Sunday, August 3, 2014

Agile and Scrum Methodology - Roles and Responsibilites

In this post, we will talk about the various roles and responsibilities associated with Scrum.

In scrum, generally there are 3 distinguished roles as follows:

  • Product Owner
  • Scrum master
  • The Team

1. Product Owner

The role of a Product Owner is very crucial in the making the product a success in the market, as it deals with the "What" and the "Why" of the product.

  • Is one who has a product vision on how the product should look like, what should be its features etc. Unsurprisingly, the product owner should have very good domain expertise.
  • Communicates with various stakeholders like sponsor, client, end users and gathers requirements.
  • Also responsible for end user satisfaction, has overall commitment to product road map.
  • Also responsible for ROI (return on investment) and work out the budget constraints.


2. Scrum master

Scrum master is more of a facilitator and a coach who gives valuable advice to the team. The roles include:

  • Make sure everybody is following scrum process
  • Provide advice when needed on right process to be followed.
  • Work towards resolving issues which affect team's productivity (could be external factors, Organizational behaviour/culture, external dependencies)
  • Protect the team from distractions and help the team stay focused.

What a scrum master is not?

  • A scrum master doesn't have control over the team, but has control over the process.
  • The scrum master is not accountable to the outcome of the project.
  • The role of a scrum master is not the same as that of a Project Leader or a Project Manager. In Scrum, it is more of a servant-leader role.


3. The team

The team consists of Development  team and the QA team. All of the action happens here. The roles of a team include:

  • Design, implement the product features
  • Brain storm technical challenges and come up with solution
  • Build, test

The important deviation in the characteristics of a team from that of Waterfall model, is that the team is self organized and self dependent, rather than depending on a project manager to dictate and monitor tasks.

One of the key reasons for this is that, numerous researches found and concluded that, employees are more motivated and driven by passion, when they have  freedom and when there is collective collaboration rather than single person dictating terms.

So, here "THE TEAM" does everything. Collaboration is the key here, where the entire team works as a single unit towards a common goal. It also helps in ironing out egotistic issues, personal biases and the team as a unit solves issues and advances towards the goal. 

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