Scrum team roles are not positions. They are certain rights and responsibilities that are given to those involved in the processes.
In scrum they are as follows:
– The Team
– Scrum Master
– Product Owner
One person can act in more than one role. Just as the same man can be a son to his parents, a husband to his wife and a father to his children at the same time, a member of the development team can also play the role of scrum master.
We’ll talk about the roles of scrum master and product owner later, in this article we’ll look at the role of “team member”.
Role: Team member
The optimal team composition recommended for scrum work is 5-9 people. Less than five in a short time usually can not create a significant increase in the product. And if the team consists of more than nine people – the cost of mutual communication, on which scrum is built, becomes too high and eats up the efficiency. Also, keep in mind that scrum is a methodology with low formalization. This means that most of the operational information about all changes in the project must be kept in the team’s head. As the team grows, this information becomes more and more, and it begins to get lost.
The whole team should be able to work in the same space. Everyone’s availability to communicate at any time is a prerequisite for the entire team to respond quickly to changes or problems. However, distributed teams where participants can be in different offices, cities, or even countries are not uncommon these days. For such cases, there is a good practice of “virtual window”. A monitor with a web camera and a microphone is placed in both offices so that both parts of the distributed team can see each other at any time. If you want, you can go to the “window”, call a colleague and discuss the issue. It would seem more customary to call a specific person than to distract the entire team.
The ideology of a scrum means that communication always takes place in front of the entire team so that everyone is aware of what is going on.
The seclusion of employees with partitions and headphones is not suitable for a scrum.
Scrum teams are cross-functional.
This means that each member tries to expand their specialization and can perform several functions. For example, developer and tester, designer and technical writer, frontend and backend developer. The wider the range of skills of each team member, the more flexible the team can adjust to the current requirements of the project. For example, the beginning of an iteration might have more of a design and planning load, the middle needs more developers, and the end needs testers. While other approaches usually have the appropriate specialists join and disconnect from the team at the right time, in scrum the composition of the team does not change throughout the iteration. At the right moment, each of the participants must be ready to pick up the work that is needed right now. This also eliminates downtime.
Why is there no supervisor among the roles in the team?
Because scrum teams are self-organizing.
What does this mean?
They choose how to do the work better and do not wait for instructions from people outside of them. They control themselves and don’t need external control. In practice, not all employees have this habit and ability to self-organize. Many are used to acting in the paradigm of “if I tell you, I’ll do it, if I don’t tell you, I won’t do it. If your potential team has such guys, do not worry. The main thing is that at least a few people who have authority on the team are able and willing to organize themselves. The rest will either get involved by looking at them, or the team will “push” them out.
Most issues in the team are governed by the rules of the scrum, or decided in a consultative manner, including who will do what. The team evaluates the scope of work on its own, so it takes responsibility for meeting those evaluations. Team responsibility means that in the case of success, it is shared, not individual heroes. But also in the case of mistakes and failures, they are eliminated together, rather than making the “culprit” take the blame. Such relationships are easier to establish if all team members are highly professional.
This is another feature of the scrum that some overlook. If there are those who regularly “mess up” and those who just as regularly save the situation by taking collective responsibility, tensions can arise.
Mission: quality product
– 5-9 people
– Team composition can only change between sprints
– Cross-functional (Everyone can perform different roles)
– Self-organized and self-managed
– Responsible for evaluation and execution
Scrum team values
In addition to the Agile values we discussed earlier, Scrum has five more values.
Concentration means that at any given time, the whole team focuses on a small number of things. This allows those things to be done better and faster.
Courage comes from pooling team resources. It allows you to dare to do big things.
Openness implies that everyone shares how they are doing, and what problems and challenges they have. This allows them to be overcome.
Responsibility for success is formed because the fate of the team is entirely in their hands.
Respect grows in complicity in successes and defeats. Team members help each other become worthy of respect.
The biggest mistake in implementing Scrum is planting it in the wrong environment and with a team that does not embrace these values.
That’s why you should start implementing Scrum by asking yourself, “do we share these values? If you can’t confidently answer for the whole team, you need to do some preparatory work, otherwise, it will turn out like in the fable: “And you, friends, however you sit down, all are not good musicians”.
If your team meets the Scrum ideal, it can do wonders even if it deviates slightly from the methodology’s recommendations.