Pain is temporary, failure lasts forever

Lean, agile living for the running mother of Peter

2008-08-12

Defining the team roles - going scrum

This only applies if you're using scrum or a scrummish development model...

There is so much good literature on Scrum and just by googling it, you'll find loads of definitions and good advice. My advice is: keep it simple. Use the basic roles. See the roles as such and not individuals. Get everyone to understand what the different roles are responsible for. Select the best for each role.

Keep it simple, use the basic roles
Don't try implementing a lot of your own roles. Product Owner, Scrum master and scrum team. That's it. By for example including different proxies and stuff, the roles get more and more difficult to understand. For example product owner: if you can't take the responsibility, don't take the role. It doesn't get easier by adding another role. You're still stuck with the original problem which in that case is lack of responsibility.

See the roles as such
I'm just product owner when I'm acting product owner. When I'm off, someone else has to play that role.

Get everyone to understand the difference between the different roles
If your team and stakeholders don't know the difference between the scrum master and the product owner, you loose. It's not the most important thing what you use as definition, but make sure everyone understand and respect that difference.

Select the best for each role
Well, since Greg is XCY, he must be the product owner and since Gladis used to be a project manager, she'll be scrum master. Bad, bad choice. Or, to be correct: wrong given reason. Look at the different definitions for each role and choose the right person. While attending a product owner course for Mike Cohn, most of the participants said that they didn't have the time it took to forfill the role. So, why did they take it? Pride? I've heard somewhere that about 60% of all scrum projects fail because of a failing product owner. Hope they are proud to be part of that statistics.

A good product owner needs to be able to make decisions, stand by those decisions and be there for the team.

A good scrum master must be able to know when to open the door and when it should be shut.

A good scrum team member can commit to working on the sprint backlog and forfill the tasks taken.

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