The primary role of a Scrum Master is to guide the Scrum team, ensuring they follow appropriate processes. The Scrum Master usually does not perform tasks directly but focuses on assisting team members in accomplishing theirs.
Much like a project manager, a Scrum Master collaborates with other people and teams, such as the product owner and vendor development teams. Their Scrum expertise is critical to directing resources on the proper and most effective ways to stay on track.
Acquiring a great Scrum Master is challenging, but BeamJobs is here to help. Use our examples and recommendations to create the definitive Scrum Master job description to lure the best candidates. You’ll be sorting through high-quality Scrum Master resumes in no time.
Scrum Master Job Description Example
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Why this job description works
- When you need a new guide for your scrum team, clearly say what types of teams they’ll be working with. Stating that your new hire will be working with engineering or developer teams will get them thinking about their first projects already!
- If you’re looking to elevate your existing scrum teams, then you’ll want to highlight anything that sets them apart.
- Make a list of the job role’s defining features: what project goals are unique to your vision? Which departments make things happen?
- Your Scrum Master job description should show familiarity with basic scrum principles already, so including specific details will help you narrow things down to attract your perfect hire.
- An applicant should know exactly which skills to offer, so let them know: name specific tools they’ll use, like Agile frameworks or monday.com.
Senior Scrum Master Job Description Example
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Why this job description works
- Sometimes, it can be tricky to pinpoint what sets a senior role apart. When you list requirements in your senior Scrum Master job description, make sure you stress the leadership aspects of the role.
- When you read through a handful of senior Scrum Master resumes, keep an eye out for active language and more in-depth explorations of project sprints–oh, and you need to provide those in your job description, too!
- Include words like “lead,” “facilitate,” and “oversee” in your ad while you describe how to go above and beyond the average Scrum Master.
- Certifications and a strong educational background are extremely important in this role, and so is a rich professional history.
- Clearly state how many years of experience you require, plus all necessary degrees and certifications.
Agile Scrum Master Job Description Example
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Why this job description works
- Ah, the Agile Scrum Master–nuanced in their differences from similar roles, but still highly specialized and unique. To attract your ideal hire, use scrum jargon like “Business as Usual” freely since an Agile Scrum Master should already be familiar with it.
- We know, it’s a delicate balance—but leave some space for applicants to fill and let them demonstrate their knowledge. An awesome candidate should include scrum-specific terminology in their Agile Scrum Master resumes on their own!
- Including some history and information about your organization’s impact will help readers connect with your deeper purpose.
- If you spice up your job description with a bit of background, then candidates might even think of a few resume-worthy interests or hobbies that would enhance the role!
Writing a Scrum Master Job Description That Succeeds
When creating a job description, avoid the common pitfalls. First, cut to the chase and be brief. It’s also important to make your Scrum Master job description specific to your company. Don’t jot down some generic material you found on Glassdoor and call it a day. That’s a great way to get your ad passed over—and quick. And lastly, it’s crucial that your reader easily understands what the job and your company are about, so check for content and grammar errors before you post.
Keep it short and sweet
A key characteristic of any great job description is brevity. Lengthy job descriptions with big blocks of text and excessive qualifications and/or company descriptions will turn off a lot of good candidates. You must quickly grab their attention with statements about why the job and organization are awesome as well as the expectations and qualifications. But, always remember to keep it short.
For example, does your Scrum Master need the ability to create excellent user stories? What about outstanding project presentations? Writing concisely is challenging for the best of us, so if you find your descriptions are wordy, find ways to replace phrases with a single word. This will make a huge difference in the readability of your job description:
Ensure team has an understanding of, and make sure team adheres to Scrum theory, practice, and guidelines.
Ensure team understands and adheres to Scrum theory, practice, and guidelines.
However, don’t sacrifice words for clarity; remember to use clear terms and phrases. This can sometimes be difficult, but if you include vague or generic descriptions, then potential candidates will lose interest. Discuss real problems or projects the job is required to address. Make sure you include what’s unique about the Scrum Master job at your company versus another company.
Make the description specific to your Scrum Master role
A nice way to give the reader a strong sense of what the role entails is to discuss why you’re hiring. Do you need to improve transparency among team members? Are stakeholders dissatisfied with the process? Is your company losing money because it hasn’t invested in a Scrum Master’s expertise yet? Leverage the answer to this question (why you’re hiring) to explain the job rather than merely listing the typical roles and responsibilities of a Scrum Master.
