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by: Christine Swartzendruber, Chief Technology Officer




Agile helps teams deliver software products to market sooner by encouraging teams to work in smaller increments. Scrum is the most widely adopted agile methodology. Every aspect of scrum is designed to drive collaboration.


Meet The Scrum Team

· Scrum Master

o Helps the team adhere to the rules of the scrum framework.

o Removes any impediments that arise

o Protects the team from outside disruptions.

o Mentors the entire team on scrum, including the product manager.


· Product Owner

o Defines and shares the overall vision for the product.

o Acts as the single source of knowledge for the product.


· Development Team

o Does the work to create and deliver the product.

o Includes everyone even testers and admins.

o Contains the mix of skills necessary to deliver the product.


The size of a scrum team is important. The recommended size is 3 to 9 members, with the most common being 5 to 7 members. This is large enough to be self-sufficient but not too large to coordinate.

There is no official manager or leader on a scrum team. Those who are doing the work know the best way to approach the work. All members are equal. While the Product Manager should never be the task master of the team, he or she does have a leadership role. Inside the team; guides team members in the creation and fulfillment of goals. Outside the team; champions the product and the team to the organization.


The Product Owner will maintain the product backlog, a list of all items necessary for the successful delivery of the product, and be responsible for prioritizing items on that list.


3 Facets of Product Ownership

· Product Management

o Define and communicate the product vision.

o Define the release strategy.


· Business Analysis

o Identifying the requirements for a successful product.

o Updating the product backlog to reflect those requirements.


· Product Management

o Managing the project budget.

o Ensuring the project timetable is on track.


It is very important that the product manager has the authority to determine when items will be worked on and completed. A product manager doesn't tell the team how to do their work but keeping things on task and moving forward is a large part of their responsibilities.


The Capacity of a Product Owner


· Product ownership is a full time role.


· Product managers don't work with more than one scrum team.


· Only one person serves as the product manager for one team. You can't have more than one.


The most important thing to remember when choosing members for an agile team, is that they must be able to communicate effectively with each other and make important decisions that will bring their product to market faster, with less bugs and with expected functionality.