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The Scrum Team and the Scrum Team Roles
1. The Scrum Team
Let's go back to our Scrum team and better understand who they are and what they actually do. The Scrum team consists of a product owner,the development team and a Scrum master. What is important to remember is that the Scrum teams are self-organizing and cross-functional. Self-organizing teams choose how to best accomplish their work rather than being directed by others outside the team. It means that they make the decisions when it comes to how the product should be built, but also about other aspects of their work. Cross-functional teams have all the skills needed to accomplish the work without depending on others not part of the team, especially when it comes, for example, to the technical expertise needed in creating a product. The Scrum team is designed to optimise flexibility, creativity, and productivity. Scrum teams strive to deliver products in an incremental way and always try to maximise the opportunities for feedback.
2. The Product Owner
Next, let's look at each role within the scrum team more closely. And we will start with the product owner. The main responsibility of the product owner isto maximise the value of the product resultingfrom the work of the development team. You're probably wondering: What is value? to be more exact. And value comes in many different forms. This is most likely why the Scrum Guide does not go into greater detail. But just to give you some examples, value can be business value, meaning more income or better exposure in the marketplace, or value for the customer, which often can translate into business value as well, or technical value. So it really depends on the context where Scrum is applied. But make sure you remember this: the main responsibility of the product owner is to maximise the value, whatever that is. The product owner is one person. not a committee, not a group of people, or anything else. The product owner may represent the desires of a committee, the CEO, or any other stakeholders in the product backlog. But those wanting to change the product backlog's item priority must do so through the product owner. And this is another key aspect when it comes to this role. The fact that the product owner is a person is not a matter of chance but a deliberate decision made within Scrum. and it all relates to the responsibility. The product owner is, in the end, solely responsible for the outcome. So nobody should go over him or her when it comes to decisions such as the product backlog ordering.Additionally, no one can force the development team to work from a different set of requirements. Nobody, not the stakeholders, not the CEO. And for the product owner to succeed, the entire organisation must respect his or her decisions. And this might at times for someorganizations be a hard pill to swallow. But it's an important part of Scrum. Nevertheless, everything is transparent. Product owners' decisions are visible in the content and ordering of the product backlog. It should also be clear what the development team will be working on next. The product owner is the sole person responsible for managing the product backlog. So the product owner needs to make sure the product backlog items are clearly expressed and understood by the development team. And here comes another key aspect to be remembered. The product owner is optimising the value of the work the development team performs, from the managing of the backlog to the ordering of the items within that backlog. But there is a twist to the story, and you need to really pay attention to it. The product owner may do the above work or have the development team do it. However, the product owner still remains accountable. This means that the product owner can delegate some tasks to the development team, but he or she remains accountable for the outcome, but only at the product owner's discretion. Nobody can force the product owner to do that. So this is largely the product owner role as described in the Scrum Guide. And just to be clear, there is no project manager role in Scrum, and in general, the product owner role is by no means to be confused with a project manager. In Scrum, the responsibilities of a project manager are distributed between the product owner, the scrummaster, and the rest of the team. Additionally, nobody is reporting to or giving status updates to the product owner.
3. The Development Team
Now, let's take a closer look at the development team. The development team consists of specialists who have all the skills needed to do the work needed. Their goal is to create a potentially releasable increment at the end of each sprint. It is worth mentioning that only the development team members can work on the product increment. The development team is structured and empowered by the organisation to organise and manage their own work. In this way, the efficiency and effectiveness of the development team are optimized. The development team shares a few important characteristics. The team is self organizing.Nobody, not even the Scrum master, the product owner, stakeholders, or the CEO, tells them how to do their work, which tools to use, or anything similar. The emphasis here is on self-organizing. They call the shots when it comes to how the product backlog should be turned into potentially shippable increments. Self-organizing applies to other aspects of their day-to-day work as well. The team is cross-functional when it comes to problem solving and decision making. This means it has all the skills needed to create a product increment. The skills need to be in the team, but that does not mean that every team member should be cross-functional, just the team as a whole. While each team member may have an area of expertise, the accountability for the work belongs to the development team as a whole. A simple example here: the team has one member and he or she is absent. This is not an excuse for not meeting the Spring goal and delivering a potentially shippable increment. In this case, the team as a whole is responsible for finding a solution to test their own work. Scrum does not recognise any official titles for the development team, regardless of the work they perform, such as business analysis and development testing. As a final side note, while not recommended, it is possible for the product owner or the Scrum master to be part of the development team if they are doing the work on the spring backlog. But again, this is not really recommended because then there would be a mixture between the roles and the responsibilities.
