What is the Recommended Size for a Scrum Team?

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by StarAgile

November 26, 2020
Category Agile and Scrum


What is the Recommended Size for a Scrum Team?

A typical scrum team must possess all the required skills to carry out the tasks efficiently. It must ensure that the productivity and the quality of the products are not compromised.

The optimum size for the scrum team is around 6 to 10 members with varying skill sets and large enough to accomplish the tasks comfortably and small enough to share, communicate, and collaborate effectively.

The size should neither be very small nor large as both have its own consequences as mentioned below. However, a solution is also offered to overcome the same. 

  1. Small team - The limitations of a small team are, if 1 or 2 resources are absent then it will impact them considerably. To solve this, each member of the small team must have expertise beyond their work skills.
  2. Bigger team – Always will cause a chaos and hence in situations where there is a large project and the scrum team is more than 10 members then you can form a multiple scrum team. With scrum, we can manage large and complex projects of any size and technically challenging portfolios.

To know more about the scrum skills and what it takes to be a scrum master, register for the Scrum Master certification online at StarAgile institute. 

Brief Introduction to Scrum  

Scrum consists of the work done, Product and the sprint backlog. The product backlog consists of epics and user stories. The epics are large modules or items that are one of the parts of the requirements. They can be broken down into smaller parts called user stories. The user stories are the smallest part of the requirements that are converted and moved to sprint in the form of tasks. 

The product backlog is sequenced and prioritized with user stories and epics. Normally this is made after the initial scrum planning meeting. The sprint backlog consists of small tasks that form a collection called one sprint. A sprint is a collection of tasks that make the feature or part of the deliverable. The sprint planning is done before the execution of each sprint. Typically at the minimum, a project consists of 4 to 6 sprints. After the tasks in sprint backlog are worked they are moved to the last bucket called the work done bucket. 

The Scrum Planning Meeting will finalize the definition of done, which is nothing but the criteria for the tasks to refer to as completed and agreed upon by the customer. Scrum is a part of the agile methodology that has sprint increments and iterative methods of doing the software development project. 

Who are all part of the Scrum Team 

The sprint cycle consists of sprint planning, daily scrum, sprint review/Demo, and sprint retro. The sprint planning is part of the product backlog, similarly, the daily scrum is part of a sprint backlog and sprint demo is part of the sprint review. Let us learn in detail about the parts of the scrum.

a)Product backlog - This is nothing but the "To Do" list that consists of user stories, features, epics, requirements, and enhancements. This often needs to be prioritized and reprioritized based on sprint activities. This activity is generally done by the product owner.

b)Sprint Backlog - This consists of user stories, bug fixes, and items that are done by the development team. A sprint meeting is often done before each sprint. The sprint goals are planned in the meeting that needs to be adhered to achieve the product.

c)Increment - Increment is nothing but the end product from the end of each sprint. It is also referred to as sprint goal, the definition of done or milestones, or even shipped epic. To learn more, register for the certified scrum master online at StarAgile.

Key Scrum Events or Ceremonies

a) Do the work on the product backlog - The product backlog must be worked upon typically by prioritizing the user stories and epics and put in the bucket. This is the responsibility of the product owner.

b) Sprint planning - Here the tasks are made from the users stories and epics. This planning is done before any sprint engagement. This meeting is held by the scrum master and the scrum team decides the sprint goals.

c) Sprint - This is the actual time the scrum team that is the development team works on the increments. 2 weeks is the typical sprint time. However, the sprint time varies between 1 week to 1 month. The sprint time should be shorter for complex projects, and it contains multiple sprints. All the events such as planning to retrospective happen during the sprint.

d) Daily scrum - This is usually the 15 minutes meeting daily before the actual sprint or the development activities. Essentially during the meeting, everyone is on the same page, has alignment with the sprint goals, and plans for the next 24 hours. During the meeting yesterday's work is reviewed, today's works are planned and issues or problems are solved before the commencement of the work.

e) Sprint review - This is an informal meeting that is done at the end of each sprint. This is done to review the work, do a demo, and inspect the increments. The development team typically showcases the increments to the team. The product owner decides whether the increment can be released to the customer.

f) Sprint Retrospective - Here the scrum team discusses the things like 

  • What went well
  • What did not go well such as resources, tools, equipment, and relationships, etc 
  • What are the learning’s
  • Is there any improvement required for the next sprints

There are 3 basic roles in the scrum, they are as follows,

1. Product owner - The product owner is the leader in the scrum processes. He focuses his efforts on understanding business, market, and customer requirements. The ideal duties for the product owner are,

  • Work and prioritize with the product backlog.
  • Facilitate the business and the scrum team for understanding the work.
  • Collaborate with the scrum team for understanding all the features to deliver
  • Decides on when to release the increments to the customer

2. Scrum Master - Scrum master facilitates the development work of the scrum team and coaches the scrum team, product owners, and business on the scrum. The scrum master is responsible for the sprint meeting and daily meetings to be conducted. He also coordinates the sprint review meeting, sprint planning meeting, etc.

3. The scrum development team - They are the people who work on the sprints. They have different skillsets such as technical, functional and process, etc. This team is responsible for planning the development work. They must know what the appropriate workload is and agree with them with the product owner. To know more about the scrum team roles take up the Scrum certification training online at StarAgile institute. The various scrum  team roles are described in the diagram below,


Purpose of the Scrum Team 

The scrum team consists of the product owner, scrum master, and the scrum development team. 

The purposes of the team are as follows,

  • To make the business requirements of the customer into functional and technical requirements.
  • To ensure the epics, user stories, and smaller tasks are made from the large complex customer requirements
  • To plan for the product backlog, sprint backlog, and the increments
  • To work technically on the tasks thus made in the above steps.
  • Plan for the multiple sprints.
  • To approve and agree upon each sprint for the customer workable solution delivery
  • To ensure there are not many multiple iterations of the processes
  • To save cost and time on the increments
  • To produce a quality product that is suitable to be delivered to the customer
  • To improve on every sprint and every project from the learning’s

Finally, do you want to recommend the right scrum team size for your team? 

As a product owner and scrum master, it is important to recommend the correct team size for the scrum events. To know more and practice these scrum skills, we recommend you to take up the CSM Certification Online at StarAgile. Register now to enhance your career growth.