Scrum Team – agile environment

The Scrum Team is a team of people responsible for understanding the business requirements specified by the Product Owner, estimating User Stories, and the final creation of the project deliverables.

To work effectively it is important for a Scrum Team that everyone within the team follows a common goal, adheres the same norms and rules, shows respect to each other. When setting up a new Scrum Team one always has to keep in mind that no new team will deliver with the highest possible performance right from the beginning. After setting up the team it has to go through certain team development phases.

How long it takes until the Scrum Team is in the Performing Phase depends on the team, and yet it normally takes about 3 Sprints until the teams is mature enough to deliver their results in a predictable way.

Characteristics of a Scrum Team
Scrum Teams always have the following characteristics:
– The Scrum team as a whole is accountable for the delivery
– The Scrum Team is empowered
– It is working as autonomous as possible
– The Scrum Team is self-organizing
– The skills within the Scrum team are balanced
– A Scrum Team is small and has no sub-teams
– The Scrum Team members work full-time in the team
– People are collocated

The Scrum Team as a whole is responsible to deliver the committed delivery in time and with the defined quality. A good result or a failure is never attributed to a single team member but always the result of the Scrum Team.

Balanced set of skills
Individuals within the Scrum Team will most certainly have specialized skills and focus. However to achieve best possible performance it would be optimal to have a balanced set of skills. On one hand this means that a Scrum Team should be multidisciplinary (developers, tester, architects etc) right from the beginning. On the other hand this also means that each team member should learn a little bit of each other’s specialization.

Size of the Scrum Team
Scrum Teams are small. The ideal size is 5 – 10 people.

To minimize unnecessary communication overhead each Scrum Team should be collocated. If work has to be spread over multiple locations, independent Scrum Teams should be created.

Responsibilities of the Scrum Team
The Scrum Team and each of the team members have responsibilities:
– breakdown the requirements, create tasks, estimate and distribute them: they have to create the Sprint Backlog
– perform the short Daily Sprint Meeting
– ensure that at the end of the Sprint potentially shippable functionality is delivered
– update the status and the remaining efforts for their tasks to allow creation of a Sprint Burndown Diagram.