A Scrum Master Job Description

I have been asked over the past couple of months by a variety of folks to share a template to use when creating a job posting for hiring a Team Agile Coach (or Scrum Master). I’ve had a few versions over the years but here is the latest compilation of my thoughts. Share any suggestions or improvements in the comments below.


Position: Team Agile Coach (Scrum Master)

The Scrum Master is a vital role in our company. You will be in the unique position to help us coach, guide and facilitate a vibrant, energetic, and inclusive culture while delivering amazing things for our customers.

Here is how you can have a part in making this happen:

Facilitate team and organizational flow.

  • You are coaching the team (and organization) to deliver value incrementally by creating experiments and by building small things – flowing from hypothesis to something real. We are doing big, important things but we are learning as we build in short iterations.
  • You are focusing on the “why” and “how” instead of the “when.” While the “when” is important, of more importance is the understanding of why the organization is functioning the way it is. You can then help to remove any impediments keeping us from delivering as quickly as possible. The “when” will take care of itself.
  • You are the conscience of the team. Similar to a heart-rate monitor while exercising, you are gauging if the team is over-committed, under-committed, or delivering optimally and can guide them back into flow if needed.
  • You are helping your teams to transparently and continuously radiate information about their progress and the results of their experiments.
This means you are facilitating an environment for your team to organize themselves around their work, help them become self-aware to what is blocking results, and to influence them to become self-healing or self-correcting.

 

Guide an inclusive environment.

  • You recognize the importance of every human on your team and take personal responsibility to ensure each voice is heard and each person valued.
  • You appreciate the diversity assembled on your team and can help each person to contribute during the journey of delighting our customers.
This means you have strong listening and observation skills and can engage with your team when necessary to promote inclusion and build connections.

 

Intentionally design resiliency.

  • You know how fast the world is changing and the way we work together today may be different tomorrow.
  • You understand that your team, because of how quickly things are changing, may be touching the fringe of chaos at times and you are comfortable with this.
  • You are a student of many frameworks, methodologies, approaches, concepts,and perhaps, cutting-edge organizational design ideas. This allows you to choose from a variety of techniques to help strengthen your team through the chaos.
This means you are designing events and activities to allow the team to experience and thrive in change instead of forcing rigid, unnecessary process and overhead on them.

 

Foster an amazing workplace environment.

  • You are an encourager and a positive force throughout the organization.
  • You are coaching people to get to know a little more about each other and to learn about what motivates them. You are a connector of people.
  • You are frequently sharing experiences with your peer Scrum Masters and coaches to support and learn from each other.
This means your presence helps bring out the best in others and creates an atmosphere where people are excited to come to work.

 

What we would rather not have you do:

  • Be the “process police.” You are a facilitator, a teacher, an observer, an encourager and a coach…not an enforcer. We need you to guide and serve your team.
  • Be dogmatic about any methodology or framework. We need you to actively assess the environment and use your best judgement to pull in the right technique or approach for each situation.
  • Be the “task master.” We would like you to coach pull and flow. You will need to recognize when you should step away a bit and when you should let go of control from time-to-time.

Feel free to use any piece of this in your next Scrum Master job posting. Hope it helps! Again, add any suggestions by replying below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “A Scrum Master Job Description

  1. This is excellent, Len. I particularly agree that just because the official title is “scrum master,” doesn’t mean that all you have in your toolbox is scrum.