Who is an Agile Scrum Master?

The Agile Scrum Master functions as a facilitator, coach, and servant-leader, embodying the fundamental principles of Agile methodology. Unlike traditional project managers, who often adopt a command-and-control approach, the Scrum Master acts as a catalyst for collaboration and continuous improvement, being a servant leader. At its essence, the Scrum Master ensures adherence to the Scrum framework, enabling teams to iteratively deliver high-quality products.

Key accountabilities of an Agile Scrum Master:

Facilitating Scrum Events: From sprint planning to daily stand-ups, sprint reviews, and retrospectives, the Scrum Master orchestrates vital Agile ceremonies, fostering transparency and alignment among team members.

Removing Impediments: The Agile Scrum Master coaches the team and team members, identifying and eliminating obstacles that impede progress, empowering teams to concentrate on delivering value.

Coaching and Mentoring: Guiding team members in embracing Agile practices and principles, the Scrum Master cultivates a culture of self-organization and accountability, nurturing both individual and collective growth.

Shielding the Team: Serving as a buffer against external distractions and disruptions, the Scrum Master safeguards team productivity and fosters a conducive work environment.

Promoting Continuous Improvement: Through regular retrospectives and feedback loops, the Scrum Master instills a culture of introspection and adaptability, driving iterative enhancements and process optimization.

Essential Skills of an Agile Scrum Master:

Effective Communication: Clear and empathetic communication is vital for the Scrum Master to convey ideas, facilitate discussions, and proficiently resolve conflicts.

Servant Leadership: Embracing a servant-leader mindset, the Scrum Master prioritizes the team’s needs, empowering individuals to take ownership and collaborate towards shared objectives.

Problem-Solving Aptitude: Proficiency in identifying, analyzing, and resolving issues allows the Scrum Master to maintain momentum and minimize disruptions throughout the project lifecycle.

Adaptability: In a landscape characterized by ambiguity and change, adaptability is crucial for navigating unforeseen challenges and steering the team towards success.

Facilitation Skills: Mastering the art of facilitating meetings and workshops fosters engagement, collaboration, and consensus-building, driving collective decision-making and alignment.

The Value of an Agile Scrum Master: In the pursuit of organizational agility and product excellence, the Agile Scrum Master serves as a linchpin, catalyzing innovation, fostering collaboration, and enabling continuous delivery. By championing Agile principles and practices, the Scrum Master empowers teams to embrace change, navigate complexity, and thrive in dynamic environments.


As organizations embrace Agile methodologies, the role of the Scrum Master emerges as a cornerstone of success, bridging the gap between vision and execution. Through adept facilitation, steadfast support, and an unwavering commitment to excellence, the Agile Scrum Master propels teams towards their objectives, ensuring that adaptability and value creation remain paramount in every endeavor.

All about – SAFe Scrum Master

SAFe is one of the frameworks which has gained ample popularity. At the core of SAFe lies the SAFe Scrum Master, entrusted with steering the Agile transformation journey.

Understanding the SAFe Scrum Master

The SAFe Scrum Master isn’t confined to one team like a traditional Scrum Master. They operate at the program level in SAFe, facilitating Agile practices across multiple teams and ensuring alignment with organizational goals. Their primary aim is to foster collaboration, transparency, and continuous improvement within the Agile Release Train (ART)—a collective of Agile teams working toward shared objectives.

Key Responsibilities of a SAFe Scrum Master

Facilitating SAFe Events: SAFe Scrum Masters play a crucial role in organizing various SAFe ceremonies like Program Increment (PI) Planning, Scrum of Scrums, and Inspect and Adapt (I&A) workshops. Their goal is to ensure these events run smoothly, promoting collaboration and communication across teams.

Removing Impediments: Just like traditional Scrum Masters, SAFe Scrum Masters act as servant-leaders, eliminating obstacles that hinder team productivity. They address not only individual team issues but also systemic challenges and dependencies within the entire ART.

