Posted in Scrum Roles

Scrum Master

“The Scrum Master is responsible for promoting and supporting Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide”(1)


A Scrum Master…

  • helps everyone understand Scrum
  • is a servant-leader for the Scrum Team
  • helps those outside the Scrum Team understand which of their interactions with the Scrum Team are helpful and which aren’t (1)
  • The Scrum Master helps everyone change these interactions to maximise the value created by the Scrum Team (1)

Scrum Master service to the PO

Maximising Value 

  • Supports understanding product planning in an empirical environment (1)
  • Ensures the Product Owner knows how to arrange the Product Backlog to maximize value (1)
  • Coaching question:
    • How is the product going? (2)

Product Backlog Management 

  • Finds techniques for effective Product Backlog management (1)
  • Helps the Scrum Team understand the need for clear and concise Product Backlog items (1)

Development Team Interactions

  • Ensures that goals, scope, and product domain are understood by everyone on the Scrum Team as well as possible (1)
  • Coaching Questions (2) 
    • How is the team doing?
    • How each of you is fulfilling your roles?
    • How can you help one another?

Agility and Personal Development

  • Supports understanding and practicing agility (1)
  • Teaching Questions (2)
    • What must you believe about the team and the organisation to be a good PO
    • What parts of the role feel like a stretch for you?
    • What parts of the role do you feel you have mastered?
    • Which parts will you have to make yourself do?
    • What should I, as the coach, watch for to keep these beliefs?

Product Owner Support Exercise (3)

  1. Brainstorm with the Product Owner all the duties that their role should perform (or both Scrum Master and Product Owner if one person is doing both roles)
  2. Talk through them and highlight the ones that they are not able to do because of time-constraint/ training/ empowerment/ conflict of interest between roles/ etc
  3. Present the outcome to the Product Owner’s manager/ ‘trace the money’ if the Product Owner isn’t the decision maker

Scrum Master service to the Devs

  • Coaching in self-organisation and cross-functionality (1)
  • Removing impediments to the Development Team’s progress (1)
  • Facilitating Scrum events as requested or needed (1)
  • Coaching the Development Team in organisational environments in which Scrum is not yet fully adopted and understood (1)

Scrum Master service to the organisation

  • Leading and coaching the organisation in its Scrum adoption (1)
  • Planning Scrum implementations within the organisation (1)
  • Helping employees and stakeholders understand and enact Scrum and empirical product development (1)
  • Causing change that increases the productivity of the Scrum Team (1)
  • Working with other Scrum Masters to increase the effectiveness of the application of Scrum in the organisation (1)


Scrum Master Qualities (4, pg 128)

  • Leads by example
    • Scrum values
    • Trust in empiricism
    • Positive mindset
    • Adaptive approach
  • Enables and empowers others
    • Doesn’t solve people’s problems, but makes opportunities transparent
    • Knows he/she doesn’t have the best answers
  • Creates and environment of safety and is comfortable with failure
    • Safety in conflict
    • Trying new things
  • Cares deeply for people and is also willing to challenge when they are capable of more
    • Assumes positive intent and doesn’t judge people
    • Meets people where they are and helps them find their next step
    • Inspires to hold themselves to even higher standards
  • Opertates with integrity and stays calm under pressure
    • His/her leadership provides consistency and stability
  • Shows low tolerance for organisational impediments
    • Willing to challenge and speak the truth
    • Advocate for the team


  1. The Scrum Guide 
  2. Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins
  3. Fixing Your Scrum by Ryan Ripley and Todd Miller
  4. Mastering Professional Scrum by Stephanie Ockerman and Simon Reindl

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Scrum Theory Scrum Values Development Team Product Owner Definition of Done
Posted in Scrum Roles

Product Owner

‘Responsible for maximising the value of the product resulting from work of the Development Team’ (1)

Be one mind with the sponsor (2)

Vision keeper (2)

Product Owner Responsibilities

Maximising Value

  • how this is done may vary widely across organisations, Scrum Teams, and individuals (1)

Managing the Product Backlog

  • expressing Product Backlog items and ensuring the Development Team understands them sufficiently
  • ordering the items in the Product Backlog to best achieve goals and missions and so it is clear what is to be worked on next
  • transparency of the Product Backlog is ensured and it is visible

Product Owner in the Business

Product Owner is One Person 

  • the Product Owner is one person
  • the Product Owner may represent a committee
  • those wanting to change a Product Backlog item’s priority must address the Product Owner (1)

Stakeholder Mapping (3, pg 178)

  1. With the PO (and identified stakeholders) try and think of every person in the organisation who has a vested interest in the outcome.
    • Where is the money coming from?
    • Who’s job is going to change because of this product?
    • Who might interact with a customer differently as a result of what we are building?
    • Who might be angry if they don’t know what is going on with the product?
  2. Put the following categories on the wall and put each stakeholder inside a category
    • Required for the Sprint Review: these people must inspect and provide feedback on the product increment to enable the Scrum Team to make informed decisions
    • Keep informed of progress: they don’t need to inspect every increment but need to know what progress has been made
    • Monitor: should receive updates periodically (check with them how often they would like these)

Product Owner’s Decisions (1)

  • the entire organisation must respect the Product Owner’s decisions
  • the content and ordering of the Product Backlog makes the decisions visible to all
  • no one can force the Development Team to work from a different set of requirements


Product Owner Behaviours


  • Committed
  • Responsible (outcome)
  • Authorised (to make decisions)
  • Collaborative
  • Knowledgable (about the business)

Product Owner’s Relationship with the Development Team

Tips from Lyssa Adkins (2)

  • No micromanaging
  • Hold the team to account
  • Show genuine disappointment
  • Be present


  1. The Scrum Guide
  2. Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins
  3. Fixing Your Scrum by Ryan Ripley and Todd Miller

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Scrum Theory Scrum Values Development Team Scrum Master Definition of Done
Posted in Scrum Roles

Development Team

“The Development Team consists of professionals who do the work of delivering a potentially releasable Increment of “Done” product at the end of each Sprint.” (1)


No one tells the Development Team how to turn Product Backlog into Increments (1)

Self-organising (page 56, Scrum Insights for Practitioners)

Self-organisation enables:

  • creativity
  • accountability within the Team
  • commitment within the Team to the Sprint Goal

Factors that promote self-organisation

  • Trust
  • Time-boxing to help focus and manage risks
  • Fixed Sprint Length – consistent delivery of value
  • Team size – too large increases complexity and overhead for communication
  • Definition of ‘Done’ – common understanding within the development team
  • Scrum Values

Cross functional

  • Development Teams are cross-functional, with all the skills as a team necessary to create a product Increment (1)


  • Scrum recognises no titles for Development Team members, regardless of the work being performed by the person (1)

No Sub-domains

  • Scrum recognises no sub-teams in the Development Team, regardless of domains that need to be addressed like testing, architecture, operations, or business analysis (1)


  • Individual Development Team members may have specialised skills and areas of focus, but accountability belongs to the Development Team as a whole (1)
  • Defining the Definition of Done (2)

Team Size

Too Small (1)

  • can’t complete a significant work within a Sprint
  • skill constraints during the Sprint, causing the Development Team to be unable to deliver a potentially releasable Increment
  • fewer than three Development Team members decrease interaction and results in smaller productivity gains

Too Big (1)

  • can’t be nimble
  • more than nine members requires too much coordination
  • generates too much complexity for an empirical process to be useful


  1. The Scrum Guide
  2. Scrum: A Pocket Guide by Gunther Verheyen

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Scrum Theory Scrum Values Product Owner Development Team Definition of Done