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SCRUM Team

Scrum Team is the name given to a small yet highly skilled and committed group of people who work on a software development project which uses scrum methodology. They are self driven and accountable people who are experienced in delivering key functionality within a short period of time.

That is the reason why they are put onto a project which are either falling behind the schedule or projects which are problematic. Basically a Scrum team is akin to a "special team" in American Football. As a team they have a very specific skillset ensures the work is "kick started" and finishes on time.

Composition of a Scrum Team

In traditional methodologies of software development, there were several members in a project team. These usually included developers, designers, system analysts, business analysts, project manager, quality specialist, testers and project management stakeholders. Thus when development was handed from one team to another it took time, When the business requirements documentation or the project management requirements were unclear more time would be wasted.

This is in sharp contrast with a scrum team which includes only three roles. These are:

1.0 Product Owner

A product owner of a scrum team is a high level stakeholder such as a Project Sponsor, Product / Brand Manager, CTO or even a CEO in smaller companies. They are the goal setter; the person who visualizes how the sprint would proceed in the 30 day duration. They will also recognize and prioritize the essential features that are to be included in a sprint.

Scrum methodology insists that whilst the functionality of the software might be reduced, the product should be complete by the deadline. That is the reason why the Product Owner decides which features should be retained in a sprint and which should be dropped. At the end of a sprint they will check the development and decide whether the project should be continued or not.

2.0 Scrum Master

The position of a Scrum Master is akin to that of a Project Manager in a traditional process of software development. The only difference is that they are not micro-managing the deliverables. They are simply responsible for getting the sprint completed successfully in the scheduled time.

However this role is so pivotal to the success of the development that you need someone with a wide range of skills; not simply someone who understands scrum methodology. In order to achieve this, a Scrum Master has to be a real leader who can get the team sufficiently motivated to deliver what is required So whilst there are a number of different types of Scrum meetings, the Scrum Master will specifically conduct the daily meetings to check that the sprint is on track and quickly resolve any issues which have arisen.

They will also ensure that the code being developed is tested for quality as part of their remit to implement project quality management. One of the key roles which a Scrum Master plays besides leading the team, is to proactively sort out problems. So if any of the developers get stuck, the Scrum Master will get the scrum team to help. And if none of the team members are able to solve the problem, it is their responsibility to get it solved, through any possible means before the sprint ends.

3.0 The Team

This includes all the other members of the Scrum Team except the Product Owner and the Scrum Master. This is a cohesive group of multi-skilled people who are responsible for designing the software, writing the code, testing the code as well as producing any documentation required.

They should all be experts in more than one of these tasks and with top notch skillsets. A key attribute they should all have is a real "can do" attitude and the desire to push through the numerous problems they will encounter. The last thing you need is a team of individuals who stop work immediately on encountering a problem!

SCRUM Team - Tip

If you are unable to select the actual team themselves, at the very least ensure that you are involved in selecting the Scrum Master as this is such a key role. At the very least you need someone who is a real leader, who is proactive, who is technical and is good at project communications. Get this one role wrong, and you will quickly find that your project development is going nowhere.

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