Coaching and Mentoring: SAFe Scrum Masters serve as coaches, guiding teams in implementing Agile principles effectively. They empower teams to self-organize and improve their processes while adhering to SAFe guidelines.

Promoting Continuous Improvement: Continuous improvement is fundamental in Agile. SAFe Scrum Masters drive this culture by facilitating retrospectives and encouraging innovation, creating an environment where teams can learn and grow.

Ensuring Alignment: SAFe emphasizes alignment between team activities and business objectives. SAFe Scrum Masters ensure that every team’s efforts contribute to the overarching goals of the enterprise.

Skills and Competencies of a SAFe Scrum Master

Strong Facilitation Skills: SAFe Scrum Masters excel in facilitating SAFe events, managing large groups, and driving consensus toward actionable outcomes.

Excellent Communication: Effective communication is vital for conveying complex concepts and fostering transparency within the ART, both vertically with leadership and horizontally across teams.

Adaptability and Resilience: SAFe environments are dynamic, requiring SAFe Scrum Masters to navigate uncertainty and pivot strategies to keep the Agile transformation on track.

Servant Leadership: SAFe Scrum Masters prioritize the needs of the team and the organization, serving as catalysts for growth and enabling teams to reach their full potential.

SAFe Expertise: A deep understanding of the Scaled Agile Framework is crucial for implementing SAFe practices and driving continuous improvement within the ART.


The role of the SAFe Scrum Master is pivotal in bridging Agile principles with enterprise realities. By embodying servant leadership, fostering collaboration, and driving continuous improvement, SAFe Scrum Masters shape high-performing Agile Release Trains that consistently deliver value.

Does Kanban have a Kanban Scrum Master?

Have you come across this word – Kanban Scrum Master?  The question arises who is accountable as a scrum master in Kanban or an equivalent role?

Before we get into the answer, go through this information –

Accountability of a Scrum Master

Kanban on a page

Is there a Kanban Scrum Master?

Refer to this line in this article (Kanban on a page) – Those who participate in the value delivery of a Kanban system are called Kanban system members. There are no roles defined by Kanban, hence there is no such role called Kanban Scrum Master. However, there are teams following Kanban that have roles like Flow Master (this is not prescribed anywhere and varies from context to context and also as per the team’s convenience). A Flow Master is a person who facilitates the daily stand-up (Again Kanban does not prescribe a daily stand-up however teams have a daily stand-up to discuss work impediments and progress).

If it is an interview question, the answer is simple – There is no Kanban Scrum Master however there can be a Flow Master based on the team dynamics and context.

How do I prepare for being a Scrum Master?

At a time in my career, I wanted to work as a Scrum Master, however, the biggest question for me was “ Where do I start to become a scrum master?”.  You may have a similar question and now when I reflect on this question, I feel it is normal to question yourself about how to prepare for a Scrum Master interview, and how to equip yourself with the knowledge to serve a scrum team. Based on my experience in transitioning to a Scrum Master role, here are seven pieces of guidance that you can follow –

Guidance 1 – How do I prepare for being a Scrum Master ?

Start with Why – Sounds familiar, the famous book from Simon Sinek. This is the most critical question to ask yourself, Why do I want to become a Scrum Master? Ask this question to yourself and convince yourself that you are clear on your path to being a Scrum Master.  If you have the conviction of becoming a Scrum Master, you are unstoppable.

Guidance 2 – How do I prepare for being a Scrum Master ?

Path to becoming a Scrum Master – Assuming you have zero knowledge of Scrum, creating a plan and following it will help you reach your goal of becoming a Scrum Master. This will lead to the 1st question that we discussed, Where do I start to become a scrum master?”. A few things that I followed to become a Scrum Master are as follows –

a) What is Agile?

b) What is the Agile Manifesto?

c) What are the various frameworks under agile?

d) What is Scrum?

e) Read the Scrum Guide

f) Read the Scrum Guide – Again and Again and Again and +++++++ (Scrum is easy to understand but difficult to master, reading the Scrum Guide once a month and reflecting on your experience and learnings on Scrum will make you understand Scrum better)

Guidance 3 – How do I prepare for being a Scrum Master ?

