What does a Scrum Master do at ecx.io?
Every project is unique. It takes a team to make quick, informed decisions – without obstacles. That’s why we have chosen agile working principles so that our teams can choose the best possible setup and roles. Each role moves within a framework of responsibility. In interviews with applicants and customers, we notice that this is lived differently in every company. A few colleagues therefore sat down together to explain our central roles. Today Manuel starts with the role of Scrum Masters:
Essential link in a complex environment
The Scrum Masters are an important link between the agile project team, our customers & partners, and the internal organisation of ecx.io. Whilst the main focus is on supporting the interdisciplinary agile team, the Scrum Master also supports collaboration with our customers and, in addition, uses his or her expertise to drive ecx.io forward in terms of agile working methods.
The work within the project team
Since we work with the Scrum framework in our projects, the day-to-day work is primarily about the team and ensuring a clean execution of the sessions (dailies, planning, refinement, review and retrospective) and the care and best possible use of each artefact (backlog, definition of ready, etc.) in line with the Scrum guide and our experiences and best practices from previous projects. Even in projects where we use Kanban, Scrumban or other frameworks and methods, the Scrum Masters are the specialists who help us find the best set up for each project.
Focus on people
It is important to us that our daily work is enjoyable and meaningful and the values of the Agile Manifesto help to ensure this, for example we always put people and collaboration at the forefront. It is therefore the job of the Scrum Master, in collaboration with the Product Owner, to best represent and clarify the client’s mission and vision over the course of the project so that we generate the optimum added value for the end user. In addition, the Scrum Master ensures that the processes and communication in the team function well. It is also very important for the Scrum Master to have direct communication with individual team members in the form of feedback discussions and coaching alongside the retrospective.
The work within the organisation
Within the Agile Domain, Scrum Masters at ecx.io have regular discussions to help us improve as an organisation. On the one hand this happens in the Community of Practice, where best practices from projects are shared and particularly important questions are addressed. Within the domain, important issues are also expedited, for example: What training do we need? Which agile frameworks and tools make sense for our projects? We are always driven by one question: What will make us even better as a Scrum Master and as an agency? The input and communication within the domain, but also with other domains, is crucial to this and gives us valuable information which helps us in various areas.
As well as working in the domains, Scrum Masters in the teams also support each other as necessary, for example in the form of Scrum Master shadowing or in facilitating workshops and other meetings. Through this multi-faceted work, our Scrum Masters are important drivers when it comes to maintaining our corporate culture and keeping it on track.
An important part of the work of a Scrum Master – and for every employee at ecx.io – is personal training. This can be in the form of internal training within the ecx.io Academy, through external training courses and certifications or by dealing with a specific issue that falls within the remit. Continuing further education is therefore an important element and offers every Scrum Master the opportunity for personal development and many individual career prospects, proactively accompanied by the relevant Advocate (internal name for a type of career coach).
This makes working as a Scrum Master at ecx.io special
The wide-ranging work at ecx.io is also reflected in the Scrum Master’s working environment. We have an international presence and often collaborate on projects with colleagues from other sites, so meetings take place both on-site and online. The right tools, such as Slack and Mural, help us with this. At every stage of the project we also bring the right specialists on board. An important combination for our projects is Design Thinking (DT) and Agile. This synergy helps us to focus on the “why” of our work. In the implementation we then find the path to the “how” together with the Scrum Master and his or her team: How do we want to implement the project? A Scrum Master therefore has to deal with a variety of colleagues almost every day – from UX/UI, development, project management, QA and many other areas.
As well as the different working methods offered by this combination of DT and Agile, we use several other new work approaches whenever it makes sense to do so and continue to develop these in collaboration with the Scrum Masters: Homeoffice on demand, open space working, creative sessions with other colleagues and working in the areas of interest that are important to each employee for their own personal development.