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Provide back-room support to software development teams.

What does a ScrumMaster do?

Building a piece of software is an incredibly difficult process. Many small parts must be developed, tested, and integrated before the whole project is complete. Called a scrum process, this undertaking places each small part on a tight schedule. The ScrumMaster helps team members stay focused as they complete each and every small part.

While you might be thrilled to have the word “master” in your job title, your work as a ScrumMaster actually involves very few master-like tasks. ScrumMasters don’t set goals or tell people what to do. Instead, they solve each and every small problem that pops up and keeps the team from moving forward.

You might replace a broken computer, keep the printer loaded with paper, adjust the thermostat, keep the coffeepot full of coffee, or order lunch for the team. You may also turn down the music if your workers complain, or turn it up if the noise outside becomes a distraction. You busily circle your team, stepping in to fix all of these niggling distractions so that the workers can stay focused.

You’re also a Cheerleader for your team. Scrum is characterized by tight deadlines and mounting pressure, and some workers can get irritable and frustrated. To smooth things over, you may encourage frazzled workers to step away and go for a walk with you. Some workers may also need a daily pep talk about how smart, talented, and admirable they are.

You do all of this sweet-talking with incredible sincerity, even if you don’t quite think it’s true. On top of all this, you inform the owner of the product about how the team’s work is progressing.