Scrum Master Certification – Understand various Scrum Master Certifications available, and go through the course outline before taking up a certification. The major advantage of doing a certification is to get the knowledge in a capsule format in a limited time.

Guidance 4 – How do I prepare for being a Scrum Master ?

Daily life of a Scrum Master – Understand what a Scrum Master does daily, day-to-day tasks, and challenges faced. Connect with Scrum Masters and ask them about the challenges they faced in their organization/teams.  Also, learn about their context, the processes followed, things working well, and things not working well.

Guidance 5 –How do I prepare for being a Scrum Master ?

Prepare for the Scrum Master interview – Here is a list of questions which you can go through for a Scrum Master interview.

Check this –

Guidance 6 – How do I prepare for being a Scrum Master ?

Learn the tools used by Scrum Master – JIRA/Asana/Azure, these are some of the tools used by Scrum Masters with JIRA being the most commonly used. Tool knowledge will increase your confidence during the interview process. ( I asked a few Scrum Masters to give me a walkthrough of JIRA and that helped before I took up a Scrum Master job)

Guidance 7 – How do I prepare for being a Scrum Master ?

Apply Apply Apply – Now you are ready to take up a Scrum Master role, you know a Scrum Master, and you are aware of the challenges faced by a Scrum Master, it is time to apply for a Scrum Master role either in your organization/outside of your organization. Speak to your friends/colleagues/network and inform them that you are looking for a Scrum Master opportunity. My strong recommendation is to apply for internal job postings in your organization as many organizations promote career aspirations and do not necessarily look for prior experience as a Scrum Master. Keep trying and keep applying till you land up with a Scrum Master job.

How to start a career as a Scrum Master

A common question from professionals who want to move to a Scrum Master role, before we delve further let’s understand “Who is a Scrum Master”. Do read the Scrum Guide 2020 for an understanding of the Scrum Master role.

Identify which of the category you find yourself in –

Category 1 – Professional with 6+ years of experience

Category 2 – Professional with 3 – 6 years of experience

Category 3 – Professional with 0 – 3 years of experience

Category 1 – Professional with 6+ years of experience

 There are 2 scenarios –

Scenario 1 – Your organization is not following Scrum, hence there is no Scrum Master opportunity in your organization. Refer to the article – How to get a Scrum Master Role. This will give you a detailed list of activities that will help you to prepare for securing a Scrum Master Role. The day you are confident, start applying for Scrum Master positions as there are organizations that recruit passionate individuals for Scrum Master roles and towards Scrum in general.

Scenario 2 – Your organization is following Scrum. You have an opportunity to apply for Scrum Master within your organization as part of internal job mobility or IJP program. However, before you apply for the Scrum Master role, you have to have adequate knowledge/understanding of Scrum, hence refer to the article – How to get a Scrum Master Role. This will give you a detailed list of activities that will help you to prepare for securing a Scrum Master Role.

Category 2 – Professional with 3 – 6 years of experience

(Recommendation is to gain domain/technical knowledge in your field. Observe the Scrum Master (if you are working in a Scrum setup). If you are not in a Scrum setup, refer to this article –Learn Scrum Master role without being part of a Scrum Team). Some organizations recruit Scrum Masters with less than 6 years of experience; however, it is better to move to a Scrum Master role with good domain knowledge and technical skills. For example, as part of an IT team, if you are a developer/tester/business analyst, continue working as a developer ( say Java) and be proficient in Java coupled with gain knowledge of the industry ( say Retail). With good knowledge of Java and retail industry knowledge with over 6 years of experience and observing your Scrum Master, observing the Scrum events, you are in a better position to take up the Scrum Master role.

Category 3 – Professional with 0 – 3 years of experience

For less than 3 years of experience, it is early to take up a Scrum Master role, kudos to you for having clarity in your career and having a north star to follow)