In the previous blog we looked at the roles of Project Manager, Program Manager and Product Manager. In this blog, we will deep dive into understanding the Scrum Master Role in Web3 Projects and how to become one, through the below topics:
The Scrum Master (SM) is accountable for implementing Scrum and Agile best practices throughout the team and company. He/She is responsible for the performance of the Scrum Team by helping the them to continuously improvise their processes as they inspect and adapt each sprint. SM role in web3 projects can be discussed under the conventional headings of serving the team, product owner and the organization.
Scrum Master Role & Responsibilities
A scrum master role in web3 needs candidates who can act as servant leaders, coaches, mentors, conflict navigators, good communicators and displaying high emotional intelligence.
Scrum Master serves the Team:
The SM coaches the team members on self-management, self-organization and cross-functionality. SM helps the team focus on creating Product Increments of high value that meet the Definition of Done (DoD). The SM removes obstacles to the team's growth. He also ensures that all Scrum events take place and are positive, productive, and kept within the time box.
Scrum Master serves the Product Owner:
SM helps develop strategies to formulate efficient Product & Sprint goals and Product Backlog management. He/she helps the team create Product Backlog Items (PBIs) that are clear, precise, and meet INVEST criteria (Acronym for Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Small and Testable). SM facilitates empirical product planning, road mapping, release planning, estimations, stakeholder engagement etc. as required.
Scrum Master serves the Organization:
SM leads, instructs, and coaches the organization's adoption of Scrum. He plans and advises on organizational implementations. Employees and stakeholders are assisted in understanding and implementing an empirical approach to complicated work, and obstacles between stakeholders and scrum teams are removed.
“A Scrum Master is like an orchestra conductor, guiding a group of individuals to create something that no one of them could create alone. — Mike Cohn
Additional Responsibilities for a Scrum Master in web3 projects:
Facilitating async communication for remotely working distributed teams
Setting up the Kanban boards and ensuring the flow is optimum
Resolve team conflicts and set up a high performing team environment
Facilitate scaling of teams from 0 to 1 and 1 to Many across the company
Embrace a fast-paced culture of innovation and experimentation
Shorten the development cycles and implementing design sprints
Release management, value stream mapping, metrics, and reporting
Adherence to compliance and facilitating smart contract audits
Recommending the best toolset for managing work and communication
Facilitating web3 native toolset like coordinape, sesh, snapshot, discord admin etc
Collaborate with Product Management and Program Management functions to build high value products in line with project constraints and organizational objectives.
Scrum Master Anti Patterns
Instead of allowing the team to self-organize, organize and allocate the team's work.
Make decisions on behalf of the scrum team and managing the team instead of facilitating.
SM is neither a jira administrator nor a meetings organizer and a scribe for minutes.
Scrum Master is not a project manager. Both the roles are different.
SM is not responsible for prioritizing the backlog and suggesting features. A scrum master can coach, however a product owner is responsible for these items.
Scrum policing, micro managing, individual performance tracking are some notable anti patterns
How to Become a Web3 Scrum Master?
Web3 is quickly becoming one of the hottest new areas for businesses and developers. As the world moves to an increasingly digital landscape, more and more organizations are turning towards Web3 technologies to facilitate their business operations. The Scrum Master role is an integral part of successful Web3 projects, and this guide will provide tips on how to master it.
1. Understand the Fundamentals of Agile & Scrum
Before you can become a web3 scrum master, you first need to understand the fundamentals of Agile and Scrum. This includes understanding core concepts such as scrum ceremonies, scrum artifacts and other common agile methods like user stories, agile estimation techniques etc. You should also familiarize yourself with an understanding of how these principles apply within the context of globally distributed web3 projects, remote teams etc.
Some good reads:
Head First Agile - Easy to Understand and Comprehensive
2. Build your Knowledge of Web3 technologies
In addition to understanding core Scrum concepts, you will also need to build your knowledge of web3 technologies such as Blockchain basics, Smart contracts, dapps, working in DAOs, DAO tooling etc. Understanding these technologies will enable you to support development teams in implementing best practices for building distributed applications on these platforms.
3. Develop your Communication skills
As a scrum master, one of your primary responsibilities is managing team dynamics within a distributed environment. This requires strong interpersonal skills such as active listening and communication skills that enable you to effectively interact with people from different backgrounds and disciplines within the team and the organization.
4. Develop Your Leadership Skills
As a web3 scrum master, your primary responsibility will be to facilitate the development process and ensure that all stakeholders are on board with the project’s progress. To do this successfully, you must possess strong leadership skills such as communication, organization, problem-solving, decision-making and conflict resolution skills.
5. Gain Certifications
Once you’ve acquired the necessary technical and soft skills for becoming a web3 scrum master, it’s time to get certified! There are several certifications available that demonstrate your competence in implementing and executing Scrum. Certified Scrum Master (CSM) from Scrum Alliance and Professional Scrum Master (PSM1) from Scrum.org are two popular choices. Read more on PM certifications here 'Best Project Management Certifications for Software Development and Web3 Projects in 2023'.
These certifications prove that you have taken the time to learn about and understand the fundamentals of scrum and have been trained by qualified professionals in this field.
Becoming a Web3 Scrum Master can be challenging but rewarding if done right. By understanding the fundamentals of Agile & Scrum methodologies and building your knowledge base around blockchain and Web3, you can set yourself up for success when it comes time to apply for positions. Good luck!
This video from Simplilearn on Scrum Master Roles & Responsibilities.
Coming up in the next blog - 'Role of a Blockchain Project Manager '.
Note 1: This blog is part of a 100 Days of Learning Series on Web3 Project Management frameworks and best practices published on Program Strategy HQ. For more details on the 100 days of blogging campaign check out Blog 0.
Note 2: Reach out to info@programstrategyhq for any queries.
Note 3: Program Strategy HQ Disclaimer for Reference.
Agile Alliance. (2017). What is a Scrum Master? [online] Available at: https://www.agilealliance.org/glossary/scrum-master/.
Atlassian (2018). What is a Scrum Master? | Atlassian. [online] Atlassian. Available at: https://www.atlassian.com/agile/scrum/scrum-master.
Scaled Agile Framework. (n.d.). Scrum Master. [online] Available at: https://www.scaledagileframework.com/scrum-master/.
Schwaber, K. and Sutherland, J. (2017). Scrum Guide | Scrum Guides. [online] Scrumguides.org. Available at: https://scrumguides.org/scrum-guide.html.
Scrum.org. (n.d.). What is a Scrum Master? [online] Available at: https://www.scrum.org/resources/what-is-a-scrum-master.
References 4 Key Responsibilities of Outstanding Scrum Masters. (n.d.). Www.productplan.com. https://www.productplan.com/learn/scrum-master-responsibilities/
Cohn, M. (n.d.). What Is a Scrum Master? Mountain Goat Software. Retrieved January 15, 2023, from https://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/agile/scrum/roles/scrummaster