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Showing posts with label Scrum Roles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scrum Roles. Show all posts

Thursday, April 7, 2016

What is the best way to resolve conflicts in Agile Scrum teams?

Before we discover the best way to conflict resolution - try to answer these questions -
  1. If a team member or some of the team members observe that a particular member is not performing as he/she should who should they talk to about this first? - Product Owner, Scrum Master, Manager or that member?
  2. Who should resolve conflicts in scrum teams? - Scrum Master, Product Owner, Manager, or the team?
Answers to the above questions are 1) member, 2) the team. Did you get you questions right? If not, here is explanation -

There is no role called Manager in scrum, so it has to be one of other three parties - since Scrum teams are self-organizing teams so as first step they are expected to talk to the member they have problem with to resolve any possible issues, conflicts. Important part is 'first step' - if this doesn't work, they may take Scrum Master's help and/or may follow organization escalation process.

So the best way to resolve scrum team conflicts is that team shall discuss about issues within themselves and try to resolve it that way.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Is Scrum Master a Project Manager in Agile Scrum?

The straight answer to that would be 'no' - and I guess everyone who has spent 30-40hrs learning Agile Scrum would know this short answer, but let's understand why behind it and that is really important.

OK, lets understand why these two roles are NOT same -
1) Agile teams are self-organizing teams, so if you are PMI Project Management guru (aka PMP) you would know - Project Manager spends lots of time and energy in organizing these resources (developers, testers, analysts etc, and their tasks etc) so by definition, these activities are no more required (to a greater extent), so Scrum Master is not supposed to (and may not even know how to...) do resource management. Scrum Master is like a coach in Scrum Team not manager.

2) Scrum Master (also explained as 'servant-leader' in scrum guides) - is there to do specific job(s) - ensure scrum rules/practices are being followed, remove impediments, (and keep chickens (sounds unfamiliar? - read this) away from team but keep them happy). Project Manager on other hand is assumed to be master of all these - so this is actually similarity between these two roles - but Project Manager is expected to anyways be master of all these (e.g. ensure project management practices are being followed, remove hurdles/blockers, keep chickens happy...), but this role carries lot of other responsibilities as well, than just that.

3) Ever heard of WBS, estimation, gantt charts, critical path analysis? - that's what we don't do in Agile Scrum, but on other hand in waterfall, all these are termed as 'most important tasks for a project manager', and hence a Project Manager is different from Scrum Master. Even estimation is done by developers in consultation with Product Owner, and Scrum Master has little role to play there.

So in nutshell, the role of Project Manager is divided is Agile Scrum, and the tasks are distributed (by nature of Scrum), among all members of Scrum Team.

Further reading - I strongly recommend you to read a short and simple (16 pages) Agile Scrum Guide by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Scrum Team v/s Development Team

Lets understand what are Scrum Team and Development Team in three easy steps -

1) Scrum Team consists of three roles - Product Owner, Scrum Master and Developers
2) Every team member (apart from Scrum Master, Product Owner) in Agile Scrum is called a Developer (regrdless of their skills - tester, analyst, architect, SME, etc etc)
3) Group of Developers is referred to as 'Development Team'