The Scrum team as a complete unit consists of:
- Product Owner
- Scrum Master
- Development Team of usually five to nine members
One person who represents the customer’s or users’ wants and works closely with the Scrum development team and ScrumMaster. He or she is responsible for the success of the team in realizing the project’s goals. He or she is usually a key individual in the organization who in many cases may control the finances for the project.
The product owner is the person responsible for creating and managing the product backlog report which is a prioritized list of project requirements with estimated times for their completion. The product backlog report is one of the product owner’s key responsibilities and may delegate others to help in its creation and maintenance. He or she may even create a product owner’s team with a spokesperson in charge. Ultimately, however, the product owner is responsible for the backlog report. Also, the product owner represents all stakeholders in the project and is responsible to them.
The product owner also prioritizes the tasks to be done in the project. The goal is to have those tasks completed first that give the maximum return on investment. The sooner a segment of value added work is in the user’s hands the sooner the feedback and the ROI.
The product owner also sets up the constraints for the project. Time allowed for completion will almost always be one of them, but there can be many others. Lastly, but of key importance, the product owner must be in close contact with the development team to answer their questions and to listen to their suggestions.
The ScrumMaster’s main role is to be coach, mentor, and protector of the development team, He or she is also the main enforcer to ensure that the team is performing according to Scrum rules and processes.
A ScrumMaster can be thought of as a project leader who adheres to Scrum and Agile principles. Where project leaders were traditionally bosses and problem solvers, ScrumMasters require the team as a whole to solve any problems that occur when working on their sprint tasks.
A good ScrumMaster is one who is not interested in looking good himself, but in helping the team look good.
For a team to be successful, it is also important for the ScrumMaster to protect them from any outside interference that hinders the team from completing its sprint tasks. For example, users should not be allowed to directly approach team members asking them to reprioritize tasks, or perhaps delete them.
These are the people who do the main work on the project and are usually a group of five to nine people. They have cross-functional skills and are responsible for producing completed, tested, debugged, and documented code. They begin their work by selecting prioritized tasks from the product backlog report. The amount of work they select is what they think they can accomplish in the next sprint which is usually thirty days long. They have no boss while working on the sprint and basically report to each other. Each team member usually has their specialty but are required to help each other out wherever possible. The initial selection of the development team to be sure they work well together is obviously important for the team approach to succeed.
The other members involved in the project have a non-technical but important role. They are the stakeholders and managers.
Users, customers, and vendors who will be the beneficiaries of the completed project work tasks. Since they have a “stake” in the results, their input is critical to the Scrum team’s success. They should state as clearly as possible their wants and desires to the product owner. They should also be available throughout the life of the project to provide feedback and to answer any questions the development team and ScrumMaster may have.
These are internal company managers who can have an important influence on whether or not the Scrum development team is successful, They have control over many important factors such as workspace and personnel. For example, from a work layout point of view, the Scrum development team works best in a non-cubicle environment which is the exact opposite of how the traditional work area was set up for programmers. The bottom line is that for Scrum to succeed all of the company managers must be on board and dedicated to the success of the project.
Agile Methodology that Works Best for Your Organization's Needs
While Scrum framework, one of the popular Agile frameworks, has been adapted by many organizations, there are other Agile methodologies that have been proven to be the right choice for other companies.
Our comprehensive Agile knowledge library will guide you through various Agile frameworks and Agile Project Management practices to choose the right process that will adapt to your organization's needs.
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