What is a Scrum Master? Roles, things to do and differences from PM

“Scrum is a game about speed and developer happiness. Scrum Masters teach business leaders and teams how to enjoy the game of Scrum.”

This is the first message from our trainer Joe.
The Scrum Master teaches the Scrum method, elicits the autonomous behavior of the team, and maximizes the results. Results speed up and makes developers happier. How can we improve, how can we increase happiness? It’s a simple and fun game that pursues it.

What is the job of the Scrum Master? What they do?

The Scrum Master puts Scrum methods and principles into practice in order to achieve the team’s agreed-upon goals. The Scrum Master is the person who knows the Scrum method best, so he coaches and facilitates the Scrum framework to run well. It also removes obstacles that impede team speed.

Progress Sprint planning

Developers develop a technical plan to achieve the determined Sprint Goal. This is called the Sprint Backlog. Developers are responsible for planning, executing, and managing the Sprint Backlog. The Scrum Master helps with that. “What is the goal of this sprint?” “What can be completed in this sprint?” “How will you work?” Scrum Master supports it.

Hold daily scrums

Daily Scrum is a 15 minute event for developers. Check your progress and re-plan your day’s work. We will review how to achieve the sprint goal, such as how to proceed and collaboration within the team. Revisit the Sprint Backlog as needed. The Scrum Master helps with that.

Hold a sprint review

The Sprint Review, sometimes referred to as a demo, is where stakeholders view the Sprint Increment. Based on whether or not the definition of done is satisfied, the product owner checks in advance, so the sprint review is a celebration (announcement) for all stakeholders and the team. The Scrum Master helps with that.

Problem solving inside and outside the Scrum team

The Scrum Master facilitates the rapid resolution of issues within and outside the Scrum Team that impede team activity and speed. They may ask the Product Owner or the developers to take action, but the Scrum Master is responsible for removing potential roadblocks.

Improve the Product Backlog

Refinement is the activity of improving or refining a Product Backlog item. Change or update Product Backlog requirements. The 5 events have a fixed order of implementation, but the “refinement” is not an “event” but an “activity”, and the order is not fixed and can be done at any time.
We recommend the Refinement Cafe. Each team member grabs their drink of choice and spends 15 minutes each day editing and updating the Product Backlog with the Product Owner.

Scrum Master Roles and Responsibilities

As the person who knows Scrum best, the Scrum Master is primarily responsible for.

Bring your team together as an agile coach

As an Agile coach, the Scrum Master coaches teams to understand and practice Agile. Our Trainer Joe likens Scrum to a game, Product Owners to referees, Scrum Masters to coaches, and developers to players.

Manage the product backlog and support the product owner

The Scrum Master supports the activity of refining the Product Backlog, which is the business goal, and assists the Product Owner and Developers.

Strengthen organizational capabilities by sharing, guiding, and training Scrum methods

Scrum does not have a manager. There is no one to assign work or give instructions. Therefore, the developers themselves autonomously self-organize and work and release. By sharing, guiding and training the Scrum method to the team, they encourage the formation of a team that can move autonomously.

Goals of the Scrum Master

Unlike traditional project managers, one of the main goals is to encourage self-organization of the team. Brings ownership and responsibility to the team and encourages team problem-solving skills.

Aiming to be an Agile and Scrum expert in the field of the Scrum team

As the master who knows Scrum best in the field of the Scrum team, lead the team to thoroughly implement the Scrum principles.

Spread your Scrum knowledge and make your entire company agile

There is more than one way to switch to Agile. There will be top-down agile transformation, and there will be bottom-up agile transformation. First, gather volunteers in the car and form a team to create a successful pilot. And let’s switch to an agile company from where we can, such as getting management to understand agile.

Difference between scrum master and product manager

Scrum does not have a manager role. A project manager is responsible for risk, timeline, scope, cost and management. The Scrum Master, on the other hand, is responsible for teaching the game of Scrum and facilitating the team, while the Developers are responsible for self-managing and reporting on progress and trends in their work. Since “self-organization” is important in Scrum, responsibilities and risks are distributed so that employees can act autonomously instead of responding to requests according to the instructions of the manager.

Need a Scrum Master?

