Scrum: Core and Non-core Roles

January 3, 2014
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Central to the success of a Scrum project are the people or employees working on the project, and coordination between them. To ensure coordination and harmony within the scrum team, it is necessary to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the Scrum team members.

The roles in scrum teams fall into 2 major categories – Core Roles and Non-core roles. These categories are defined clearly in the SBOK Guide published by SCRUMstudy.  The basis of this classification is the impact of these roles on the success of a Scrum Project.

Scrum Core Roles have direct impact on the success of a project. These roles are held responsible for the production of deliverables in each sprint which meet the acceptance criteria and in turn success of the entire project. These roles have formal roles to perform in a scrum team.

Scrum Non-core Roles does not have direct impact on the success of the project but they have interest in the project and its outcome. These roles are not held responsible for the failure of the sprint or the project as a whole. As they are interested in the project outcome, it is required to consider their view in the projects.  Each of these roles is further classified as mentioned below.

Core Roles:

  • Product Owner – Project Owner represents the voice of a customer. He is responsible to understand the customer requirements and articulate the same to the scrum team. He is also responsible to deliver maximum business value to the customer. He defines the acceptance criteria for the deliverables.
  • Scrum Master – Scrum Master is responsible for removing the impediments faced by the scrum team members and facilitate the team in developing the deliverables. He also sees to it that the team is working in harmony and work towards attaining the defined goals.
  • Scrum Team/ Development Team – Scrum team or the Development team is responsible for the production of goods and services that meet the acceptance criteria. The scrum team is responsible for the success or failure of the project as it is directly involved in the production.

Non-core roles:

  • Stakeholders – Customers, Users, Sponsors are the stakeholders in the scrum project who have interest in the outcome of the project but are not directly involved in the sprints for productions.
  • Vendors – Vendors or the suppliers are the one who deliver the semi-finished products that go into the final production of the deliverable by the scrum team.
  • Scrum Guidance Body -  As defined in the SBOK Guide, scum guidance body is a group of people of set of documents that define the quality criteria, government rules and regulations, etc. that affect the performance of the scrum team.

The above discussed core and non-core roles in scrum projects are responsible directly or indirectly for the success of a sprint and the deliverables of each sprint. Hence, it is necessary to understand each of these roles and define their responsibilities and authority.

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