Development Team

The Development Team is made up of the professionals who do the work of delivering the Product Increment. They self-organize to accomplish the work. Development Team members are expected to be available to the project full time.

Traditional software development approaches define various job types, such as architect, programmer, tester, database administrator, UI designer, and so on. Scrum defines the role of Development Team, which is simply a cross-functional collection of these types of people. The Development Team’s members, collectively, have the skills required to deliver the business value requested by the Product Owner. Whenever you can, you should create cross-functional teams. Parcelling the work out to different role-specific teams is suspect and is likely a serious impediment to the successful use of Scrum.

At the beginning of each Sprint, the Development Team participates in Sprint Planning. In collaboration with the Product Owner and with facilitation from the Scrum Master, the Development Team helps to establish the goal for the next sprint.

The Development Team members have the responsibility to self-organize to accomplish the Sprint Goal, producing a new Product Increment according to each Sprint Plan. The Product Owner makes an ordered list of what needs to be done. The Development Team members forecast how much they can do in one Sprint, and they decide how they are going to do it. The Development Team spends a majority of its time performing Sprint Execution.

developmentteamresponsibilities

Each Development Team member is expected to participate in each Daily Scrum, during which the team members collectively inspect progress toward the Sprint goal and adapt the plan for the current day’s work.

Part of each Sprint must be spent preparing for the next. A large part of that work focuses on Product Backlog grooming, which includes creating and refining, estimating, and prioritizing Product Backlog Items. The Development Team should allocate up to 10% of its available capacity every sprint to assist the Product Owner with these activities.

At the end of each Sprint, the Development Team participates in the two inspect-and-adapt activities: Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective. The Sprint Review is where the Development Team, Product Owner, Scrum Master, stakeholders, sponsors, customers, and interested members of other teams review the just-completed features of the current Sprint and discuss how to best move forward. The Sprint Retrospective is where the Scrum Team inspects and adapts its Scrum process and technical practices to improve how it uses Scrum to deliver business value.

Scrum favors small teams. The general rule is that having five to nine people on the team is best. There are some clear benefits coming from this:

  • There is less social loafing—people exerting less effort because they believe that others will pick up the slack.
  • Constructive interaction is more likely to occur on a small team.
  • Less time is spent coordinating efforts.
  • No one can fade into the background.
  • Small teams are more satisfying to their members.
  • Harmful overspecialization is less likely to occur.

Team members need to be focused and committed to the team’s goal. Focused means that each team member is engaged, concentrating on and devoting her attention to the team’s goal. Committed means that during both good times and bad, each team member is dedicated to meeting the team’s collective goal.

Effective use of Scrum requires teams, not groups. A team is made up of a diverse, cross-functional collection of collaborating people who are aligned to a common vision and work together to achieve that vision. A group is a collection of people with a common label. Other than sharing the group name, group members don’t share much else and won’t effectively fulfil the responsibilities described for the Development Team role.

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