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Understanding defined roles and responsibilities is very important for ensuring the successful implementation of Scrum projects.

Scrum roles fall into two broad categories:

  1. Core Roles - Core roles are those roles which are mandatorily required for producing the product of the project, are committed to the project, and ultimately are responsible for the success of each Sprint of the project and of the project as a whole.

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These roles include:

  • Product Owner - The Product Owner is the person responsible for maximizing business value for the project. He or she is responsible for articulating customer requirements and maintaining business justification for the project. The Product Owner represents the Voice of the Customer.
  • Scrum Master - The Scrum Master is a facilitator who ensures that the Scrum Team is provided with an environment conducive to completing the product’s development successfully. The Scrum Master guides, facilitates, and teaches Scrum practices to everyone involved in the project; clears impediments for the team; and ensures that Scrum processes are being followed.
  • Scrum Team - The Scrum Team is a group or team of people who are responsible for understanding the business requirements specified by the Product Owner, estimating User Stories, and final creation of the project deliverables.

  1. Non-core Roles - The non-core roles are those roles which are not mandatorily required for the Scrum project and may not be continuously or directly involved in the Scrum process. However, understanding non-core roles is important as these roles play a significant part in some Scrum projects.

Non-core roles include the following:

  • Business Stakeholder(s) - Business stakeholder(s) is a collective term that includes customers, users, and sponsor(s), who frequently interface with the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Scrum Team to provide them with inputs and facilitate creation of the project’s product, service, or other result. Business stakeholder(s) influence the project throughout the project’s development.
  • Supporting Services - Supporting services are internal or external groups that support or are impacted by the Scrum project, for example, training, logistics, marketing, finance, infrastructure, and so on.
  • Vendors - Vendors include external individuals or organizations that provide products and services that are not within the core competencies of the project organization.
  • Scrum Guidance Body - The Scrum Guidance Body (SGB) is an optional role but highly recommended to formalize organizational practices related to Scrum. The Scrum Guidance Body generally consists of a group of documents and/or a group of experts who are typically involved with defining objectives related to quality, government regulations, security, and other key organizational parameters.

Following figure illustrates the Scrum organization structure:

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The organization aspect of Scrum also addresses the team structure requirements to implement Scrum in programs and portfolios.

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