If you’ve been following our blog for awhile you probably already know that at gap intelligence we follow an Agile Scrum framework for the basis of all of our in-house product development. If you stumbled on this blog post because you were googling “Agile Scrum” or something of the sort, welcome! We’re happy to have you here and hopefully I can answer some of your questions about who does what in Agile Scrum.
According to the Scrum Alliance, the primary “why” of Scrum is to “break large projects into smaller stages, reviewing, and adapting along the way.” To find out more about the “how” and “when” of Scrum process, check out this blog that covers the Agile Ceremonies we participate in throughout our sprint cycle. Now that we’ve covered the why, the how, and the when, let’s talk about the "who"!
The Scrum team is comprised of a Product Owner (that’s me!), the Development Team, and a Scrum Master. Stakeholders are not specifically part of the Scrum team, but they also play a critical role in the Agile development process.
The Scrum Master is the ring leader or coach of the scrum team, responsible for upholding the practices and values of Scrum. It’s their job to facilitate ceremonies, remove impediments, and collaborate with product owners and all the members of the development team. To read more about what our Scrum Masters do check out Eugene “Coach Cheesey” Correia’s blog post here.
The Dev Team
I refer to our dev team fondly as “the people who can see The Matrix.” They work with the Product Owner and Scrum Master to refine and estimate features that will make their way to the backlog. They are self organizing and cross-functional. They somehow (I swear it’s magic) take written descriptions of a given feature and turn it into actual real life software that continuously delivers value to stakeholders and users.
The PO is responsible for communicating the business needs and expectations to the dev team. They build out roadmaps in line with the overarching vision for their product. They manage the priorities in the backlog and write feature descriptions. They work closely with stakeholders to define value and scope for ongoing projects and roadmap themes, as well as continuous testing of features delivered by the dev team.
Stakeholders work outside of the Scrum team but have an interest in and knowledge of a given product and it’s users. They work closely with the Product Owner to communicate business goals and define the “why” for upcoming initiatives. They help determine acceptance criteria for new features and play an important role in testing and giving feedback. They often attend daily stand ups to keep a pulse on the happenings with the dev team and are always in attendance at sprint reviews. It is important for them to be subject matter experts, but it is even more important for them to be excellent communicators not only with the Product Owner but with their fellow teammates and customers who are likely the end-users for a given product.
As usual, at the end of the day, team work makes the dream work. All of the roles on a Scrum team (and surrounding it!) play a critial part in building truly great software... and if you know gap, you know doing great is our thing.
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