Scrum Rules: Your Scrum Master Knows Scrum Well and Can Explain It Both Quickly and in Detail

August 19, 2020
4 minute read

It is crucial for the Scrum Master to be fluent in all things Scrum. The Scrum Master is a servant-leader of the team and needs to be able to provide that leadership in words as well as in deeds.

The Scrum Master also needs to be able to help those outside the team understand which of their interactions with the team are helpful and which aren’t. Being able to communicate Scrum with brevity and clarity is essential for this work. Furthermore, it is important for the management and leadership of the organization to perceive the Scrum Master as possessing a level of expertise and authority with Scrum and again being able to explain Scrum well in addition to be understanding it and believing in it is required for the Scrum Master to build and maintain confidence in Scrum as a framework throughout the organization. In short, The Scrum Master is the representative or ambassador of Scrum in the organization and an ability to communicate all aspects of the framework is an essential aspect of representation.

There are a few good sources of information about Scrum and some very bad sources to avoid. The good ones include some of the basic Scrum reading materials such as the book “Agile Project Management with Scrum” by Ken Schwaber, and the “Scrum Guide” document provided by the founders of Scrum, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. We also strongly recommend that your Scrum Master be encouraged to take Certified Scrum Master or Professional Scrum Master training provided by the Scrum Alliance or respectively. Other good resources for learning Scrum may exist, but unfortunately many are extremely poor including some of the most popular YouTube videos and online training courses. Your Scrum Master should also get involved with a local Scrum or Agile user group and consider attending Scrum conferences such as the Scrum Gatherings organized by the Scrum Alliance.

As a start to being able to explain Scrum quickly, the Scrum Master should memorize and practice sharing this “Scrum elevator pitch”: Ken Schwaber, the founder of Scrum, tells of the time he was speaking with the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of a large Information Technology organization. The CIO said to Ken “I run projects that take twelve to eighteen months and I don’t get what I need. It’s really frustrating!”. Ken thought about that for a few moments and then said, “Well, with Scrum, I can give you what you don’t need in a month!”

The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring Scrum is understood and enacted. Scrum Masters do this by ensuring that the Scrum Team adheres to Scrum theory, practices, and rules. — The Scrum Guide

The Scrum Master is a servant-leader for the Scrum Team. The Scrum Master helps those outside the Scrum Team understand which of their interactions with the Scrum Team are helpful and which aren’t. — The Scrum Guide

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Bruce Power
Capital One
Equitable Life of Canada
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