Scrum Master Kaitakawaenga Kakari

Scrum masters use the scrum software development approach to keep IT project teams on track. They also help remove obstacles to progress. 

Scrum masters may choose to become certified through associations such as the Institute of IT Professionals. 

Scrum masters may do some or all of the following:

  • coach and lead scrum teams
  • organise short standup meetings and facilitate these using the scrum method
  • manage and report on the activities of the scrum team
  • protect the scrum team from interruptions when a product is being developed
  • help the scrum team deal with obstacles.

Physical Requirements

Scrum masters spend a lot of time using computers, so they need to know how to use computer equipment properly to avoid occupational overuse syndrome (OOS).

Useful Experience

Useful experience for scrum masters includes: 

  • working in teams that use the Agile approach to project management
  • managing projects
  • on-the-job training through IT internships and graduate recruitment programmes.

Personal Qualities

Scrum masters need to have: 

  • good communication skills
  • strong planning and organising skills
  • the ability to solve problems creatively
  • excellent leadership skills
  • the ability to build relationships and resolve conflicts
  • a strong interest in mentoring people.

Skills

Scrum masters need to have knowledge of some or all of the following:

  • principles of the Agile approach to project management
  • scrum methodology
  • other Agile approaches and techniques such as Kanban and continuous testing
  • how to handle software development issues
  • common web technologies used by the scrum team.

Conditions

Scrum masters:

  • usually work full time and may work evenings
  • may travel locally to meet clients.

Subject Recommendations

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include digital technologies, maths, business studies and English.

For Year 11 to 13 students, the Gateway programme is a good way to gain industry experience.

Related Courses

Scrum Masters can earn around $120K-$200K per year.

Pay for scrum masters varies depending on skills, experience and where you work, with pay in Auckland being higher. 

  • Scrum masters usually earn $120,000 to $170,000 per year.
  • Agile coaches, who train teams in scrum and other Agile software development approaches, usually earn $140,000 to $200,000.

Sources: 'Recruit I.T. Technology and Digital Salary Update Auckland', July 2021, 'Recruit I.T. Technology and Digital Salary Update Wellington', July 2021.

Scrum masters may progress to become: 

  • senior scrum masters who work with multiple teams at the same time, or with more demanding teams and products
  • Agile coaches, who train teams in using Agile methodologies
  • information technology managers, who plan and supervise the IT services in an organisation or technical team.

 

Years Of Training

2-3 years of training usually required.

There are no specific requirements to become a scrum master. However, you usually need: 

  • an industry certification such as Certified Scrum Master (CSM) or Professional Scrum Master (PSM)
  • two or more years’ experience working in the Agile methodology and being a member in scrum teams.

Scrum masters may also have a diploma or degree, often in an IT-related subject such as software engineering, computer science, information systems or e-commerce.

Scrum Master