Agile Project Management Roles - dummies

By Mark C. Layton

Part of Agile Project Management For Dummies Cheat Sheet

It takes a cooperative team of people to successfully complete a project. Agile project teams are made up of many people and include the following five roles:

  • Product owner: The person responsible for bridging the gap between the customer, business stakeholders, and the development team. The product owner is an expert on the product and the customer’s needs and priorities. The product owner works with the development team daily to help clarify requirements and shields them from organizational noise. The product owner is sometimes called a customer representative. The product owner, above all, should be empowered to be decisive, making tough business decisions every day.

  • Development team members: The people who create the product. In software development, programmers, testers, designers, writers, data engineers, and anyone else with a hands-on role in product development are development team members. With other types of product, the development team members may have different skills. Most importantly, development team members should be versatile, able to contribute in multiple ways to the project’s goals.

  • Scrum master: The person responsible for supporting the development team, clearing organizational roadblocks, and keeping the agile process consistent. A scrum master is sometimes called a project facilitator. Scrum masters are servant leaders, and are most effective when they have organizational clout, which is the ability to influence change in the organization without formal authority.

  • Stakeholders: Anyone with an interest in the project. Stakeholders are not ultimately responsible for the product, but they provide input and are affected by the project’s outcome. The group of stakeholders is diverse and can include people from different departments, or even different companies. For agile projects to succeed, stakeholders must be involved, providing regular feedback and support to the development team and product owner.

  • Agile mentor: Someone who has experience implementing agile projects and can share that experience with a project team. The agile mentor can provide valuable feedback and advice to new project teams and to project teams that want to perform at a higher level. Although agile mentors are not responsible for executing product development, they should be experienced in applying agile principles in reality and be knowledgeable about many agile approaches and techniques.