A day in the life of a Scrum master

Andreas Haubold has been a Scrum master at Kiwigrid for over two years and enjoys his job of facilitating creative processes in the team. But what exactly does a Scrum* master at Kiwigrid actually do? We asked Andreas to gain a deeper insight into his day-to-day work.

What motivated you to become a Scrum master?

Andreas: At my previous job, I worked as a project manager, where I was always dealing with the difficulties that arose in the process and finding potential for improvement. So, I had a role somewhere between Product Owner (PO) and Scrum master where I also independently tried to introduce new methods to optimize the effectiveness and flexibility of the processes. Then, about four years ago, I did some coaching and realized that Scrum is exactly my thing. Self-reflection is one of my strengths and I intuitively sense what is going well and what is going badly and how certain things can be tackled even better.

What are the biggest challenges you face on the job?

Andreas: I notice time and again that in a business context there is little talk about feelings. Yet feelings are a possible means for creating trust. Trust, in turn, is the basis for good cooperation. I know that many people find it difficult to accept help and to make themselves vulnerable at times – but that is exactly what is needed for good teamwork.

In my teams, different opinions clash from time to time. Everyone has their own strategy in mind, and all these ideas have to be brought together. To do this, it is important for me to adopt a rather moderate and neutral stance in order to convey these different views. A key challenge is being able to take a step back.

What makes your job special to you?

Andreas: What I like most about my job is that it suits me personally, that I feel like I'm constantly learning something new, and that I can keep developing. I also like the idea that through my work I contribute to the fact that everyone at Kiwigrid can organize and structure their own work to a large extent, thereby gaining freedom and being able to develop creatively. As a Scrum Master, I create the framework giving everyone in the team has the opportunity to work independently and autonomously and realize their full potential.

How does a Scrum work at Kiwigrid?

Andreas: Before the process can begin, a team is needed. In addition to the Scrum master, each Scrum team consists of a Product Owner (PO) and several developers. 

The team then goes through five successive events together in Scrum:

1) Sprint

2) Planning

3) Daily Scrum

4) Review

5) Retrospective

At Kiwigrid, a sprint begins in the classic way with sprint planning. During this process, we work out what goal we want to achieve together. The product owner describes the business goals we want to focus on in the upcoming sprint and the developers identify the stories and tasks we need to implement the goal. During a sprint, we meet every day for the Daily Scrum – a 15-minute stand-up meeting where we update the sprint plan. The Sprint ends with two feedback sessions: in the Sprint Review we sit down with the stakeholders, present the product progress and discuss upcoming product improvements. In the subsequent Sprint Retrospective, the team comes together and reflects on the opportunities for improvement in collaboration, in the tools used, and in the approach. This ends one iteration and a new one begins immediately. This is repeated until the end of a product life cycle is reached.

What is your role as Scrum master?

Andreas: While the PO is completely focused on the needs of our stakeholders and how we can meet them, I act as a kind of facilitator and organize the communication between the development team and the outside world. Organizing various meetings plays a big role in this. 

My goal is to make the team as effective as possible, and to do that I have to create the necessary framework. On the one hand, this means that I help to ensure that the necessary means and resources are made available for the work, and on the other hand, it is about making any obstacles transparent and removing them. In short, my job is to enable everyone to work as smoothly as possible.


Do you want to work as a Scrum Master at Kiwigrid? Check out our job position here

*What is a Scrum?
In a nutshell, Scrum is a model for agile project management that is used to coordinate a product team in which all team members work together on complex solutions. The goal of the Scrum framework is to produce valuable products and distribute relevant information within the team in such a way that each team member can contribute optimally. For this purpose, sprints and regular meetings take place one after another. A sprint is a container event that sets the framework for all other events.
Scrum originated from software development but is now also used in many other industries. It helps companies stay agile. Being agile means that a company manages to deliver high-quality products to customers regularly, while incorporating feedback directly and continuously.