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Does a Scrum Master Need Development Skills?

March 26, 2021 | Management
Read Time: 04:00

With time, organizations are adopting agile methodologies and Scrum has been reported to be one of the most popular ones. According to the 14th Annual State of Agile Report, 58% of the organizations use Scrum as part of their agile methodologies. As these numbers continue to rise each year, the demand for Scrum Masters is also rising.

Now, there is one age-old question that many aspirants often ask – Does a Scrum Master need development or technical skills? Well, before answering that question – let us first get a clear understanding of the role of a Scrum Master!

Scrum Masters deal with teams that include people from software development to core IT. According to surveys, the teams had 44% of people from software development and around 33% from the IT department. This would make one believe that Scrum Masters need to have technical skills. However, it is not mandatory. Even though they are a part of development teams, they are also needed by other departments such as sales & marketing, finance, research & development, human resources, and many more.

A Scrum Master is the one who facilitates the smooth functioning of teams – he or she makes sure the processes are followed by the Scrum team. The role also includes removing any obstacles that may arise and disrupt the team’s focus from meeting the organization’s goals. The Scrum Master ensures efficient collaboration and interaction between the Scrum team and helps maximize valued results.


How does a Scrum Master serve the Development Team?

The Scrum Master helps the development team be agile by –

  • Coaching the development team on how to be self-organized and cross-function
  • Helping the development team stay motivated and deliver high-value products
  • Making sure the development team understands the Scrum framework and practices (if they have not yet fully adopted the framework), in an organizational environment
  • Facilitating the requested Scrum events
  • Clearing the obstacles
  • Developing better dynamics between teams
  • Eliminating any kind of interruptions or distractions

Scrum Master – Skills Required

Excellent communication and great management skills are the major skillsets that are highly essential for a Scrum Master. However, a Scrum Master doesn’t need to have core technical skills. The first & foremost responsibility of a Scrum Master is to assist the Scrum teams, including the development team.

On the other hand, while many suggest that Scrum masters are only needed to facilitate the agile team processes, there is still some emphasis on the requirement of some basic technical knowledge. Especially by the scrum master certification who have worked impeccably in agile teams. After all, Scrum is used to bring out the best in the software development teams. So, if the Scrum Master is familiar with the domains specific to their projects, it can greatly help them enhance their functionality.

Benefits of having technical knowledge

Having development skills is a bonus!

If a Scrum Master has a development or technical background, they can not only assist the Scrum team but also get involved in the software development processes or activities and maximize their effectiveness. This is how a Scrum Master with development knowledge can be an asset to the organization –

  • Can work with both the product owner and the engineers, with a technical perspective
  • Can deal with first-level problems before the engineers get assigned with them
  • Can roll out technical tasks based on priority or complexity
  • Can facilitate meetings with IT teams and help solve technical issues
  • Can provide suggestions during technical meetings
  • Can connect with the development team easily and match their views
  • Can clear backlogs by allocating the tasks to the development team more efficiently

When the Scrum master can speak the developer’s language – it majorly helps build reliability among the management.

With a strong grip on development skills, a Scrum Master can adapt to the technical processes swiftly. That enables the SM (Scrum Master) to accomplish business objectives smoothly.

Technical knowledge or not – a Scrum Master has a major role to play in agile development. As with this methodology, Scrum teams learn to self-organize & make fast changes to manage the processes of information/data flow.

If you are looking forward to making a career in project management, you can reap great benefits by getting certified Scrum Master training.

How to get the Scrum Master certification?

Career opportunities for certified Scrum professionals keep increasing as they remain relevant and marketable across various industry sectors. Most organizations would want you to get a Scrum Master certification as the certification does carry more weight.

Become a Certified ScrumMaster with Cognixia – the world’s leading digital talent transformation company. We offer comprehensive Online Scrum Master Training which will help you gain an understanding of the Scrum framework and engage with a community of Scrum experts.

What you’ll cover in this course:

  • Scrum Foundations & Agile Manifesto
  • Scrum Roles – Product Owner, Scrum Master & Development Team
  • Scrum Meetings
  • Scrum Artifacts
  • Scaling Scrum
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