The Squad Master role was born out of a genuine need in the operational framework of organizations. It involves having an internal partner deeply involved in the project, working hand in hand with the Product Owner. The goal is to enhance deliverability and achieve the product version that delivers the most value.
1. The Squad Master: Your Strategic Partner
As a project manager, the Squad Master leads a Squad—a multidisciplinary team—typically composed of developers, designers, growth marketing specialists, data analysts, and all the roles necessary for product development. They ensure the seamless progression of product development for a company.
Their role straddles the responsibilities of a Scrum Master, the guardian of agile methodology, and a Digital Project Manager. This dual perspective equips them with both operational vision and a holistic overview of the project’s progress. Consequently, they are uniquely positioned to identify the requisite actions.
2. The Squad Master: An Agile Maestro
The Squad Master fulfills four key functions:
- Team Facilitator: Similar to the Scrum Master, they lead agile rituals and craft solutions to address emerging challenges.
- Technical Aspects Manager: They oversee project budgets and team management from a technical perspective.
- Delivery Manager: Responsible for ensuring that the product aligns with agile methodological frameworks.
- Partner to the Product Owner: They maintain a privileged dialogue with the Product Owner throughout the project’s lifecycle.
The Squad Master liaises with the client, allowing team members to concentrate on their work. They also provide moral support and seek solutions to overcome obstacles.
“The Squad Master plays the role of a conductor, collaborating with experts much like a conductor works with musicians. Their objective is to orchestrate a harmonious symphony from various areas of expertise.”
Lucie Le Jeune, Squad Master at Wemanity Digital
3. Partnering with the Product Owner: Assisting them in Achieving their Objectives
The Squad Master manages the commitments made to the client and is, therefore, the direct point of contact. They are extensively involved at the project’s inception, actively participating in steering committee meetings and preparatory sessions to gain a precise understanding of the objectives. Subsequently, they relay these objectives to their Squad. The Squad Master helps the client in budget management and contributes to devising a strategy that aligns requirements with the available resources.
However, the Squad Master’s value primarily lies in the fact that they form a genuine partnership with the Product Owner. The Product Owner is no longer the sole guardian of the product; the Squad Master maintains an ongoing dialogue concerning its progress, in a more or less formal manner. This dual position, at the project’s core and in contact with the client, endows them with a true advisory role. They can recommend adjustments as the project unfolds, particularly when developers encounter technically challenging issues or open up new possibilities.
“This is one of the reasons why I’m passionate about this profession: the emphasis on client relationships. We share the same goal — ensuring that development proceeds under the most favorable conditions, ultimately resulting in a high-quality product.”
Thomas Aubry-Damon Squad Master at Wemanity Digital
4. The Squad Master: Orchestrating Collective Intelligence
The Squad Master doesn’t establish hierarchical links; they are an integral part of the team and play a facilitator role among various professionals, be it developers, designers, or any other expertise required by the project. Working with a cross-disciplinary team, fostering mutual understanding is essential to activate collective intelligence. Throughout the project, they apply the agile methodology framework to ensure a genuinely agile Squad that aligns with, as much as possible, the constraints and client’s expressed needs.
Therefore, the Squad Master is actively involved in setting up ceremonies, organizing, prioritizing, scheduling, and, of course, potentially adapting certain product features.
Most importantly, they serve as the true shield for their Squad, ensuring optimal working conditions. By directly managing client relationships, they enable their team members to focus on their tasks. Furthermore, they provide moral support while remaining solution-focused to address any issues that arise.
“The Squad Master continuously adapts to situations and finds solutions to keep the project moving forward. That’s why interpersonal skills – soft skills – and communication are essential for this role.”
Juliette Ducrot, Squad Master at Wemanity Digital
A Squad Master is more than just a Scrum Master; they are involved in the entire product lifecycle. Their involvement extends beyond the development process as they identify opportunities for improvement and enhancement.
For the Product Owner, this means no longer handling the product in isolation. Companies now realize the added value of having a genuine partner who manages commitments while applying agile methods.
Do you want to ensure the best possible development for your project and contribute to change?
What is a Squad Master’s role?
The Squad Master ensures the motivation of his team, makes sure that the Agile rituals are carried out correctly and maintains the team’s shared vision, all the while ensuring continuous improvement.
What is a Squad?
The term “Squad” originally stems from an agile project management model pioneered by Spotify, the world’s first music streaming platform. A Squad is led by a “Squad Master” who assumes the role of a captain. Their primary responsibilities include steering the project in the right direction and ensuring the seamless operation of the Squad’s services as they cater to the client.
The quote that best encapsulates the Squad Master’s Mindset
“The Squad Master acts as the guardian of team cohesion, wholeheartedly dedicated to propelling productions toward excellence while prioritizing the well-being of these teams. They oversee the entire journey from inception to completion.”