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What is a Scrum Master?

Danielle Bechtel
Danielle Bechtel

Migrating to the cloud foundationally changed the way businesses delivered work. But the introduction of cloud computing wasn’t the first technical revolution to hit in the last few decades. Before cloud transformation and digital transformation, there was the agile transformation. 

Agile is an umbrella term for an iterative approach to delivering work to a customer. Instead of planning everything upfront, now you planned and delivered work in chunks of value.

What is Scrum?

“Scrum” is a term used for a type of agile methodology. Scrum originated as a framework for helping organizations deliver complex software projects, but it has since been adopted by non-software development teams. The essence of scrum is a self-organizing team delivering customer value in a time-boxed period, called a sprint.

There are three main roles in Scrum:

  • The product owner
  • The Scrum Master
  • The team

This article dives into the role of the Scrum Master and how this servant leader can be a truly influential force in a digital transformation.

Scrum Master Definition

Scrum.org defines the Scrum Master as “accountable for the Scrum Team’s effectiveness. They do this by enabling the Scrum Team to improve its practices, within the Scrum framework.”

Because the Scrum Master is responsible for protecting the Scrum Team from outside and inside obstacles, they are often empathetic servant leaders who enjoy helping others.

What is the difference between Scrum Master vs Project Manager?

Scrum Master is to Agile delivery as a Project Manager is to Waterfall delivery.

The differences come in the nuances of how work is planned and executed on, but a Scrum Master and Project Manager could be thought of as in the same job family.

A Scrum Master is more appropriate when there are many unknowns in delivering a project. A Project Manager is useful for fixed dates and repeatable projects.


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What is a Scrum Master’s role in a cloud transformation?

Similar to educating their team on agile principles and holding them to high-performing team standards, a Scrum Master can help lead the change management required in a cloud transformation. When engineers are asked to start working in the cloud, there’s a very real change curve they must go through. The change curve is inevitable, the question is how long it takes the team to evolve.

Being asked to work in a completely new model is daunting, but this is nothing new for Scrum Masters. Scrum Masters hold teams accountable to Agile standards as part of their job. The soft skills required to lead change management are perfect to help engineers learn to work in their new cloud environment.

What can a Scrum Master do to help move a team to cloud?

Incorporating training in each sprint makes something as big and intimidating as “learn to cloud’ into a SMART goal.

A Cloud Guru recommends using industry certifications like the AWS Certified Solutions Architect and the Microsoft Azure Administrator to make this learning even more specific and timeboxed.

At truly transformed organizations, each sprint Scrum Masters are assigning a training curriculum to their engineers. At the end of the sprint, the Agile teams come together to discuss what they learned through the training and how their company’s specific approach to that lesson.

For example, in one sprint the team learns about cloud storage options. At the end of the sprint, the team comes together to talk about which storage options would work best for their application and why. This continuous, iterative approach to learning is the foundation of a culture of innovation.

If you’re a Scrum Master interested in learning more about cloud computing, I recommend studying for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner and/or Azure Microsoft Fundamentals certifications. There’s no computer science background required to pass these exams, and they’ll give you the confidence required to learn the language of your scrum team.

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What is scrum?

“Scrum” is a term used for a type of agile methodology. Scrum originated as a framework for helping organizations deliver complex software projects, but it has since been adopted by non-software development teams.

What is a Scrum Master?

Scrum Master is responsible for protecting the Scrum Team from outside and inside obstacles, they are often empathetic servant leaders who enjoy helping others.

What is the difference between Scrum Master vs Project Manager?

Scrum Master and Project Manager could be thought of as in the same job family. A Scrum Master is more appropriate when there are many unknowns in delivering a project. A Project Manager is useful for fixed dates and repeatable projects.

What is a Scrum Master’s role in a cloud transformation?

Scrum Master can help lead the change management required in a cloud transformation. When engineers are asked to start working in the cloud, there’s a very real change curve they must go through. The change curve is inevitable, the question is how long it takes the team to evolve.

What can a Scrum Master do to help move a team to cloud?

Incorporating training in each sprint makes something as big and intimidating as “learn to cloud’ into a SMART goalAt truly transformed organizations, each sprint Scrum Masters are assigning a training curriculum to their engineers. At the end of the sprint, the Agile teams come together to discuss what they learned through the training and how their company’s specific approach to that lesson.

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