4 must-have Scrum Master skills

Previously I’ve talked a bit about some important traits a Scrum Master should have. However, I never looked into skills in more detail. I believe there are some absolutely necessary skills that any Scrum Master or aspiring Scrum Master needs to focus on.

In this video, I will talk about four skills that in my opinion are the first steps into the Scrum Master role (the true Scrum Master role).

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Scrum Master Development Plan

Last year I was working on a Scrum Master development plan as I was working with some new Scrum Masters in an organization. My goal was to highlight what skills they need to build if they want to be successful longterm.

Absolutely necessary skills

As I was thinking about that I saw that there are some must-have skills, absolutely necessary skills, the skills without which you can’t call yourself Scrum Master.

The list that I came up with included knowledge of Scrum, teaching, observation & listening, and learning. I later on added asking questions into this list. My thought was that even at the very first steps as a Scrum Master you need to be able to coach your team. But the coaching skill seemed like something you would develop afterwards. That is why I separated the asking questions part out of coaching.

Core skills

Going to the next level I though that there are some core skills that are necessary for a Scrum Master to be good and start bringing some real positive change.

The list for me expanded to those additional skills that you definitely must have if you want to not just call yourself a Scrum Master, but be successful.

The core skills for me are knowledge of good Agile practices, facilitation, coaching, mentoring, conflict resolution, and communication.

The conflict resolution skill is very specific. It is derived out of facilitation and living by the Scrum values that comes in the next level of skills. At this level it’s really essential to know how to create consensus between people in the organization to actually be able to remove impediments.

Progressive skills

For me this category of skills differentiate a good Scrum Master from a great one.

It was hard to figure out what exact skills should be here. In the end, I got some ideas but I think it’s still just the beginning and the list can continue to grow.

The short list I came up with included living by the Scrum values, knowledge of Agile metrics, knowledge of other Agile frameworks, executive coaching, and leadership.

What else would you add to this list?

In the end, as you develop the skills, make them stronger, you will see improvement in the results you can achieve. So getting the core skills but then mastering them will be drastically different.

However, what I want to highlight with this Scrum Master development plan is that you should focus on the absolutely necessary skills first and master them before you jump into the core skills.

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About The Author

Hi, my name is Daria Bagina. Iā€™m a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and a practicing Scrum Master. I help teams and organizations to get the most out of the Scrum and Agile implementation by sharing my personal stories and practical advice.

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