The roles within agile

One of the biggest challenges in any industry is finding the right people for a particular vacancy. Within agile we have two very important roles that will ensure agile survives at your company.

The Product Owner

The product owner is responsible for a product and thus must know his product thoroughly.  Ideally it should also be someone that will be comfortable in a client facing role.  A common mistake that is made when deciding on a candidate is to turn your senior developers within the teams into product owners.  It may seem to be a good idea at the time as your senior person is the most equipped to be a product owner, but this will mean that your velocity (output) will go down or you will end up with that particular person’s resignation. It must be understood that the product owner role is a big responsibility that involves a lot of work and commitment. That role is ultimately guiding the teams in delivering a shippable product every two/three/four weeks in line with what your clients’ wants and needs are. There is no time to still do development in working hours when you take on this role. So ultimately the company will be losing a senior developer and will have no active product owner role.

The scrum master

The scrum master owns the agile process. It’s the scrum masters duty to hold the team, product owner and company to the right way of doing agile. It’s so easy to fall back to what we are used to so this role keeps us honest to what agile is all about. The scrum master will also facilitate all the needed boundary meetings and will remove all impediments that keep the team from accomplishing their sprint goal. I always think of the scrum master as the oil in a machine that makes everything run smoothly.  It definitely should be a go-getter and a just do it type of person. You only have 2/3/4 weeks for a team to deliver thus impediments need to be moved out of the teams way swiftly.  And this person needs to be able to stand their ground when things get sticky. There will always be one manager that wants to push work in after the sprint has started. In a company agile cannot been done half way or just sort of. This role will be the company’s conscience that will remind everyone that you are either running the agile way or you’re not.


BY: CHANTEL NAUDE, SCRUM MASTER AT INFOWARE STUDIOS


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