Scrum team

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Meet the Scrum Team

The Scrum Team is a group of professionals that work towards the same goals for a product. A Scrum Team is self organizing within the boundaries of the organization.

Each Scrum Team consists of a:

What is Self Organization?

Self organization basically means that the Scrum team has the autonomy to choose how it can best accomplish the work that needs to be done, rather than being directed from the outside. This means the team can decide on how it will manage their work, plan their meetings and Scrum events and how they divide the work within the team.

The Product Owner

The Product Owner is one of the key stakeholders of the product that the Scrum team(s) build. An important responsibility of the Product Owner is to define the product vision and create, prioritize and maintain the product backlog based on the product vision. By doing this, the Product Owner maximizes the value of the product.

The Product Owner is also the go-to person for the Scrum team when they have any questions on the product they are building. He or she is the person who owns the product and therefore the only person who decides how the product will evolve. In order to do this, the Product Owner should take the end user, customer and other stakeholders’ input and opinion in mind. But in the end, only the Product Owner can decide how the product will evolve. 

This often makes it difficult for an organization to assign a single Product Owner, because this includes great responsibility and accountability. It also means the entire organization must trust this person to take the product in the right direction.

The Scrum Master

The Scrum Master supports the Scrum Team in adopting the Scrum framework and maximizing the value it gets from using the framework. The Scrum Master does this by acting as a servant leader, coaching, facilitating, teaching, mentoring the team and by removing impediments.

An important responsibility for the Scrum Master is to facilitate the Scrum events and ensure that the entire team understands the Scrum framework, and the “why” behind every aspect of the framework. In addition, the Scrum Master will enable to team to work at the best way they can by removing any impediments that hinder the team.

The Scrum Master as specific responsibilities towards the Development Team and the Product Owner:

  • Services to the Scrum Team

    1. Coaching the team members in self-management and cross-functionality;

    2. Helping the Scrum Team focus on creating high-value Increments that meet the Definition of Done;

    3. Causing the removal of impediments to the Scrum Team’s progress; and,

    4. Ensuring that all Scrum events take place and are positive, productive, and kept within the timebox.

  • Services to the Product Owner

    1. Helping find techniques for effective Product Goal definition and Product Backlog management;

    2. Helping the Scrum Team understand the need for clear and concise Product Backlog items;

    3. Helping establish empirical product planning for a complex environment; and,

    4. Facilitating stakeholder collaboration as requested or needed.

  • Services to the Organization

    1. Leading, training, and coaching the organization in its Scrum adoption;

    2. Planning and advising Scrum implementations within the organization;

    3. Helping employees and stakeholders understand and enact an empirical approach for complex work; and,

    4. Removing barriers between stakeholders and Scrum Teams.

Barry Overheem wrote an excellent article that describes the 8 stances of a Scrum Master. Check it out for more background information about the Scrum Master and his/her responsibilities.

The Development Team

The members of the development team create the product. For a software product, the development team usually consists of software developers, analysts, testers, UX/UI designers etc… However, in Scrum, the specific roles are not mentioned nor encouraged because this enforces thinking in silos where Scrum encourages the team to decide which person picks up certain tasks. We don’t want to talk about “the developers” or “the testers”, because the entire team is responsible for all the work that needs to be done to create an increment.

Some of the responsibilities of the Development Team are creating a plan for the Sprint (the Sprint Backlog), instilling quality by adhering to a Definition of Done and adapting their plan each day toward the Sprint Goal.

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