The 3 Roles of Scrum Framework

Scrum takes a different approach to product development, embracing a strategy in which the entire development team works a single cohesive unit to achieve a desired goal. It's classified as a framework of agile software development, overcoming many of the headaches faced by traditional product development models.

You might be surprised to learn that scrum has roots dating back to the 1980s. Software developers Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonak were responsible for coining the term “scrum,” defining it as a “a flexible, holistic product development strategy where a development team works as a unit to reach a common goal.” Today, scrum is used by thousands of organizations and IT professionals – and its use isn't limited strictly to software development. The scrum approach is often used in other industries and applications, ranging from customer service to quality assurance.

If you're interested in using the scrum framework, however, you'll first need to familiarize yourself with the different roles. There are three main roles, each of which has its own duties and responsibilities.

Product Owner

Arguably, the single most important role of scrum is the Product Owner. This individual acts as the middle-man between the development team and stakeholders while also serving as the voice of the customer. Because no two scrum projects are the same, the Product Owner's role is dynamic and never the same.

The Product Owner must keep the lines of communication open throughout the scrum project. It's their responsibility to convey messages between team members and stakeholders, guiding them on the right track for success. The Product Owner also has the greatest level of responsibility of all jobs within the scrum framework. This individual is responsible for the success, or failure, of the project.

Scrum Master

A second job role of the scrum framework is the Scrum Master, whose job is to ensure the facilitation of the scrum practices and principles. Contrary to what some people may believe, the Scrum Master typically does not interfere with the production of a product, rather he or she acts as a buffer to remove distractions while monitoring team members to ensure they are using the scrum principles and practices. The Scrum Master will only interfere if and when a team member strays off course from the scrum framework, at which point the Master will step in.

Some of the responsibilities of the Scrum Master includes the following:

  • Assist Product Owner in maintaining a detailed log of work that is required by team members.

  • Assist team members in identifying the completion of a product, using input from stakeholders.

  • Self-organization within the team.

  • Removing distractions and impediments from the product development environment.

  • Set up team events.

  • Educate stakeholders on scrum principles.

  • Coach the product development team using scrum principles.

Development Team

Consisting of 3-9 individual on average, the Development Team brings a multitude of different skills to the table to facilitate the potential delivery of products at the end of each spring. These individuals work with a team-based attitude to prevent bottlenecks that could otherwise postpone the launch/delivery of a product. The Development Team is the driving labor behind scrum, applying its practices and principles to ensure a speedy delivery.

Thanks for reading and feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments below regarding scrum roles.