Scrum Master - Main Region

Scrum Master Jobs

 

What does a Scrum Master do? 

Scrum is an Agile project management methodology. It refers to a framework that allows teams to deliver complex projects and valuable products, applications, or services by working in an iterative approach, overcoming problems with an adaptive and continuous improvement mindset. As suggested by the name, a Scrum Master is the servant leader of a small team ( Scrum or squad) and is responsible for the performance of that team and prioritisation of their work across iterations (sprints), ensuring they meet defined business requirements. 
 

What skills does a Scrum Master need to have? 

A Scrum Master must have comprehensive knowledge of Agile principles and the Scrum framework. This includes experience in helping to coach team members in understanding the theory, rules, practice, documentation, tools and values of the Scrum. The Scrum Master should possess knowledge of various ways of working and Agile methodologies such as Kanban, XP, SAFe and Lean. 

Formal Scrum Master qualifications are also a requirement. This means that you should train to be a Certified Scrum Master (CSM). Additional certification in any of the following will help you stand out: 
 
  • Agile Certified Practitioner
  • Certified Agile Essentials accreditation
  • SAFe Scaled Agilist
  • Certified Enterprise Coach
  • Certified Product Owner
Although technical skills are not a pre-requisite for a Scrum Master, any field specific technical skills should be noted. This could include knowledge or experience within a specific area such as software development. For such a role, familiarity with computer architecture, database architecture or computer coding languages would benefit. 

Do not be concerned if you do not have specific technical skills as their requirement is dependent on both the role and size of the Scrum. In smaller sized Scrums, it is beneficial for a Scrum Master to possess technical knowledge as they may be required to play more of a hands-on role.
 

Scrum Master job responsibilities

  • Lead their team in Agile ceremonies, practices, principles, and behaviours
  • Establish an effective working environment by setting specific targets, prioritising workflow and clearing obstacles
  • Help team achieve targets and deliverables by being an effective mentor, coach, behavioural role model and direct line of support
  • Address team dynamics, allowing the team to focus on delivering across project iterations or “sprints” by minimising interruptions and distractions
  • Use metrics to plan and refine delivery schedules, also known as “backlog grooming”,  with the aim of sustaining high performance 
  • Provide Agile support to product owners and product managers
  • Exceptional stakeholder and relationship management

Skills and experience employers are looking for 

The use of Agile operational models is becoming more common. Agile frameworks cater to innovative solutions, provide greater financial control, and aligns business and IT. With technology now at the forefront of change, there is a demand for people who can lead specialist teams. We have found that employers are looking for strength in three key areas: 
  • Knowledge 
  • Leadership 
  • Relationship Management 

Knowledge

Extensive knowledge of Scrum is essential. Any additional Agile or Lean framework knowledge will also be an asset. Employers expect Scrum Masters to understand the Scrum theory, roles, and events. This includes sprint planning, increment and review. In addition, the Scrum Master is expected to be proficient in prioritising both the Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog.
 

Leadership

Outstanding facilitation and coaching are regarded as key leadership skills required to deliver the desired outcome. An effective coach can unlock the full potential of a Scrum team member and maximise the performance of that individual. A Scrum Master is known as a servant leader as they empower team members to solve their own problems. Being able to facilitate provides a Scrum Master with additional time to collaborate with other key stakeholders.
 

Relationship Management

Those with experience in driving cross-functional team collaboration will be well positioned for a role as a Scrum Master. Employers are specifically looking for persons who can serve as an effective link between business and delivery teams. This further emphasises the need to have strong communication and interpersonal skills. 
 

What type of employers hire a Scrum Master? 

Thanks to technological advancement and a shift towards Agile operation, there has never been a better time to be a Certified Scrum Master (CSM). A growing number of industries are seeking the expertise of an Agile Scrum Master including: 

Information Technology – The Scrum framework was first conceived as a Software Development Agile delivery methodology. A good Scrum Master on a software development project is an invaluable asset as they solve a myriad of problems while allowing skilled developers and other technical resources to carry out their responsibilities such as writing code and testing new features.

Manufacturing – Production errors can be extremely costly to investigate and rectify. Having a Scrum Master involved in the production process can help identify problems much earlier in the supply chain. This helps mitigate errors, streamline processes and improve commercial success. As a result, we have seen an increase in the amount of Scrum Master jobs in the manufacturing industry.

Financial Institutions – These organisations are constantly working to drive their competitive standing in the market. By releasing products and services via Scrum they increase their speed to market to achieve greater commercial success. Whether it be banking, trading or insurance, these institutions have long been heavily reliant on technology and are often at the forefront of new technology being developed across the country such as Machine Learning, Automation and Artificial Intelligence.  A Certified Scrum Master with technical skills in this vertical will be in a very strong position.

Marketing – Scrum is increasingly popular among marketing and digital agencies. The biggest driver for this is the expanding nature of traditional and digital marketing and a growing reliance on technology for product development. This has resulted in an increase in the number of specialist teams within a marketing department. Consequently, it has created a requirement for cross-functional teams and amplified the threat of potential backlog. The presence of a Scrum Master  enables a smoother operation and a stronger competitive offering to clients. 

Public Administration – The public sector features across the board in IT roles and the Scrum Master is no exception, often working within Scaled Agile environments. Technology has been marked as a priority throughout the public sector with organisations across all levels looking to update their systems and digitise their services.   

Other industries offering Scrum Master jobs include education, engineering, Ecommerce, consulting agencies, mining, and retail. 

Tools and software Scrum Masters use

Project Management Tools: MS Project, Jira, Confluence 
Communication Platforms: Email, Slack, Teams, Zoom, Google Meets etc
Other: Programming languages
 
We strongly advise that you list all software or tools that you are proficient in on your resume as they may help you stand out to employers in a specific industry. 
 

How to become a Scrum Master in Australia? 

There is no pre-requisite criteria to begin a career as a Scrum Master, but we suggest the following:
 
  1. A bachelor’s degree in business administration, information systems or a related field.
  2. Experience is the key element to becoming a Scrum Master. Familiarise yourself with the fundamentals of Scrum and work relentlessly on your core soft skills. These include communication, facilitation, and stakeholder relationships.
  3. Become a Certified Scrum Master. There is a range of organisations that provide Scrum Master training and certification. We suggest undertaking the certification program with a reputable organisation who adhere to the peak industry body, Scrum Alliance.
  4. There is an abundance of additional training that can help broaden your skills. These include and are not limited to, Professional Scrum Master (PSM) and Certified Scaled Agile (SAFe). Expand your skill set, have it accredited, and add it to your resume.
 

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