While keeping it specific and succinct, your job qualifications should reflect the values and qualities you want to see in your Scrum Masters. The objective (hard, technical) requirements are usually pretty easy to list, but providing clear and understandable soft skill requirements is often more difficult.
Yet, Scrum values go beyond technical know-how, so it will serve you well to consider the top soft skills that will benefit your company best. Commitment and dedication, open and transparent communication, and conflict resolution and management are just a few to consider for your qualifications list.
Whatever you decide to include on your list of qualifications, remember to keep it as short as possible. At the risk of beating a dead horse, please avoid a “brain dump” on everything you feel your Scrum Master needs to know. Extensive and hard-to-understand qualifications are a sure way to get your job description passed over and may discourage diverse and qualified candidates.
When you write clearly, you give candidates every opportunity to do the same in their Scrum Master cover letters. Ultimately, that means less time shuffling through papers and more time mastering Scrum values.
Rest your brain; then revise
The last and, arguably, the most indispensable task in authoring a great job description is proofreading and editing. We get it. Writing probably isn’t your thing, but resist the urge to rush through writing and publishing your posting. This is a fatal error. Give your brain and eyes a rest for a day or so before you finalize your document. Revising and editing your work is often a tedious task, but it’s well worth the time and effort.
A job description with errors in grammar, spelling, and formatting doesn’t reflect well on the company, but unclear sentences and confusing or contradictory requirements are just plain ‘ol embarrassing. Don’t let “small stuff” like this dissuade the best Scrum Masters from considering your position. Have as many people as possible review your work (ideally Scrum Masters!) and always give it one more check yourself before publishing it.
Outlining Your Scrum Master Job Description
A great way to begin your job description is to create an outline. List all the major sections you need, and then just fill in the details. The items below will give you a structure and a place to start. Follow our suggestions, and you’ll be on your way to creating a standout Scrum Master job description.
This section is a short overview of the job and the company. Remember that this is your only opportunity to impress the reader and gain their attention. Use anything exciting or special about the role or company. Your reader should know what a Scrum Master is, so there’s zero need for you to explain Scrum. Your primary goal is to make your job description unique and compelling to entice the best applicants.
About the company
This section of your job description should be about your company and some introductory comments about the position. Use the opportunity to impress upon the reader how great your company is. A professional Scrum Master will want to know about your company’s project management organization, methodologies, and strategies. Include some highlights, and discuss anything unique or cutting edge.
What you’ll be doing
Create a bulleted list to break reading into manageable chunks. List the key and crucial tasks a Scrum Master will perform on the job. Every line item should be a short and clear description of a role or responsibility, and avoid cramming too much into one bullet point.
Don’t allow generic information to stay, such as something that would apply for just about any highly skilled (excellent communication skills) or management (team leadership) position. Focus on anything unusual and/or roles or responsibilities that make up a majority of the Scrum Master job. Try to start each line with an active verb, and avoid excessive jargon, acronyms, and filler.
- Ensure quality of Scrum execution story cards Definition of Readiness and Done and commitments to on-time delivery.
- Work with product owner to ensure proper balance between features and high-quality working software.
- Study and pursue continuing education to update and stay current on Scrum.
- Educate the Scrum team, including the product owner on Agile requirements, Agile planning, backlog creation practices, and all things Scrum.
Standards to include in this section are education, prior experience, certifications, and any specific technical skills you expect candidates for your Scrum Master to have. Always be detailed and clear about the qualifications, so applicants can quickly determine whether they’re a good fit for the position. If you require something atypical for a Scrum Master, be sure to include that here.
A Scrum Master is usually going to have a lot of project-related experience and technical skills. This is not something you need to include unless your requirements are extraordinary. As stated earlier, some soft skills are valuable to Scrum Masters, but avoid listing too many as it may deter candidates from thoroughly reading the requirements.
- Master’s degree in computer science, engineering, business/administration, information systems, management, or information technology
- At least 3 years of experience as a Scrum Master
- Ability to establish a data-driven culture and a repeatable, structured, and disciplined approach to the Agile process
The placement of this section is variable. You can put it just about anywhere but the very first section. It should be a simple bulleted list of all your company offers. Typical items included for a Scrum Master role are annual salary, bonus, insurance coverage, vacation, 401(k), and any other compensation or retirement benefits.
