Switching roles within the company has become quite common recently. IT industries are evolving every year, and they require even more manpower to handle the various aspects of software development.
Scrum master position comes under agile software development, which focuses on setting a goal and developing a new software.
Since agile software development is gaining in popularity, many Scrum Masters are required. Either people with knowledge about scrum are recruited or sometimes people with different responsibilities within the team take up the role as a Scrum Master.
So, who is a Scrum Master? What do they do? And can anyone with the existing responsibilities within the company take up the role as a Scrum Master?
Whilst the title of the role may have the word “master” within it, this doesn’t mean that the Scrum Masters are automatically considered as Team Leaders. They typically don’t have a leadership role, rather it is usually referred to as a “servant leader” role.
They act as an intermediate between Developers and Product Owners. The Scrum Masters are a facilitator, an adviser, and a guide to the team that works with him or her.
The main objective of the Scrum Master is to keep up the Scrum Team’s effectiveness. Their responsibilities include:
- Training or coaching the Scrum Team.
- Conduct daily meetings with the team to review the progress.
- Product backlog is controlled by the Product Owner. It records all the duties that the Scrum Team has to complete during a project. The Scrum Master acts as a facilitator and helps the Product Owner to modify the product backlog based on the updates provided.
- Helping the team to be productive and removing obstacles that prevent work from being completed efficiently.
- Teaching and providing their knowledge about scrum work to the team.
The role of the Business Analyst is to identify problems in the business, provide technical solutions, and implement solutions to facilitate the growth of the business.
They must keep the team updated with their insights, provide improvements, and regularly communicate their strategy with the stakeholders and the relevant teams. Occasionally, the Scrum Masters have a Business Analyst in their team.
Business analysts could hold the responsibility in agile software development as a product owner. If they are a product owner, they control everything about the product backlog. Such being the case, it would be too many responsibilities for a business analyst to also become a scrum master within the same team.
Common skill sets that a Scrum Master and a Business Analyst share are communication, interpersonal and listening skills, and facilitation.
Despite sharing a few common skill sets, the Business Analyst cannot be termed Scrum Masters for the following reasons:
- Scrum Master only focuses on improving the Scrum Team.
- Business Analysts can be product owners, and deal with business and strategy, which is outside the scope of Scrum Team.
On the whole, their main domains of responsibilities differ. Also, when compared to the Project Manager role, the Business Analyst has less in common with the Scrum Master role. It would not be difficult for a Business Analyst to become a Scrum Master but it would require further training and certification should a candidate wish to progress their career to a Scrum Master.