The role of ScrumMaster is becoming more and more popular. As this popularity grows, so do the amount of people who are trying to break in. Here are five things I would advise any budding ScrumMaster to do.
Understand the Manifesto
The agile manifesto (with its four values) and the accompanying twelve principles are the heart of everything agile. As long as you hold these things in mind when thinking about process and management, then you are being agile. Its important that you read the manifesto more than once so you can remain mindful of it in your work. I’ve seen groups of ScrumMasters challenge each other to recite the manifesto, and I’m always blown away by people who can actually do this.
Read the Classics
There are lots of great books that will help you understand where your responsibilities begin and end. Often the ScrumMaster is asked to explain to the team, Product Owner, line managers, and everyone else, how their roles fit within agile. These are a few that I would recommend to begin with:
- Scrum Mastery – Geoff Watts
- Agile Product Management with Scrum – Roman Pichler
- Extreme Programming Explained – Kent Beck
- Coaching Agile Teams – Lyssa Adkins
- Agile Testing – Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory
Choose a ScrumMaster Qualification Path
There are two main Scrum qualification bodies, The Scrum Alliance and Scrum.org. There are a few differences between the two bodies. I find this post to be a good explanation of the differences. Whichever you choose, get qualified.
Find Agilists Local to You
Meetup is a great website that allows groups of people to advertise events along a given theme. Here in London we have many active groups covering many different aspects of agile and modern management. There are groups all over the UK and the rest of the world. Check it out to see if there’s a group near you, and if there isn’t think about setting one up as it’s unlikely you’re the only agilist in your area.
Apply for jobs
There’s no better way of finding out what organisations are expecting from a ScrumMaster than by reading through job descriptions. Have a look at what organisations near you say they want from a ScrumMaster, and tailor your path to meet their needs. If you feel that you’ve got what they’re asking for, send a CV over to them and ask for feedback. If you’re lucky enough to be working in an organisation that has ScrumMasters then ask one of them to mentor you. The agile manifesto encourages us to help each other in our journeys and most agilists are passionate and love to pass on what they know.