The information technology industry in recent years has seen many changes which all the professionals working in the IT sector have to adopt. One of the most important changes that have taken place is the evolution of Agile Methodology is not only in the software manufacturing industry but also in various other sectors such as construction, aerospace engineering, construction industry, the architectural sector, banking, and finance, in government projects, etc. The areas of application of Agile Methodology have expanded dramatically, and with that, all the frameworks of Agile have also expanded its branches and spread out to several industries. Agile has shown many advantages from the traditional software methodologies which have been a primary reason why companies have transformed into Agile organizations. Agile is adopted by most of the reputed companies and it has become an integral part of education for the professionals working in industries dealing with Agile.
While we understand that Agile is a Methodology, we also have to know that various frameworks such as Scrum, Kanban, XP, Crystal, etc are a few of the popular frameworks that work using the Agile principles. Scrum is one such framework that has gained popularity among many organizations as it is lightweight, easy to use, and can design complex products in a shorter period while remaining productive and creative. The product developed by Scrum delivers immense value to the customer and also provides benefits such as the early return of investment, reduced time to market, increased customer satisfaction, enhancing business value, etc. These are a few of the reasons why Scrum has gained such popularity among many organizations of numerous industries.
As the scope of Scrum increases, there is also a huge demand for the various roles of Scrum as the Scrum Team is the key factor that drives the success of an organization. The three main roles of Scrum include the ScrumMaster, the Product Owner, and the Development team. There are other team members such as a business analyst and architects of Scrum that play integral parts in the team, however, the three primary roles are the ones that form the backbone of the framework. Each of these roles is equally as important as the other, but in this article, we discuss the role of a ScrumMaster in detail and understand the ScrumMaster job demand that has been built in the market over the recent years.
What is a Scrum Master?
A ScrumMaster is a professional who is considered to be a servant leader and facilitates the Scrum Events of the team. They are accountable for creating and laying the groundwork for Scrum as it is mentioned in the Scrum Guide. One of the most important jobs of the ScrumMaster is to help everyone understand Scrum theory and practice, within the team and the organization. The team’s effectiveness depends on the ScrumMaster’s decisions, practices, and skills. The ScrumMaster is the leader that serves the Scrum Team and the organization at large. These are a few roles that a ScrumMaster has to fulfill so that we have an idea about what their job is.
- Instructing and educating the Development team about self-management and cross-functionality.
- Removing any impediments that come in between the team’s process when they are working on the Sprint Goal.
- Facilitates the collaborations of Stakeholders when needed or requested.
- Giving clear ideas on the Product Backlog items to the Scrum Team so that a valuable product can be delivered.
- Conducting Scrum Events and making sure that the objective of the Scrum meetings are met, also that the ceremonies are time-boxed.
- Advising and planning Scrum implementations in their respective organizations.
- Coaching, training, and leading the organization in its Scrum adoption.
Demand for ScrumMaster
ScrumMaster is one of the most demanded jobs across the world. In 2020, ScrumMaster is considered to be one of the top 15 emerging roles as the world has changed in the recent year and many organizations have understood the importance of the Scrum Framework and how essential a ScrumMaster is for the implementation of Scrum. According to LinkedIn, the ScrumMaster was one of the most promising jobs in 2019 along with many other jobs such as the Agile Coach, Product Owner, etc. One study.com report also suggested that the role of ScrumMaster will grow annually by about 24% till the year 2026, as companies are slowly streamlining towards implementing the Agile Methodology to their organization. The implementation of Agile Methodology in recent years has seen a sharp increase as companies start to realize the true value of Agile and how much they could be benefited from it. And as the implementation takes place, the recruiters of the companies look for individuals who are well-versed in their Agile principles, skills, practices, and knowledge. With that, the ScrumMaster role is one of the chief roles in Scrum that helps the organization in Agile adoption and transformation. Hence, the demand for ScrumMasters across the world has increased exponentially.
Why are top companies hiring ScrumMasters?
The role of a ScrumMaster is more people focussed than technical. However, not every manager can become a ScrumMaster. Companies hire ScrumMasters as they have a vivid knowledge of Scrum and know how to implement it in their organization. Also, ScrumMasters have varied responsibilities that include interacting with the Development Team, Product Owners, and many other Stakeholders. Top companies require individuals who have both hard skills or technical skills and also soft skills such as the ability to communicate and collaborate with other members. The ScrumMaster job is a blend of technical and managerial roles as they have to know both sides of the process during product development. As ScrumMaster works with different Stakeholders such as Developers, Clients, and the Testing team, they have to ensure that the final product is developed according to all the criteria that were set initially and are delivered on time.