4. Development Team Size
How big should the development team be? Are just two members okay? Actually, no fewer than three development team members decrease interaction and result in smaller productivity gains. Also, if a development team is too small, it may encounter skill constraints during the sprint, causing the development team to be unable to deliver a potentially reusable product increment. This may be the case when somebody in a small team is on holiday or absent for other reasons; in this case, even three team members may not be enough, so the more the merrier. Unfortunately, not having too many team members is also not a good idea. Having more than nine members requires too much coordination between them, so the entire process becomes too complex. The optimal development team size is small enough to remain nimble and large enough to complete significant work within a sprint, so Scrum recommends the team size be between three and nine members. The product owner and Scrum master roles are not included in this count, unless, of course, they are part of the development team as well.
5. The Scrum Master
Scrum master. The scrum master assists the development team and the product owner and is responsible for promoting and supporting scrum within the organization. You can see the scrum master as a scrum coach. The scrum master is doing this by helping everyone understand scrum theory, practices, rules, and values. The scrum master helps those outside the scrum team, for example, the stakeholders, understand which of their interactions with the scrum team are helpful and which aren't. When it comes to the scrum team itself,the scrum master is a skilled servant leader. The scrum master puts the team before himself or herself. And in case you're not familiar with the term, let me explain a bit. Traditional leadership generally involves power flowing from a leader to lower levels of authority. By comparison, servant leadership turns the power pyramid upside down, putting the needs of others first and helping people perform as highly as possible. So the servant leader exists to serve the people. For more on this topic, I will share a few materials with you in the Resources section. It is also important to note that the scrummaster has no formal authority like a manager or anything similar, as the name "master" might imply. It is also not making any decisions or controlling the development team on how they create a product increment. So the main point is that the scrum master is a facilitator and a coach, and the goal is to serve the scrum team in order to maximise the value created.
6. How is the Scrum Master serving the Development Team
So how is the scrummaster serving the development team? The Scrum Master does that in several ways. The Scrum Master has to defend the empowerment that the development team has and to coach it, guarding self-organization and cross-functionality. It can also have the hard task of coaching the development team in organisational environments in which Scrum is not fully adopted and understood. One important focus is to help the development team create high-value products. The Scrum Master is successful if the team is successful, and sometimes impediments are in the team's way, and the Scrum Master helps to remove those impediments regardless of their nature. At times, as the Scrum Master, we need to work with people within the organisation to address those issues. Any unsolved problems put a sprint outcome in danger, and therefore the scrum master needs to act promptly. Scrum Master is also facilitating scrum events as requested or needed, with an emphasis on the word "facilitating." Don't think that setting up facilities and organising meetings entails booking and arranging rooms or anything else. The Scrum Master is not the secretary of the team. He or she just needs to make sure that the events happen when requested or needed.
7. How is the Scrum Master serving the Product Owner
So how is the scrum master serving the product owner? The scrum master coaches the product owner to better understand and practise agility and scrum. This means that the scrum master should teach the product owner to understand and apply the benefits and best practises of Agile and Scrum. It also ensures that goals, scope, and product domains are understood by everyone on the scrum team as well as possible. And this is extremely important because if any of these are missing or unclear, especially the development team, they will later encounter issues while creating the product. It is also extremely important that the development team and the product owner understand the need for clear and concise product backlog items, and the scrum master is there to help with this as well. In order to maximise value, the scrummaster will mentor the product owner on how to manage the product backlog. To ensure it is ordered and in a healthy state, the scrum master needs to make sure that the product owner understands how to do product planning in an empirical environment. For the product owner, product planning is very important in order to meet business goals. For example, stakeholders generally are interested in knowing when the product will enter the market or when a newer iteration will be released. Because scrum is an empirical process, forecasts and decisions will be made based on previous experience and what is known. The scrum master can also facilitate planning and backlog requirement events as needed or as requested by the product owner.
