Characteristics of Scrum Team
In any system every role is defined to perform certain responsibilities and demands certain characteristics. Knowing the needed characteristics makes correct role assignment and ensures success.
In Agile based Scrum framework, there are three roles in the scrum team as –
- Product Owner
- Scrum Master
- Development Team
From my working experience of Scrum & learning from Scrum Master Certification (CSM) training,
I can think of below Great (prominent) Characteristics of each participant of a Scrum Team –
a) Product Owner
1. Visionary Leader –
A product Owner should be able to visualize the technical solution for the need of the user. On understanding the requirements thoroughly from user and other stakeholders, he should be able to chart down the system concept as the solution. He should be able to get his vision understood & implemented from the Development Team as a final working product.
The visionary leadership itself involves solution providing capability, analytical reasoning & techno-functional skills.
2. Business or Domain Expert –
As Product owner is an interface between other scrum team participants & users, he should be good in domain knowledge. He should have good insight of the proposed system business. He should be able to understand business terminologies, functionalities being requested by user team. He should explore his experience and domain expertise to propose solutions to the user demands.
3. Good Requirement Manager –
A Product Owner should be a good practitioner in system requirement management. This includes understanding & gathering the requirements, presenting the requirements in logical sequence & judging their priorities. This is very important as it is the entry point for scrum development work known as Product Backlog Preparation.
4. Know his Boundary –
Product Owner should have clear understanding and practice of his role boundary where he should not have any interference in the working of other scrum team participants i.e. Scrum Master and Development Team.
However, he should be ready to collaborate and assist them whenever needed.
b) Scrum Master
1. Facilitator –
The foremost characteristic for a Scrum Master is facilitating nature. He should be well versed in helping team members to follow scrum process without compromising the principles. He should be involved everywhere and every time to ensure scrum practices are exercised correctly.
2. Smoother or Problem Manager –
Scrum Master should be good in ensuring scrum process is implemented in smooth manner. He should have capability of identifying any growing problem or conflict and manage to solve in early stage.
3. Impediment Handler –
Scrum master should be a good monitor of the scrum process and figure out impediments or show stoppers. He should work with the team to resolve the impediments.
He should not only resolve impediments but also try to prevent them from arising at early stages.
4. Good Coordinator & Mentor –
Coordinating the team within themselves and with the external world (e.g. outside team) demands Networking capability as one of the Great Characteristics for Scrum Master. He should guide & help the team in following scrum process and meeting goals as a mentor as well.
5. Event Manager –
Scrum master carries out all necessary events of scrum process like meetings, team performance tracking or any other specific discussions or events. He should handle these tasks with punctuality without compromising decided Sprint schedules.
Practical examples & role plays can be good source to learn about Scrum Master role & characteristics.
e.g. Scrum Master Certification Training role plays & demos
c) Development Team
1. Self-Reliant –
The first and foremost Great Characteristics of a Development Team is being self-Reliant.
Team should be Self-Reliant in terms of understanding, allocating, prioritizing, tracking, managing and completing their tasks. It can take Scrum Master’s help but should be responsible for end to end completion of the sprint backlog work itself.
2. Good Learner –
Development team should be a good learning team. It should identify its strength and weakness after every sprint work in Sprint Retrospective meeting and learn from both. It should improve its performance from earlier Sprint works gradually.
This Great characteristic of Development Team ensures Scrum principle of being an Empirical Process.
3. Multi Skilled –
Scrum framework demands the Development Team to be having all necessary skills needed to achieve any successful sprint work. A Development Team should have good technical, domain and people management skills. It should be able to help, direct and lead internally and manage itself as a manager. Team composition should be done to include persons from needed skill background.
e.g. During Training session of Scrum Master Certification, teams are formed by selecting person of varying skill sets from different organizations gives experience of forming and working of a Multi Skilled Development Team.
4. No Individualism Mindset –
Abandoning Individualism mindset and coming up as a whole team in every stage of Sprint work is one of the Great Characteristics which is needed to ensure the success of sprint work. The team is considered responsible for every success and failure as one entity. Though at ground level each one is executing his own assigned tasks, final workable iteration product is outcome of team work.
Understanding, developing, coaching, helping and making business solutions workable is done by the team together. This needs team to mutually collaborate, organize, assist and evolve together in every sprint work.
The role & characteristics of every participant should be studied in conjunction to others to better understand the scrum process. Hence, Scrum Master Certification training does not limit till Scrum Master role instead explains all these three roles with examples effectively.
Learnings from sessions Certified Scrum Master(CSM)certification training & study of live scrum projects can make more practical awareness of these said Great Characteristics & roles of Scrum Team participants.
Practicing the learnings and evolving with the experiences will ensure having a Successful Scrum Team!