The Scrum methodology is a type of Agile methodology focused on managing software development projects with the aim of maximizing the return on investment of a company on a new or existing product. It would be wrong to compare between a Scrum methodology and an Agile methodology since Agile is a project management mindset and Scrum is a specific framework with rules, roles and expected behaviors. In this article we are going to focus on the roles that are part of this methodology and its functions in each situation within a Sprint. If you don't know its bases, you can see what a Sprint is and its phases in this link.
Below we are going to mention the minimum roles that should exist in a software development project executed with the Scrum methodology. We will also explain the main responsibilities that each role must assume and when they should intervene, or when a listener role corresponds to them.
Every project starts with this role. The Product Owner is in charge of grounding the project idea in feasible tasks. Sometimes, the Product Owner himself is the one who has the project idea and also breaks it down into parts so that the development team has an easier time projecting an estimate on each task.
It is not necessary for the Product Owner to have the entire project broken down into tasks, from now on we will call it requirements, before starting development. It is necessary to have a general vision of what is wanted in 6 months, but not in detail. Having one or two months of detail would be enough to start a software development with the Scrum methodology.
Here we detail the main responsibilities that a Product Owner should have:
Mentioning the concept of "measuring the return of investment", it is essential to have this facet under control since the main objective of a Scrum methodology is to have a functional, quality product, in the shortest possible time. Each development must be measured in order to understand if increases the return in the final application.
For example, the Product Owner has a news portal and analyzes that they are having a drop in the average visit time per user on the main page, which affects revenue. To increase that average time, what it does is add a short description below each headline so that the user stays reading and thus increases its average duration. In order to know if said improvement is going to increase the return or not, it is necessary to measure the new average duration with respect to the previous one. If it works, you'll keep adding improvements along that line, if not, you'll have to change course with another idea.
Actually, the objective is not that everything is developed in record time, but it is that an optimal solution is reached as soon as possible thanks to the agility of change that these methodologies allow.
He is the orchestrator of the entire project, the director of the baton who controls the work of others. The main objective of the Scrum Master is that the course of the project flows in the best possible way. There are many people who believe that this role should ensure that there are no problems or impediments during the course, but this is not the case. Problems and unforeseen events are inevitable, even if you have the best team in the world. What you should take care of is to solve these unforeseen events when they arise and as soon as possible.
You must be an impartial person. What do I mean by this: normally a company does not have a team of Scrum Masters, but someone must assume that role, either from the business part or from the IT part. It is usually someone from IT due to their technical and organizational skills with technological tools. Suppose this is the case, the development team is also an IT team, therefore, you have to be careful when making certain decisions that always favor which party. Always giving the reason to the part that you like best is a common mistake in these roles since it generates distrust on the part of the Product Owner.
Here we detail the main responsibilities that a Scrum Master must assume:
There is no indicator that can exclusively measure that a Scrum Master is doing their job well, since they also depend on other teams. Precisely for this reason, he is interested in the other teams doing well and is in charge of measuring their performance. An example would be to see how requirements are delivered as the days go by within a Sprint. This indicator measures whether the development team is completing the requirements on time to successfully complete the Sprint or has a certain deviation.
It's the development team. It is normally made up of more than one person and is made up of different technical roles. It is highly recommended that there be a technical leader, who organizes the tasks to be developed by each member and who has the last word to decide the technical solution, especially in complex developments.
In this team, all members are part of the IT team and must master the technologies required by the project. In general, these people usually work the whole day for the same project, while the other roles do not have to dedicate all their working time to the same project, there is not so much workload.
Below we detail the responsibilities of the Scrum Team:
It is the role that has the fewest responsibilities but dedicates the most hours to the project and, therefore, the success of the project passes through its hands.
There are different opinions about what factor makes an entire team work better or worse in a Scrum methodology. Personally, I think that the key is team cohesion, and I'm not just talking about the development team, but the whole team.
An Agile methodology requires a lot of communication and interaction both in different meetings and also through chat tools. If two people do not get along, it is very difficult for the communication between them to be the most appropriate. It has been shown that with cohesive teams, performance is greater and they even get more requirements during the same time than other teams that are not so cohesive. Even the Scrum Coach figures exist to improve communication between them and enhance this part.