically four weeks on a mature team. SCRUM keeps the focus on the goal of making incremental changes in short time frames. It allows the team and the company to make changes and stay ahead of the competition.
Adopting the SCRUM framework is a major challenge. Like any other change, it takes time and commitment from the highest levels of management to stay the course. Many companies take 2-3 years to make the change.
If you want to shorten that time, are starting a new SCRUM team, and need help to get it started, Sine Nomine Associates can provide short term services designed to get you over the initial pitfalls. Having an outside entity during this early phase helps reduce the team's initial push back. With time we help train your SCRUM masters, so they can take over.
SNA can also assist your existing team's SCRUM masters. It is very helpful when the team has another experienced SCRUM master resource with which to communicate.
Agile development and the SCRUM framework can be used by many industries outside of software development.