Scrum Roles

This lesson is part of the course The Scrum Crash Course . Use navigation on the left.

In contrast to the traditional project management methods, Scrum doesn’t have or need a project manager, task manager, or team lead. The Scrum team includes the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the Scrum Delivery Team. The scrum delivery team is made up of technical team members only.

scrum roles

Product Owner

Product owner is responsible for the product’s success. While the delivery scrum team is responsible for delivering a quality solution, the product owner is responsible for knowing the market for the product. The product owner should understand the user’s needs well enough, to guide the team toward a marketable release sprint after sprint.

There are different types of product owners in different types of projects, but regardless of the technical situation or the desired outcome, there should be one (and only one) product owner who makes final decisions about the direction of the product and the order in which features should be developed.

The product backlog, or list of items to be completed by the Scrum team, is prioritized by the product owner so as to reflect his most valuable requests or changes for the product in development. The product owner, since he is representing the “what” and “why” of the system, should be available to the team to have regular dialogs about the requirements in the product backlog.

The product owner must make the product vision clear to everyone on the team and regularly maintain the product backlog in keeping with the product vision. The product owner always keeps the next set of product backlog items in a ready state so that the team always has work in the queue for the next sprint.

Scrum Master

Scrum Master is responsible to ensure product development flows as smoothly as possible.  Scrum Master, also called “The Servant Leader”, protects team members from interruptions and keeps them focused on their sprint commitments. Scrum Master also helps the product owner to get the product backlog in order.  

Scrum Masters facilitate all Scrum meetings, ensure that everyone on the team understands the goals, and share a commitment together as a true team and not just as a collection of individuals. 

The Scrum Delivery Team

The Scrum team huddles around a problem (traditionally speaking, a requirement) from an ordered list known as the Product Backlog and delivers solutions. Scrum teams should be five to nine team members, dedicated to the life of the project (and perhaps beyond). They should be cross-functional, empowered, and self-organizing. Scrum teams plan, estimate, and commit to their work, rather than a manager performing these functions for them.

The goal of the team is to deliver a shippable product increment that meets an agreed-upon Definition of Done by the end of each and every Sprint.

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