DO’S and DON’TS In Scrum

Scrum is a term you’ve probably heard in the same sentence as project management. As a framework, it emphasizes accountability, teamwork, and incremental progress towards a well-defined goal. Scrum is an alternative to traditional project management methods and unlike them, it is an intrinsically Lean and Agile approach which makes it faster, more flexible, as well as less wasteful. Under this approach, people are viewed as valuable resources, and teams are trusted to deliver quality work at a tight deadline. Scrum also assumes that changes are inevitable.

Whether you’re new to Scrum or considering adopting this Agile process for your next project, you might be wondering how Scrum may be able to help you deliver better results than the last methodology you tried. When applying the scrum framework into the workplace, it is essential to keep a few things in mind especially if the changeover is recent.

Having proper training such as scrum with style training is important as each member, regardless of their role,  will be able to better understand the importance of applying scrum and their responsibilities as well.  There are three major roles in Scrum methodology and hence, it is important that each person is aware of what they should do and what to avoid.

The Scrum Master

The scrum master is responsible for ensuring the team adheres to agile values and practices and follows the processes and practices agreed upon by the team. This is what a scrum master should DO:

✔ Assist the Product Owner with maintaining and prioritizing the product backlog and owning the business decisions.

✔ Encourage team members to come up with realistic estimates

✔ Ensure technology decisions are made correctly by team members

✔ Inspire the team members to take ownership of the tasks and remove any obstacles preventing them from achieving them

✔ Support the team’s self-organization

On the other hand, here are the DON’TS for a scrum master:

✖ Own the product decisions on the Product Owner’s behalf

✖ Making estimates on behalf of the team

✖ Assume responsibility for technology decisions

✖ Distribute the tasks among the team members

The Product Owner

The product owner is a key stakeholder with a vision who provides direction to the team for each sprint. Instead of dictating responsibility on the team members, the Scrum product owner’s role is to motivate the team with a clear, elevating goal. Here is what a product owner should DO:

✔ Define major product features

✔ Manage product backlog

✔ Establish a release date and a content plan

✔ Be responsible for the ROI (return on investment) of the product

✔ Act as a primary liaison

✔ Adapt features and priorities every 30 days, as required

✔ Evaluate the product progress at each iteration

Conversely, here are the DON’TS for a product owner:

✖ Expect constantly improving velocity from the scrum team

✖ Not involve the development team in backlog management

✖ Determining how much work will be accomplished in the sprint.  This will be decided by the team based on the priorities that have been set and their ability to do so. During the Sprint Planning Meeting, they are welcome to provide opinions and to move things around.

The Agile Manager

The agile manager acts as the key facilitator with the goal of empowering the team. Agile managers also aid in change management. Here is what they should DO:

✔ Encourage the team to work directly with each other to solve  problems

✔ Upward communication

✔ Oversee the risks related to your project and be the person who thinks of what others don’t think about

✔ Setting a vision that is consistent, inspiring, and achievable as an individual, a group, or an  organization;

✔ Be a strategic thinker

Here are the DON’TS for the agile manager:

✖ Impede your team’s success;

✖ Avoid micromanagement


Innov8tiv is a dynamic Web source for technology news, resources and innovation, with a special focus on the entrepreneurial advances of Africans on the continent as well as in the Diaspora. This site seeks to not only inform consumers and companies about the latest in tech trends and ideologies, but to shed light on a phenomenon often ignored: the inventive, life-changing and creative engine that exists in Africa and among leaders of color around the world, including the UK, the Caribbean, Australia, and Asia. Send story ideas to info@innov8tiv.com

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