List everything because your candidates will want to know these details, but still keep it concise. If there is anything special that you are offering for the position, such as an onsite gym, then point that out. Your goal is to make the position as attractive as possible.
Scrum Master Roles and Functions
Scrum Masters are leveraged for many roles within a company. The Scrum Master is someone that excels at motivating, guiding, and energizing people and enabling them to realize their potential. The objective is to enhance and increase teamwork and personal involvement.
They are often referred to as a servant leader—someone who helps the team be more effective rather than just supervising others. A servant leader has the following qualities: listening skills, empathy, cultivating a culture of trust, acting with humility, and encouraging others.
Coaching team members
- A Scrum Master makes sure all team members are well-trained and understand Agile processes. They also ensure team members know their respective roles, have a sense of project ownership, processes are followed, and teams are self-managed.
- Act as the coach for both the developer and the product owner.
- Bridge the gap between the functions to enable the product owner to directly drive development.
- Know the capabilities of the team, and find ways to help the team boost their performance and enhance productivity.
- Ensure the team is well-trained and has an overall understanding of Agile to address issues on its own.
- Facilitate so teams solve problems themselves, and take full accountability and ownership of an issue to get it resolved if the team is unable to do so.
- A Scrum Master enables all meetings related to Agile work. They will organize and facilitate Scrum events, including Sprint Planning Meetings, Daily Stand-up Meetings, Reviews, and Retrospectives. The Scrum Master makes sure all team members (including remote staff) can attend and participate, tracks team progress, notes any obstacles, keeps the meeting focused, and ensures that it ends on time.
- Sprint Planning Meeting
- Host meeting.
- Prevent development team from being overly ambitious by selecting more product backlog items than they can deliver.
- Assist team with estimations if needed.
- Daily Stand-up: Even though the Scrum Master is not required for this meeting, they
- Ensure that the development team conducts meetings on time and facilitates logistics for distributed teams.
- Sprint Review:
- Participate in review meetings, and capture any feedback from stakeholders to use in the retrospective meeting.
- Sprint Retrospectives:
- Conduct the meeting and note any opportunities for improvement from the team.
Assists product owner with the product backlog
- The product owner is responsible for creating and maintaining the product backlog, which is a list of work for the team to do. It is a living document that constantly changes based on daily status updates and development needs.
- Collaborate with the product owner to refine and maintain the product backlog, utilizing information gathered from daily stand-up meetings.
- Schedule meetings and write user stories.
- Refine and groom the tasks based on the current status of the efforts and development requirements.
- Prioritize tasks in user stories.
- A critical responsibility of the Scrum Master is to keep the team focused on the tasks that need to be completed in each iteration. Eliminating and avoiding any distractions and challenges that can impede progress is especially important when team members are unable to easily remove those impediments on their own.
- Work with meeting organizers to pare down the number of attendees for each meeting, respecting the time of team members whose participation is not essential.
- Negotiate with product owners and stakeholders to redistribute the workload, preventing team members from being pulled in too many directions and being assigned tasks on multiple teams.
- Conduct one-on-one meetings with development team members to resolve internal disagreements and conflicts (individual working styles, Scrum processes, etc.) before they escalate into full-blown disagreements.
Protects team from outside interference
- A Scrum Master serves as the protector of the team and defends their availability from outside interference to guarantee that they can deliver the maximum business value during each sprint.
- Negotiate with department managers of matrixed resources who want to redirect team members in the middle of a sprint.
- Work with external teams on schedules, holidays, and sick time to ensure that the required resources are available for the team when needed.
- Intercede and solve issues amicably no matter the source of the interference.
Teaches scrum practices and principles
- A Scrum Master is highly knowledgeable in all Scrum practices and processes and understands how to follow the core values of Scrum. They act as a mentor and teacher to any team members new to Agile. They guide new team members, helping them learn the ropes and avoiding work slow-downs.
- Teach new team members to understand the scope and vision of a product.
- Ensure team members learn Scrum theory and adhere to the Scrum values, principles, and practices.
- Show and guide the team in self-organization and staying focused.
- Help the Scrum team improve processes and maximize the delivered business value.