What makes an ideal scrum team?

Gemma Riddick Thought leadership

As Talent Acquisition for Agilesphere, I see a lot of CVs that highlight the experience of the individual, but not the softer, competency-based skills. This is the stuff that makes candidates stand out – things that are difficult to show on a CV.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve put together the following thoughts on what makes a good scrum team from my insight into this world.

The ideal team

Should be cross-functional and able to create and assist in the delivery of product releases. An excellent scrum team should consist of a product owner who drives value, a scrum master who enables and a development team who focus on delivering quality.

The Product Owner

Should encourage dialogue and feedback. They need to be open, dynamic and make sure the product vision is central, with the customer at the forefront.

Product Owners should also have a pragmatic and empathetic approach to each of the delivery teams areas of responsibility and potential conflicts. First class stakeholder management and communication skills are essential.

Scrum Master

SMs are usually strong leaders. Their focus needs to be balanced between the team and customer/end users. They’re not afraid to challenge ideas and concepts and are willing to accept failure – it’s all about the lessons learned. They also need to be quite the culture vulture, in that they make sure the product delivers according to the organisation’s values.

Scrum Masters can recognise and utilise individuals in the team for the unique strengths they can bring to a project. It’s here where an SM’s coaching and mentoring skills shine, helping to guide the team if and when necessary – stepping in to resolve any conflict that may arise.

Development team

The best development teams are ones that are self-organising, driven and share a common goal of achieving the sprint.

There should be no titles, hierarchy or sub-teams in successful development teams. Instead, team members share experiences and the lessons learned. They give each other the space to be creative, communicate efficiently and treat each other with respect.

Although we won’t be moving away from the use of CVs anytime soon, prospector employers need to think differently if they’re to recruit the right skills for their teams. Looking at the softer skills (which are often more challenging to learn) will ensure the right calibre of candidate for your scrum team.

Agilesphere are currently recruiting for Product Owners and Development team members, specifically front-end Angular skills. If you have any questions or want to get in touch, drop me an email: gemma.riddick@agilesphere.co.uk.