8. How is the Scrum Master serving the Organisation
Let's next have a look at how the scrum master is serving the organization. The scrum master is leading and coaching the organisation in its scrum adoption and its planning scrum implementation. For example, the scrum master can interact and collaborate with different departments that need to be changed in order to succeed with scrum. The scrum master has to explain why change is necessary and lead the organisation in that direction. The scrum master can work with other scrummasters within the organisation to achieve these goals. The scrum master can also cause changes that increase the productivity of the scrum team, for example, by improving internal processes that affect the team and that cause delays. Sometimes scrum and empirical product development are not understood by stakeholders or other people within the organization, and the scrum master is there to coach them on these topics.
The Agile Method and Scrum
1. Agile manifesto and the birth of SCRUM
If you haven't heard already, you probably will hear it again and again in the future. So let's take a moment to understand what agile actually refers to. Most of the time, agile in software development describes a way under which business requirements and potential solutions emerge through the joint effort of cross-functional self-organizing teams and their customers or end users. The term "agile" used in this context comes from The Manifesto for Agile Software Development, which we'll find attached as a resource to this lecture. The values and ideas contained in the manifesto were derived from a larger range of software development frameworks, including Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming, and many others. This is why Scrum is considered an agile framework and associated with the agile movement. But let's have a look at what is actually being said in the Agile Manifesto. We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work, we have come to value individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Working software trumps comprehensive documentation; customer collaboration trumps contract negotiation; and adapting to change trumps sticking to a plan. You may be thinking that this is probably short and sweet, but let's just take a moment to reflect on what is being said here, and what's important to understand is that in each phrase, you will find the wordover, and the meaning is quite important because what the manifesto is saying is that in the first case, tools and processes are important. Nobody says that they are not important, but it is even more important to have the right people and to have them working together in the most effective way. The same goes for documentation. Of course, documentation is important, but it should not stand in the way of actually building software if this is the case. So the main goal of development is to create software, not to waste time writing perfect documentation. Moving forward on customer collaboration, it's important to work together with the customer and not with the lawyer of the customer in order to get something working. So there is absolutely no substitute for this close relationship between the customer and the team building something. And finally, plans are important. To have a plan for your project is great, but at the same time it shouldn't be too strict or rigid; it should be flexible enough to accommodate any changes that may occur during the entire project. So it's important to be able to respond to change and not say, "Well, a minute, initially we have this plan and we cannot deviate from the plan that doesn't work." No, it's important to be able to be, as you will often hear it, "agile." So when you hear the words we are agile" we want to be agile," it's referring to all of these things. So I will highly recommend that you read the Agent Manifesto, and there is another page with principles that are behind the Agile Manifesto. This is actually quite ridiculous, and it is good to know exactly what Agile means. So take a minute to invest and understand exactly what Agile means, because, as I said in the beginning, you will hear it a lot during your career going back to Scrum. Scrum existed prior to the creation of the AGMManifesto in 2001. The term chrome was actually used in the context of product development way back in 1986. And it was only in 1995 when Ken Schwarber and Jeff Sutherland jointly presented a paper describing the Scrum Framework. And until today, they remain known as the creators, promoters, and maintainers of what has become the Scrum Framework.
