Scrum Basics: The Development Team

The development team is a self-organizing, cross-functional team consisting of 3-9 people, that is developing the product.

The team is cross-functional, this means that the team has all the skills required to build the product within the team.

Self-organizing means that they decide HOW the work is done. Nobody, not the Product Owner, not the Scrum Master or anyone else, tells the developers how to do their work:

  • The PO decides what will be done. And also this process is usually done with the team, but the PO is responsible for the backlog management and for the right prioritization of the tasks.
  • The dev team decides independently and collectively how the tasks will be solved.
  • It is also up to the team to decide who is the best choice a task.

According to the Scrum guide, a good size for the dev team is between 3-9 people.

There are no titles in the team and no sub-teams, it is one team and all members are equal.

And even though you have different experts on the team, the accountability belongs to the Development Team as a whole. Scrum is truly about teamwork. <3

What enables Development Teams to be High Performance Teams?

Mission & Purpose
According to Scrum, you need a mission and on top and even better, you define a goal for every sprint (short term goals). So people always know what the goal is and what they want to achieve.

Dev Team

Alignment & Autonomy
With Scrum, you try to find the balance between Alignment & Autonomy for example in the planning meeting.
The theory is super clear: The PO decides WHAT has to be done, the dev team decides HOW it will be done.

Diversity & Inclusion

Cross-functional teams are a form of diversity. My theory is that we need something I call aligned diversity: same mindset, diverse skill set; which is very in line with Scrum.​

Failure & Mistakes
When working with Scrum, you have very short learning cycles. So if you should be going in the wrong direction, you will find it out very quickly. This is a great way of dealing with failure.

Servant Leadership
Scrum all is about Servant Leadership. And even though the short Scrum Guide gives not too many explanations about that, this is what Scrum is about and how Scrum works: Servant Leadership.

Bo von der Heyden

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