Whose job is it anyway ?

Teams those newly started with scrum get into the role dilemma of who should do what. This is pretty common since their roles in earlier way of working probably are clearly defined. In traditional projects, the lines are drawn clearly and people won’t cross those lines. Here are few questions I got in my interactions with new scrum team members:

“A development manager asked me whether he should tell his team that they are going in the wrong direction. He knows that they are going to fail but he was told that there are no managers in scrum teams”

“A Scrum Master asked me that who should update the burndown if he is on vacation. He used be a project manager and used to running around and getting things done. He said, people always dumped all coordination work on him though they could have done it themselves.”

“A team member told me that their last sprint failed because they were waiting on some question to be answered by a different ream and the Scrum master was on unplanned time off who is supposed to follow up with that team.”

This reminds me a story I heard from one of Craig Larman’s talks. This is how it goes:

“You are an American football played and you are standing at 98 yard line with ball lying right in front of you. All you have to do is pick the ball up and carry it 2 yards to get the touchdown. You pulled your business card and looked at it. It says you are a ‘Kicker’. What would you do? You could carry the ball 2 yards and get the points or wait for someone else to do it, since your job description doesn’t include running the ball.”

This is probably why scrum kept very few roles. If you can do something that will help the team succeed, then just do it. It is all about willingness. I have seen developers regularly testing, testers occasionally fixing bugs in code and team members facilitating meetings when scrum master is on vacation.

If you can do something that will help your team succeed, you are INCLUSIVE!

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