The ScrumMaster job demands full-time attention and has to be pursued by individuals who are dedicated to solve the problems that come during the process and also have the ability to handle chaos, have ownership of their work, and also help the Developers to find their inner potential. Top companies look for ScrumMasters as they are the key professionals that can implement Scrum in their organization, instruct their current employees in their organization about Scrum, and create an Agile environment. Also, ScrumMaster can evaluate the progress of Scrum and how much revenue they have earned from the implementation of Scrum. Hence, top companies looking for sustainable development and also who look to expand their companies across the globe look for capable and knowledgeable ScrumMasters who can handle their responsibilities excellently and also have the Agile mindset for growth in their career.
Salary of a ScrumMaster
According to payscale, the salary of an average ScrumMaster is around $89,000 per annum. However, the range in the salary widely varies depending on several essential factors such as certifications, education, additional skills, and experienced years (numbers of years spent as a ScrumMaster). Also, ScrumMaster has an increased chance of gaining more salary by stepping up in their career ladder and accepting more challenges in their profession.
Career growth as a ScrumMaster
A ScrumMaster starts their career by serving one Scrum Team by instructing them about product development and delivery. As the ScrumMaster grows as an individual, they are ready to take more challenges in their job and become better Scrum professionals. The career of the ScrumMaster grows in the following phases:
- Working with Multiple teams:
As the team becomes self-organizing and becomes responsible for their actions, the ScrumMaster starts to seek additional challenges in the job. The next logical step in the role of ScrumMaster jobs is to instruct more than one team and start working with multiple teams that develop more complex and demanding products. When starting to work, the ScrumMasters should begin with teams that are more likely to succeed. This implies with teams who do not have any difficult personalities or who have unrealistic product goals and delivery expectations. But as the ScrumMaster begins to grow, they have to go from good to great which would require them to work in complex conditions. Hence, if the ScrumMaster wants to move ahead in their career, they have to take on additional challenges by moving forward and accepting change in their job, as success is often rewarded to those who take on additional challenges and keep moving forward.
- Working as a Mentor
As the ScrumMaster succeeds in working with multiple teams in different contexts, they have gained more experience in working in different environments and handling the challenges that the role throws at them. This experience could be the building block for the next step in their career as mentors to other ScrumMasters. They could instruct other ScrumMasters about their knowledge, skills, experience, and many other aspects of the job and become an excellent mentor. In various organizations, this role may be addressed as an Agile coach which has the description saying that the Agile coach trains ScrumMasters along with their teams.
ScrumMaster should have a love for the process rather than for the product to take on such a career path. As they become mentors and not just coaches, by offering guidance for individuals who are new in the field. The experienced ScrumMasters’ advice and knowledge would only work when the new individual understands it clearly, hence ScrumMaster should also possess the skills for teaching and mentoring when they consider taking this career option.
ScrumMasters who consider that their true passion is the development process and all the creativity that takes place during it regardless of the product being developed are excellent for becoming an Agile coach. Hence, the ScrumMasters who consider enjoying the journey of product development and not the result have a great shot of becoming an Agile coach.
- Working as a Product Owner
Few ScrumMaster learns that they are more interested in the product that the team is building rather than the process. Such individuals become great candidates for becoming a Product Owner. This does not imply that the hierarchy of a Product Owner is greater than the ScrumMaster; both of them are equivalent in the organizational hierarchy. Often ScrumMasters realize that they care deeply about the product rather than the process ad having worked with teams long enough, the ScrumMaster want a change and discover more career options as they have all the knowledge of the product, users, customers, market, and the industry all of which is required to become a great Product Owner.
- Working as a Manager
ScrumMaster duties include managerial roles as they work with the Development Team, Stakeholders, and many others. They are not managers themselves but as they learned more about the managerial skills while working as a ScrumMaster, they are the best candidates for the post of manager. This role is for individuals who want more authority over the organization, and have more managerial skills. But if a ScrumMasters has retained technical knowledge, moving to a role such as Quality Analysis director, or development manager should be a logical step and fulfilling step.
A career as a ScrumMaster has great insights and opportunities as it has one of the most earning potential in various industries. Also as Agile has seen massive growth in the past years, companies are demanding Scrum professionals who can increase their business value and implement Scrum in their organization. Also, a ScrumMaster can choose many paths such as a mentor, Product Owner, Manager, and working with more challenging teams. For many people being a ScrumMaster can be the ultimate goal as the role of the ScrumMaster also has various levels of certification. The ScrumMaster cannot be a perfect expert and there would always be room for improvement. Hence, the ScrumMaster role is an excellent career opportunity for individuals looking for growth and immense earning potential and who want to stay relevant to job options in the market.