JD Duarte


Jose Duarte discusses how to become an extraordinary scrum master

In the last decade, there has been a lot of talk about digital transformation as something new, but, for two decades, there has been serious discussion about Agile methodologies for two decades. These include Agile, Scrum and Canvas within the most used working methodologies. While it isn’t difficult to become a Scrum Master, becoming extraordinary at it takes a lot more skill and practice. Jose Duarte, an entrepreneur and Scrum Master, offers his take on what is necessary to become an outstanding Scrum Master.

It is important to understand to see the role of a Scrum Master not as a fad, but as a skill. An important moment of this methodology dates back to 1994 when the Agile Manifesto was born. With its values and principles, what it sought was to turn around all that problem that took place from years ago and to be able to truly deliver a product of value, on time and with the budget raised from the beginning. Explains Duarte, “One of the methods that are based on the agile manifest is Scrum, this graph brings together the components of the Scrum framework, it is worth mentioning that in this type of methodology, the Project Manager is no longer part of the team and that usually generates some conflict, given the transition and new way of work to be adopted.”

It is also important to be clear that the Scrum Master should not exercise the role of Product Owner at the same time. The Scrum Master is more of a facilitator and is responsible to ensure that everyone within the team is clear about the details that are raised within the project. Understanding the concept of Scrum Master is very easy; mastering it is the hard part.

A great Scrum Master ensures that the entire team supports the chosen process and understands the value of each event. The Daily Scrum, for example, is scheduled at a time that is appropriate for all team members. A common concern about Scrum is the number of meetings involving the team with event planning and discussion of desired outcomes will increase insurance participation. In addition, he or she is aware of the development of the team. “An outstanding Scrum Master is aware of the different phases that a group of people will go through when working as a team,” asserts Duarte. “Understand the different stages of team development, training, confrontation, normalization, performance, and dissolution. The importance of a stable composition of the team is also clear.”

He or she understands that principles are more important than practices. Without a solid and backed understanding of agile principles, every practice implemented is basically useless. It’s an empty shell. A deep understanding of the agile principles on the part of all involved will dramatically increase the chances of success in the use of practices.
An extraordinary Scrum Master recognizes team conflict at an early stage and can apply different activities to resolve it. He or she understands that conflict is not necessarily bad. Healthy conflicts and constructive disagreements can be used to build an even stronger team. Additionally, he or she dares to be disruptive. A great Scrum Master understands that some changes will only occur when they are disruptive. He knows when it is necessary and is prepared to be disruptive enough to impose change within the organization.

The extraordinary Scrum Master is aware of the working climate” and can have an impact on the culture of the organization so that Scrum teams can really thrive. He or she understands that changing people’s behavior is not about changing people, but about changing the context in which they find themselves in the working climate.

Lastly, a great Scrum Master has supported the growth of teams in such a way that they no longer need it every day. But, because of the proven contribution, he or she will be asked for advice frequently. The role has, as a result, changed from a daily coach and educator to a mentor and regular advisor.