Scrum Guide 2020 – Accountabilities

Where’s the development team and the three roles? The scrum guide 2017 includes the following sentence: 

‘the essence of scrum is a small team of people. Τhe individual team is highly flexible and adaptive’.

Most people understand that this means precisely one team. On the other hand a couple of pages later the scrum guide 2017 states the scrum team consists of a product owner, the development team and the scrum master.

Now we have a team and a team, so the sub team is a strong role, the development team, a team as a role … Confused? Don’t worry you’re in good company. 

The Scrum Guide 2020 claimed this up by only having one team, the scrum team, which consists of a product owner, scrum master and development.

All those people with different skills work together as exactly one team, the scrum team. The new Scrum Guide says within a scrum team there are no sub teams or hierarchies. It is a cohesive unit of professionals focused on one objective at a time: The product goal.

So, the development team is replaced with developers. Sounds good. Why have the roles been removed?

Roles are usually defined within an organization and describe certain activities within an organization to be performed. In regards to scrum I like to think about this constellation a little bit like mickey mouse

With the scrum master being connected to the team and the product owner being on the outside representing the business. This causes the risk of silence and less collaboration.

However in these days as problems become more and more complex, product development has become a team sport. Not a single person should or even could do all the work. For that reason the whole scrum team puts together as one.

This leads to the following constellation which I think looks a little bit like an insect

Anyway, this visualization makes it clear that our responsibilities are now jointly addressed by this one scrum team.

One team focusing on continuous delivery of value with three specific accountabilities. 

  1. The product owner is accountable for maximizing the value and for effective product backlog management. 
  2. Developers are accountable for creating a plan, for reaching the sprint goal, the sprint backlog, creating product increments which fulfill the definition of done, adjusting their plan to reach the sprint goal during the daily scrum and finally holding each other accountable as professionals.
  3. The scrum master is accountable for establishing scrum as defined in the scrum guide as well as for the scrum team’s effectiveness. They do this by serving the product owner, the scrum team and organization. 

So let’s not point fingers and let’s work together as one team, where each one steps up in their area of expertise when appropriate.

Ralph Jocham runs sessions with Agile Actors #learning on a regular basis for PSM I, PSM II, PSPO and PSPO Advanced certifications. See our courses on agility here