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The Scrum Team

A short review of its tasks and responsibilities

18 October 2016

Adrian Sita
Brain Concert

The Scrum Team is one of the three roles (the other two being the ScrumMaster and product owner) defined within the Scrum framework. The Scrum Team completes all the work delivered to the customer. The team consists of a set of individuals — not only developers, as you might think at first — working together to deliver the requested and committed product increments. They can be software engineers, architects, programmers, analysts, QA experts, testers, UI designers, etc.

To underscore the importance of collaboration, the Scrum framework, as any other Agile method, does not define a role for individuals within a team because the team is more important than the individual. To work effectively, it is important that everyone on the team follows a common goal, adheres to the same norms and rules, and shows respect to each other.

Agree on the norms and rules at the beginning. Otherwise the team will waste valuable time later on, discussing things that otherwise would have been regulated by these norms and rules. Examples of such rules are time and location of the Daily Scrum meeting, the Definition of Done (DoD) that decides whether work is finished, coding guidelines, tools, and so on.

The Scrum Team as a whole is responsible for delivering the committed delivery on time and with the defined quality. A good result or a failure is never attributed to a single team member but is always the result of the Scrum Team.

Empower the Scrum Team to define what it will commit to deliver at the end of the sprint, how the expected results are broken down into tasks, who will perform the tasks, and the order in which they are performed. Only when the Scrum Team is empowered to decide these things can it work with the highest possible motivation and performance.

The main responsibilities of a Scrum Team and its members are:
  • To break down the requirements, create tasks, and estimate and distribute the tasks (sprint backlog).
  • To perform the short daily sprint meeting.
  • To update the status and the remaining efforts for their tasks to allow the creation of a sprint burn-down diagram.
One other important element in organizing a Scrum Team is colocation. Colocate all team members (i.e., same floor, same room), if possible, to minimize unnecessary communication overhead. If work must be spread over multiple locations, create independent Scrum Teams.

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

Article Rating

Current rating: 1.5 (2 ratings)


Tim Baffa, CSM, 10/24/2016 2:07:52 PM

The Scrum Team is not one of the three scrum roles, but is actually made up of the three scrum roles (Product Owner, Scrum Master, Development Team).

I am assuming that where you referenced Scrum Team in your article, you meant to say Development Team. If that is the case, then your statements make sense.

I disagree however with your statement on the main responsibilities of a Development Team.

The three bullet points you list as the Development Team's main responsibilities are really administrative/facilitating duties. They do not directly support the main responsibility of a Development Team, which is to deliver value to the business at the end of each sprint.

Put another way, a development team can refine and estimate stories and tasks, self-manage around sprint work, facilitate the Daily Scrum, and communicate status, but then still fail to deliver value at the end of a sprint. Again, the primary (and perhaps ONLY) responsibility of the Development Team is delivering value. How they meet that responsibility is up to them, aided in any way possible by the Scrum Master and the Product Owner.

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