Identifying Roles in an Agile Scrum

A key component of agile project management, the scrum framework defines specific roles essential to smooth functioning of the scrum. Some roles, and the people who fill them, play an integral part in the day-to-day project development; other roles are more occasional but still valuable.

The three essential scrum roles are

  • Product owner: Represents and speaks for the business needs of the project.

  • Development team: Performs the day-to-day work. The development team is dedicated to the project and is cross-functional, which means that each member is capable of doing multiple jobs on the project.

  • Scrum master: Responsible for protecting the team from organizational distractions, clearing roadblocks, and keeping the process consistent.

Scrum teams are more effective and efficient when they work closely with two additional, non-scrum–specific roles:

  • Stakeholders: A stakeholder is anyone who is affected by or has input on the project. While stakeholders are not official scrum roles, it is essential for scrum teams and stakeholders to work closely together throughout a project.

  • Agile mentor: This mentor is an experienced authority on agile techniques and the scrum framework. Often this person is external to the project’s department or organization and so can support the team objectively with an outsider’s point of view.

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