The three foundations on which Scrum stands are empiricism, self-organization and continuous improvement. These foundations ensure that Scrum adheres to the principles and values of Agile.
In fact, according to the Scrum Alliance, Scrum is the most popular Agile methodology, helping teams and organizations reap huge benefits while keeping customers happy. The success of Scrum depends largely on the people who make up the team and perform the Agile Scrum roles.
This blog is an attempt to help you understand about the different Scrum roles and how each role works towards enabling a high-performance team and a successful project.
Scrum has three roles:
The Scrum Body of Knowledge Guide (SBOK Guide) defines these specific roles and their responsibilities for successful implementation of Scrum framework and delivery of projects.
The three roles of Scrum work only when there is a high degree of cohesion between them. The Scrum Master role in sprint planning is to liaise with the Product Owner and maximise productivity by motivating and guiding the development team.
The Product Owner on the other hand ensures that the development team is clear about what needs to be built and the approach to be taken during development.
The development team relies on both the Scrum Master and the Product Owner to guide them in implanting agility while they innovate, create and ensure a superior output.
So, what is a Scrum Master responsible for? A Scrum Master wears many hats. Being a servant leader, facilitator, coach, motivator and more comes under the purview of a Scrum Master’s roles and responsibilities.
The top responsibilities of a Scrum Master include:
Senior Scrum Master responsibilities include coaching and leading agile transformations in the organization.
Often described as the captain of the ship, a Product Owner represents the business side of the project. Make no mistake…the product owner is not the customer, rather the representative of the customer.
A huge part of the Product Owner’s role is to ensure that maximum value is delivered and the customer is happy with the product. Product Owner roles are much sought after and a professional with the right expertise and qualification can be guaranteed of a great career trajectory.
Besides creating the product roadmap, and defining the vision and goals of the product, the role of Product Owner also includes:
As the name suggests, the development team develops the product as envisioned by the Product Owner. Development teams are usually mid-sized and enjoy a high degree of self-organization, cross functionality and communication between team members.
This is something that has plagued Scrum organizations for years. Because organizations have job titles and Scrum has roles, there is always a confusion of how to map titles to roles.
For example, you may have project managers, lead architects and testers. How do you map these titles to the three Scrum roles of Product Owner, Scrum Master and Development Team?
The trick that most organizations use for a successful Scrum transition is to map people and not titles to Scrum roles. You know all the responsibilities that a Product Owner carries out in the Scrum team. The best way to fill this role in your Scrum team is to find that one resource who checks all the boxes that an ideal Product Owner should have.
While filling roles using this approach rather than just mapping titles may take longer, in the long run it leads to a smoother transition and more motivated employees.
Scrum is fast becoming the de facto agile standard for product development. While it was earlier prominent in software development, it has been implemented with success in the medical, manufacturing, analytics and many other fields and sectors.
However, the success of Scrum lies with the team and it is the team’s prerogative that it follows the principles of Scrum and reaps its benefits by tailoring it to suit the needs of the organization. In order to be a successful Scrum resource, it is important to understand the concepts, principles and practices of Scrum and Agile.
Becoming truly Agile is the first step towards ensuring a successful career in a Scrum team.