Emerging In-Demand Job – Scrum Master

by | May 5, 2021

You’ve probably heard the terms Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches bandied around quite a lot in the technology and project management areas over the last few years. But what do these jobs involve? Well, there are many similarities between the two roles. Both Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches help organisations to develop an Agile mindset in the development and launch of software products. And, they both use similar techniques to support project management teams. The difference between them lies in their scope and focus. While Scrum Masters are part of the Scrum Team and are involved in a very hands on way, an Agile Coach plays an independent role and will coach several teams and Scrum Masters.

What is Agile?

Agile is an approach to project management and software product development that helps teams deliver value to customers faster and with fewer headaches. Instead of a “big bang” launch, an agile team delivers work in small, but consumable, increments. Requirements, plans, and results are evaluated continuously so teams have a natural mechanism for responding to change quickly. Popular Agile frameworks include Scrum, Lean and Kanban.

The role of a Scrum Master or Scrum Lead

The role of Scrum Master or Scrum Lead is becoming increasingly commonplace in New Zealand. It is a skilled, well paid role which requires a strong mix of technical and interpersonal competency. Scrum Masters are part of a specific scrum team(s) and play a leading role within the group. While they may not do the development work they are deeply involved in the project, are immersed in the team, and know exactly what’s going on.

Scrum Masters may do some or all of the following:

  • coach and lead scrum teams
  • organise short standup meetings and facilitate these using the scrum method
  • manage and report on the activities of the scrum team
  • protect the scrum team from interruptions when a product is being developed
  • help the scrum team deal with obstacles.

Scrum Masters need to have knowledge of some or all of the following:

  • principles of the Agile approach to project management
  • scrum methodology
  • other Agile approaches and techniques such as Kanban and continuous testing
  • how to handle software development issues
  • common web technologies used by the scrum team.

Source: Scrum Master Profile – Careers NZ

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Relevant Qualifications:

While there are no specific requirements to being a Scrum Master and you do not have to be a qualified programmer or software developer, a development or IT qualification is very useful. In addition, Scrum Masters usually need an industry certification like the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) or Professional Scrum Master (PSM).

Scrum Masters in Career Central

The Scrum Master role fits within the Programmer job family in our Future Pathways Assessment. For more on our Bulls-Eye Career Quiz options click here.

About the author Kate McBeath