Lesson 09: Scrum Master
In this, and the next three lessons, we will review the Scrum roles. Most of the details about each role will be made clear when we go on with the course and review the process.
We’re going to review the Product Owner role in this lesson.
2020 update notes
A few things have changed in the latest version of the Scrum Guide (2020), and the ASF exam is updated based on those changes. However, our videos are not updated yet; so, please note the following changes:
- There’s no “development team” anymore, but only Developers.
- The recommended team size is now “10 people or less” for the whole Scrum Team.
- It’s now called “self-managing” instead of “self-organizing” (same concept, different name).
- There’s a Product Goal now, which is part of the Product Backlog, and sets the overall direction for the product.
- The Sprint Goal is now considered as part of the Sprint Backlog.
- The concept of commitments is introduced for the artifacts:
- Product Goal is the commitment for the Product Backlog.
- Sprint Goal is the commitment for the Sprint Backlog.
- Definition of Done is the commitment for the Increment.
- The Definition of Done is created by the whole Scrum Team now, and not only by the Developers.
- Now, any time you finish an item (based on the Definition of Done), a new Increment is formed. It’s not about having just one Increment at the end of the Sprint.
- The guide doesn’t suggest 10% as the ceiling for the amount of time Developers spend on Product Backlog refinement.
- Sprint Planning has three topics now:
- Why? -> Sprint Goal
- What? -> Items from the Product Backlog
- How? -> Tasks created by decomposing the items
- “Estimating” is now called “sizing”. So, it’s the responsibility of the Developers to size the Product Backlog items.
- “Value” is no longer one of the mandatory attributes of the Product Backlog items. The mandatory attributes are description, size, and order.
- Instead of calling the Increments “potentially releasable”, the new guide calls them “usable” (more or less the same concept).
- 00:05 – Okay. Now we’re going to talk about the Scrum Master.
- 00:09 – The Scrum Master is similar to the Product Owner.
- 00:12 – It is not necessarily a full-time job, it can be part-time, which means that the same person can be the Scrum Master for more than one team, for more than one project. That’s okay.
- 00:24 – Also, if you really insist, you can have one more person be the Scrum Master and something else, the Developer or the Product Owner.
- 00:32 – It’s not forbidden, but it’s a very bad idea. Don’t do that.
- 00:36 – The Scrum Masters are expert in the process, in the framework and the way things work, different techniques, different practices, and they are there to help people.
- 00:50 – They are not managers for these people.
- 00:54 – As you see, we don’t really have managers here. It’s a flat system.
- 00:58 – They don–t manage people. They work like a servant-leader. They serve people.
- 01:05 – They are there to protect the people.
- 01:08 – If they have a problem, they will go to the Scrum Master and they will do their best to solve that problem. One common thing is that, I didn’t tell you that before, but I’m going to tell you now.
- 01:20 – When we create the Sprint Backlog, one of the reasons that we create it is that we want to have focus on a certain number of features.
- 01:30 – The Product Backlog is always changing, but the Sprint Backlog stays the same to create a safe environment for us, to create focus, we don’t want distractions, but still in many companies you see that the CEO or someone else comes to the project room and asks people to add new features to the Sprint Backlog. That’s a terrible thing to do.
- 01:53 – In that case, you can go and tell your … the Scrum Master, you will tell the problem that you have, and they will go and try to solve it.
- 02:04 – They don’t have organization. They don’t necessarily have high organizational powers.
- 02:13 – So, all they can do is to convince the people to do the right thing.
- 02:18 – They don’t even have that power over the team.
- 02:21 – So, if you’re the Scrum Master and you see that people don’t have one of the meetings, you can’t go there and order them to have the meeting.
- 02:29 – You have to talk to them, tell them why it is important to have that meeting and how it helps them in their project, and convince them to do the right thing.
- 02:41 – You see how difficult it is.
- 02:43 – You have to be really good in negotiation, in motivation and many other things.
- 02:48 – It’s a very special role, very special.
- 02:52 – The other thing that we expect from Scrum Master is to serve the organization when you want to implement Scrum.
- 03:00 – Many companies are transiting from some existing system into Scrum and that’s difficult, very difficult. That’s even more difficult than using Scrum, and in that case, the Scrum Masters are supposed to have enough expertise to go there, work with the rest of the people in the organization and help them implement Scrum.
- 03:27 – Good luck. Okay. That was about the Scrum Master and, of course, we will learn more about it in the rest of the course.
- 03:35 – In the next lesson, we’re going to talk about the Development Team.
Next is the Development Team.
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