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Technical Skills and Scrum Masters

“It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”


The first question anyone has while they want to be a scrum master is,

Do I need to have technical skills to be a scrum master? This question is an age-old one almost from same as from scrum exists. When we think of scrum master we think of software development organizations and teams. Because agile was first introduced for easing the work in a software development organization and mainly were used for software developments. With passing time, knowing the benefits of agile provide it is also used in other organizations and departments making it worldwide.


From this, we can roughly guess that scrum masters can also work without any technical skills. Many consider that scrum masters are for dealing with the team and facilitating the events there is no need for any domain technical skills. Whereas, some emphasize the requirement of technical skills by scrum masters as they can provide better results with knowledge of the detailed process.

Now, we will understand in detail on topic, advantages, and disadvantages of having and not having technical skills by scrum masters. With this knowledge, it will be easy to decide on non-technical and technical scrum masters.



Having a Technical Scrum Master

Advantages of having a technically skilled scrum master

The technical scrum master can play various roles as per the requirement as they can understand the issue from a technical perspective.

  • They can emphasize an engineering point of view while discussing with product owners

  • They can eliminate first-level issues even before assigning tasks to teams

  • They can easily prioritize tasks by considering technical complexity.

  • The team supports and values them more considering them more knowledgeable in the field and trusting them more.

  • They can help the team in other tasks like story pointing and estimation.

Disadvantages of having a technical scrum master

Every coin has two sides; similarly, technical scrum masters also have some disadvantages.

  • Having technical knowledge they can blur out the responsibilities in team and scrum master

  • They may over interact or interfere with technical decisions going beyond their role.

  • They may force and adopt teams to use particular technologies.

  • They may go overboard and suggest product owners and teams some biased and interfere ideas

  • They may try to handle the project on their own without others' suggestions.


Not having a Technical Scrum Master

As the technically skilled scrum master has benefits the non-technical scrum masters also have their benefits as follows

Advantages of non-technical scrum masters

  • The product owner will get attached to the team as they will think that it’s their responsibility to help the team with technical obstacles and the scrum master will work as a mediator in such cases.

  • Scrum Masters will focus more on the timelines reminding the team about it instead of focusing on the technical talks.

  • The team feels responsible to execute their task as well as project more in non-technical scrum masters cases.

  • Scrum masters without technical knowledge will ask many questions to the team which will lead the team to brainstorm their knowledge and ways of working to get certain solutions resulting in a better quality of work.

Disadvantages of non-technical scrum master

  • They might accept the technical acceptance criteria provided by the product owner which may sometimes backfire on the team.

  • They may accept anything the teams suggest due to their lack of technical knowledge which will bring the team to some losses.

  • They may overlook detailing and avoid the gap it creates in process and product delivery.

Now as we have known all about technical and non-technical scrum masters provide we can be sure that non-technical scrum masters also provide some specific benefits to the project and it is good to hire them.

The benefits of technical scrum masters can also be provided with the non-technical ones. The trick is a simple one providing the non-technical scrum masters with the basic knowledge of the technical domain. It’s easy to provide the scrum master with basic technical knowledge and make them understand the overall steps to carry. For example, in software development, they should be provided with the software and deployment process basic knowledge. The knowledge will consist of code creation to deployment steps. This will make them more confident and also team more accepting of them. Giving the basic technical knowledge will do the work. Knowledge is not always what we study at school and getting a degree need to be used and experienced because, “unless it grows out of yourself no knowledge is yours, it is only borrowed plumage.”


About Advance Agility

We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor.


Connect with us at advanceagility.com to learn about SAFe and SAFe Implementation. Write to us at contact@advanceagilty.com for any agile training or consulting needs. We are always looking for competent agile trainers as well. So if you are a good trainer or want to become one, do get in touch with us to that we can learn, grow and achieve together.


Connect with us for applying the Scrum Master role within a SAFe® enterprise https://www.advanceagility.com/scrummaster



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