2. Definition of Scrum
In this lecture, we'll have a look at what Scrum is and how it is defined within the Scrum Guide. Scrum is defined as a process framework, and it's used by people to manage complex work, to work on complex products, and to deliver those products offering the highest value. And what is important to note is the word "framework." And as you see, I put it even in bold, and you will hear this term over and over again: "framework," "framework," and what "framework" actually means, especially if you're not a software developer and you've encountered this term a lot in the past. It provides structure; it provides the rules; it governs, but it's not a complete solution. So therefore, the name "framework" means "just producing," "just offering the frame in which the work should be done," to sort of say it like that. So it's important to remember this word, "framework." And on the next slide, you will also see why it's important to remember this word "framework." And again, Scrum is dealing with complex problems. So not something simple, but rather something complex where you don't know what the outcome will be and exactly how the path to the solution should look like. And always, what's very important is that the product—or whatever is being built—needs to deliver the highest possible value that it can. So the end user or the customer should always get value from whatever's being built. We said that Scrum is a framework, but it's also important to understand what Scrum is not. And Scrum is definitely not a process, a technique, a definitive method, a methodology, or anything like that. And trust me, you will encounter a lot of questions regarding this in different boxes, or even in the live exam as well. It's important just to remember: Scrum is a framework. It's not anything else. It's a framework. And additionally, what you'll hear a lot about Scrum is that it is lightweight and simple to understand, but difficult to master. And what that means is that Scrum itself is easy to understand. It is only described in the Scrum Guide on a few pages. So it's easy to read, and it's easy to grasp an understanding of what is being described there. So in itself, it's easy to understand. It's lightweight, but at the same time, it's difficult to master, which means it's hard to implement everything that you see inside the Scrum Guide. So in order to master something, you really need to understand everything that's going on, how you should properly apply what's within the framework and rules, and how the relationships between different rules and artefacts and roles and so on work. And this is why it's been said that Scrum is very difficult to master but lightweight and simple to understand. And the Scrum framework itself is built on Scrum teams. And scrum teams have roles. and the entire Scrum framework. There are events and artefacts and rules, and we will later get into them. But remember, this is basically what the Scrum framework actually is. All these things, put together, make the Scrum Framework. So this would be the definition of Scrum. Now, I understand that definitions and all these very dry things are hard to grasp and hard to understand, especially now in the beginning. But take a moment to absorb this information, and I'm sure it will make a lot more sense as you go along. And especially when you start answering questions regarding the Scrum framework, you will even get a better understanding of what it actually is.
3. Waterfall Model
To better understand where Scrum is coming from. First, it is important to understand what happened before Scrum was introduced. A lot of software development has been done in the past, and is still done today, using the waterfall model. The waterfall model originated in the manufacturing and construction industries, but since the 1950s it has been used for software development as well. It is also referred to as a "linear sequential life cycle model." In its core, it is very simple to understand and use. In a waterfall model, each phase must be completed before the next can begin, and there is no overlapping in the phases. As you can see, the progress flows from the top to the bottom, similar to a cascading waterfall. That's the name. So first you will start with a very detailed requirement analysis where you will document everything that is needed for the project. And then there will be a handoff, and you will go to the second stage where you will, for example, design the software architecture. And once the software architecture has been designed in detail, you will go to the next phase and hand it over to the people who are actually building the software to do the implementation, and so on to the point where everything is done. Of course, there are variations to this model,steps being added, merged or removed as needed,but the overall idea is still the same. The progress flows largely in one direction, and that is downwards. So after each stage, there is a review to determine if the project can advance to the next stage. So it all assumes that problems are identified and corrected in the early stages. So in case you're asking yourself, "What is the problem with this model if it's already so old and has been used in the past?" Well, let me mention a few of the flaws that it has. Unfortunately, it's very rare that we have perfect knowledge of the entire thing that we are trying to build right at the beginning. And what's even more troubling is that working software was produced very late in this project. So as you usually see, there are these documentation and analysis steps at the beginning, and in all these first steps, there's actually not a line of code that is being written, and this is a big disadvantage of the waterfall model. And as you can imagine, the entire process has a very long lifespan, and risk and uncertainty are relatively high because if the entire process takes a long time, you sort of have to predict what will be needed in the future. And this is, without saying, a highly risky maneuver. And of course, the waterfall model is not really suitable for projects where requirements are changing all the time, for projects that need to be a bit more flexible on what they're doing, where you cannot plan everything for an entire year or so, but you need to have smaller iterations and deliver some things at a much faster pace. Now, going back to Jack and Mary Organic Farm, it is only fair to tell you that this is really the first try at creating an online presence. Just two years ago, they started working with a Web agency for their e-commerce platform, using the waterfall model with fixed requirements and a fixed budget, and not a lot of room for change and improvement. Initially, it took six months just to prepare very extensive documentation on how the entire system should look like.And for a company that has never had an e-commerce platform or expertise in this field, it was really a daunting task. Finally, when the development started, conditions on the market had already changed. Not only that, but once the implementation was half through, the company realised that what they were getting was not really what they wanted. So, one and a half years into the project, they decided to put a stop to it. This was a bitter lesson for this small company, but it could have done it differently.
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