The optimum size of an Agile team is between six to 10 people and has three elements, the product owner, the scrum master and the team itself.
1. Scrum Master
The scrum master is responsible for leading the day-to-day running of the team. They need good communication and negotiation skills, excellent organization and effective leadership.
- Track and remove obstacles the team are coming up against – this can mean negotiating with senior management and other departments.
- Ensure the ‘rituals’ of Agile are adhered to.
- Organize and run sprint planning sessions, reviews and retrospectives.
- Track the overall progress of the team throughout sprints.
- Make sure the team has everything it needs to get the job done.
- Keep an eye on the velocity of work carried out by the team so that the right amount of work is planned into each sprint (this is worked out over time and should become more accurate as time goes on).
2. Product Owner
The product owner has overall oversight of the team and projects it’s working on and is often in a senior position in the organization. They must have an indepth understanding of customers, the marketplace, competition and future trends. They must also have the power to take decisions, and balance short-term delivery with long-term vision.
- Set the agenda for the team by maintaining the product backlog and ensure everything is prioritized correctly.
- Represent the business and ensure the customer (or user) is at the center of everything the team does.
- Set objectives and KPIs and report back to the board.
3. Team Members
The most successful Agile teams contain members with a range of different backgrounds and skillsets, such as a B2B copywriter. A key part of being a member is volunteering to take on tasks that might not sit within your usual remit – which is also one of the benefits as it allows members of the team to develop new skills.
- Be proactive.
- Be prepared to be open and transparent about work.
- Be ready to take on tasks that wouldn’t be in their usual remit.
- Understand that their job title is unlikely to be relevant.
- Be committed to the success of the team and its output.