The Scrum Master is the core of Scrum development, understands the basic concepts of Scrum, and provides coaching to introduce Scrum to the Scrum team. In addition, in order to operate a team with speed, it is essential to “self-organize” by a team that maintains “psychological safety”. Therefore, the Scrum Master, who coaches, facilitates, and removes obstacles to the team, is a necessary role for the team.

The need to use the product backlog to divide projects and determine priority tasks

In the field of development, there are many cases where it is difficult to set and judge priority tasks.
Having a scrum master who understands the principles of scrum allows us to divide the project based on the product backlog and prioritize agile development while prioritizing tasks.

If your development team struggles with setting up, managing, and progressing the Product Backlog, and is having trouble determining which tasks to prioritize, consider the need for a Scrum Master.

Need for Scrum Master as Coaching

Scrum masters differ from product managers and project managers in that they act as coaches for agile teams and as coaches for team members.

Scrum Master leadership is coaching, unlike Pyramid senior leaders who follow the organizational hierarchy. The role of the Scrum Master is important as the coach of the team, guiding team members to become more effective.

Need as a sprint meeting facilitator

Scrum master who understands Agile development field members and products conducts progress meeting of Scrum team, so that progress report, problem raising and improvement can be done more smoothly.
The Scrum Master also plays an important role in spreading the Scrum values ​​and way of thinking in the organization. The place of facilitator of the sprint event will also be a place of opportunity to raise awareness of Agile Scrum and improve organizational power.

FAQ about Scrum Master’s duties and responsibilities

The role of the Scrum Master is not only to hold and proceed with sprint planning (planning), but also to solve problems that occur inside and outside the team.

Let’s take a case study of what to do as a Scrum Master and how to deal with it, assuming a common case in the actual Agile Scrum development site.

Joe Justice

Joe gives advice on common problems and issues!

It takes time for the team to finish the estimate with too much detail. What should a Scrum Master do?

Joe Justice

Suggest using a rough estimate using S, M, L, XL, etc. Encourage them to split within one sprint so that they can be adjusted even if they are out of alignment. It might be a good idea to create an atmosphere where you can make estimates as if you were playing a game like poker.

What does a scrum master do when the dev team is not cross-functional?

Joe Justice

It becomes difficult to work with PBI from the top and creates a bottleneck. I suggest mob work because it is difficult to be cross-functional staying in your specialty. Mobs also decide their roles and teach them to have fun like an RPG game.

What does the Scrum Master do when the team is not enthusiastic?

Joe Justice

If there is a need, scrume masters will ask individual members why they are not motivated. Teams may not know what a common goal is to achieve, or they may know it but not share it. or may have other problems. For example, because the team is not empowered, if improvement plans are not realized or take time, motivation will be lost. As a scrum master, consult with the product owner and the stakeholders of the organization and make improvements so that the team has decision-making authority.

What does the scrum master do to develop team members?

Joe Justice

Increase psychological safety and give success experiences. Give them simple tasks at first, or mobwork them to complete the work together to build their confidence.

What does the Scrum Master do when team members get frustrated or have a bad relationship?

Joe Justice

Improving psychological safety is very important. You can retrospectively ask what causes frustration or what brings team members closer to happiness. And Scrum Teams share ideas to encourage healthy discussion. This will help us understand each other’s perspectives, promote better ideas, and bring our relationships closer together.

What does the Scrum Master do when there is a discrepancy in methods and ways of thinking with colleagues and disagreement?

Joe Justice

Making a list of the strengths and weaknesses of a particular idea and evaluating both sides of the idea can help you find a solution. It is necessary to listen to each other, understand each other, and be able to resolve conflicts as quickly as possible.

As a Scrum Master, what do you do when the source of the problem is outside the team?

Joe Justice

Focus on the root cause of the problem or issue. It is necessary to discuss with other team members if there are any ideas to solve the problem. Collaborate with other members of the team to solve problems.


The work of the Scrum Master is diverse, but please do not forget that it is a game that pursues “speed and happiness”, and encourage the team to practice the principles and rules of Scrum, with the Scrum Master playing a central role. As a result, the self-organization of the team will be promoted, the work speed will be improved, and the happiness of not only the developers but also the customers and other stakeholders will be increased!