23 September 2021

The Scrum framework : Scrum Team

The Scrum Framework :

Scrum Team definition :

  • The fundamental unit of Scrum is a small team of people, a Scrum Team.

Scrum Team purpose :

  • It is a cohesive unit of professionals focused on one objective at a time, the Product Goal.

Scrum Team composition :

Scrum Team practice :

  • The entire Scrum Team is accountable for creating a valuable, useful Increment every Sprint.
  • The Scrum Team is responsible for all product-related activities from stakeholder collaboration, verification, maintenance, operation, experimentation, research and development, and anything else that might be required.

Scrum Team size :

  • The Scrum Team is small enough to remain nimble and large enough to complete significant work within a Sprint, typically 10 or fewer people.
    • In general, we have found that smaller teams communicate better and are more productive.
    • If Scrum Teams become too large, they should consider reorganizing into multiple cohesive Scrum Teams, each focused on the same product.
  • Therefore, they should share the same Product Goal, Product Backlog, and Product Owner.

Empowered, cross-functional and self-organized Scrum Teams :

  • Scrum Teams are cross-functional, meaning the members have all the skills necessary to create value each Sprint.
    • They are also self-managing, meaning they internally decide who does what, when, and how.
    • They are structured and empowered by the organization to manage their own work.
    • Working in Sprints at a sustainable pace improves the Scrum Team’s focus and consistency.

Scrum Team practice :

  • A core Scrum Team is small and has no sub-teams,
    • Within a Scrum Team, there are no sub-teams or hierarchies.
  • The Scrum Team as a whole is accountable for the delivery,
    • The Scrum Team is empowered,
    • The Scrum Team is working as autonomous as it is possible,
    • The Scrum Team is self-organizing,
    • The skills within the Scrum Team are balanced,
    • Team members share the same norms and rules,
  • Ideally Scrum Team members :
    • Are dedicated to their teams with 100% capacity,
    • Are collocated, and share the same room.
  • If there are multiple Scrum Teams working together on a Product, they must mutually define and comply with the same Definition of Done (DoD).

Scrum Team work :

  • Scrum Team delivers Products in two ways to maximize opportunities for feedback :
    1. Iterative
    2. Incremental
  • The Scrum Team Model is built to optimize
    1. Flexibility
    2. Creativity
    3. Productivity

Scrum Team productivity

  • Adding new resources to the Team will lead to a temporary reduction in productivity because new member needs time to be familiar with team’s environment, culture and the product and old members need to collaborate on new member’s onboarding.
    • Furthermore, a bigger Team does not mean that it can create more value.
    • If necessary, it is recommended to change Team composition at the beginning of the Sprints.
    • When a person works in two or more teams, (s)he will pay the context-switching cost.
    • It means (s)he should pay warmup and preparation time and resource for each switch.
    • Therefore, she will be less productive rather than when (s)he just focuses on one piece of work.

Scrum Team collaboration :

Scrum Team Values :

  • Scrum is based upon the five core Values of the Scrum framework : Commitment, Focus, Openness, Respect, Courage.

High-performance Scrum Team :

  • A high-performance Scrum Team lives the Scrum Values deeply.
    • Mistakes are mandatory and when they are made, they are celebrated.
    • There are many constructive conflicts based on trust in the Team.
    • Instead of living by the rules, they make the rules.
    • They help their customers become more successful.
  • The team can release the Increment with just one press of a button through an automated continuous delivery pipeline.
  • They evolve Definition of Done (DoD) over time and add more stringent criteria to it continuously and adhere to it completely.
  • Almost every Sprint, the team reaches the Sprint Goal and sometimes they exceed expectations.
  • You can obviously see a high level of creativity, productivity, and accountability in the Team.
  • Members are highly knowledgeable, autonomous, and self-organizing and use continuous improvement in all aspects of their processes and environment.
  • The sole source of the Developers work is the Product Backlog and its owner is the Product Owner.
    • On the other hand, if a team accepts other top managers’ work, they interrupt their focus and they do not know if they are creating a valuable output for the customer or not.
    • Therefore, they should refer the top managers to the Product Owner.
  • There is no assigned Role (e.g. QA) who conducts the Test Cases, members of the Developers are responsible for writing and executing all the Test Cases to meet the Definition of Done (DoD).

Scrum Team shared norms

  • The environment, business, IT, and geographical ecosystem of Scrum Teams invisibly define some of the norms the teams follow.
    • And yet, to become a truly successful Scrum Team, some rules and norms should be explicitly developed and exercised during the Norming phase of the Tuckman Model.
    • These common standards are essential, and they can’t be overemphasized to deliver smooth gameplay, IT, and business results.
    • Otherwise, the Scrum Team members would have to continually switch back and forth between different value systems and rule sets, and they waste their valuable time.

Scrum Team shared norms examples

  • Just a few examples of such norms and rules are:
    • The goal, scope, duration, location, participants and outcomes of Scrum Rituals (Events),
    • Required level of details to write clear, concise and unmistakable Definition of Done (DoD),
    • Guidelines to prioritize and estimate user stories and tasks,
    • Guidelines, procedures and the level of details to create living documents,
    • Tools to use and tools not to use (remember, sometimes less is more),
    • Coding standards,
    • Tools and guidelines to build/perform manual/automated tests and ensure quality,
    • The process to resolve bugs,
    • The process to handle change requests,
    • The process to prepare to product increment demonstrations during Sprint Review Meetings,
    • The process to handle the outcomes of each Scrum Ritual (Event),
    • Frequency, depth, and duration of Product Backlog Refinement Meetings.

More informations for the Scrum PSD certification here.

Updated : 03/08/21

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