The 3 Scrum Roles and Responsibilities, Explained

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

The article explains Scrum and the three roles that form a Scrum team. It also highlights the skills needed to be a Scrum Master and the responsibilities each role entails.

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A Scrum team is made up of three roles: the Scrum Master, the product owner, and the development team. Scrum, a type of project management methodology, has many fans. It’s the most commonly used Agile methodology, with 81 percent of Agile adopters using Scrum or a Scrum-related hybrid, according to a 2021 survey [1].

Scrum empowers organizations to learn from their mistakes, self-organize whilst engaging in a challenge, as well as comment on their successes and failures to enhance their work qualities over time. Scrum is particularly well suited to situations when a cross-functional team is focused on a product enhancement or development project with a considerable amount of research that can be broken into more than a two-to-four-week cycle, also referred to as sprints.

In this article, we'll take a closer look into what Scrum is and discuss the Scrum roles and their responsibilities in more detail.

What is Scrum?

Scrum as a framework is a practice for managing product innovation and projects as well as other types of knowledge management. Scrum is inductive enough that it encourages teams to form a premise about how they believe something functions, test it, comment on the results, and make necessary improvements. That would be if the framework is effectively utilised. Scrum is designed in such a manner that teams can use practises from some of the other frameworks when they make sense in terms of the team.

Scrum is a straightforward approach that revolves around three principles:

  • Adapting

  • Inspecting

  • Transparency

Scrum is the polar opposite of a wide assortment of intertwined required components. It is imperative to understand that Scrum is not a process but a practice. It employs realism as a scientific technique. Scrum is a practical technique for dealing with uncertainty and addressing complicated issues that substitutes a structured computational approach with regards to individuals and helps them in self-organization.

Scrum roles and responsibilities

Scrum has responsibilities that are substantially distinct from previous software development methodologies. Teams may accomplish their work more efficiently if their responsibilities and objectives are well established. Product owner, development team, and Scrum Master are indeed the three roles in Scrum and are collectively famous as Scrum team.

These three roles provide a basic description of duties and responsibilities to assist teams in efficiently delivering tasks because the basis of Scrum is realism, self-organization, and constant progress. This helps teams to take ownership of how they structure themselves and also to continue to improve.

Development team

A development team is a group of people that collaborate to create and execute required and promised production milestones. It is made up of personnel from several departments who can successfully complete the cycle's objectives. This implies that people of the development team can indeed be computing scientists, artists, editors, financial analysts, and every other job that is required to meet the cycle's objectives. The development team frequently collaborates to sketch out principles and procedures for accomplishing them, rather than just waiting for instructions. Not every person in the development team would have the same duties. The roles of a development team are also determined by the Scrum team's stated objectives.

Consider that in the manner where you would employ a contractor for a home improvement project. They define the scope and carry it out. Yes, this may imply that they dig ditches, install pipes, or even install electricity, but the individual is referred to as a developer.

  • The development team role in Scrum refers to a member of the team with the necessary expertise who works as part of that group to complete the task.

  • The development party should be able to self-organize and make choices to complete tasks.

Product owner

By discovering features of the product, turning them into a prioritised list, choosing which must be at the number one spot for the next cycle, and constantly redefining priorities and polishing up the list, the product owner is liable for optimising return on the investments. If the commodity is a business one, the product owner is responsible for its income statement. During the cycle, the product owner acts as a consumer spokesman and ought to speak for them.

Not only should the product owner fully comprehend the consumer, but should also have a strategy for the utility that the Scrum team is providing to the client.

The product owner also considers the demands of the company's various partners and stakeholders. As a result, the product owner should prioritise the work based on all of these insights.

Scrum Master

The Scrum Master assists the product team in learning and implementing Scrum to generate a value proposition. The Scrum Master undertakes all in their ability to ensure the effectiveness of the team, product owner, as well as company. The Scrum Master is really not a project coordinator, program manager, team spokesperson, or team captain. Instead, the Scrum Master assists the team by assisting in the removal of roadblocks, protecting the team from external influence, and assisting the team in the adoption of modern development principles. Throughout the competent use of Scrum, they teach, coach, and direct the product owner, team, and the rest of the company.

  • The Scrum Master assists the product owner by assisting them in effectively understanding and communicating purpose, managing the schedule, and planning and breaking down the task with the team to give the most out of learning outcomes.

  • The Scrum Master assists the development team in self-organizing, focusing on objectives, achieving completed increments, and overcoming roadblocks.

Scrum team

Scrum is a foundation on which teams may construct their procedures. It establishes the foundation for periodic communication, artefacts, and who is responsible for what. It does not, however, give an all-in-one paradigm for teams to follow. The more complicated challenges a team is attempting to solve, the more difficult this becomes. 

Teams may not recognize what talents or how much work they'll need right away, and they'll need the capacity to alter direction when they do. Scrum provides good dimensional stability with the three Scrum roles of the production team, product owner, and Scrum Master to provide further control in this complicated and dynamic environment.

Getting started with Scrum

Scrum brings along a great number of functional benefits to an organisation with responsible teams. Of the businesses that had chosen the Agile strategy to enhance team management remotely before the pandemic of COVID-19 began, 93% performed better than those that had not [2].

The very first move to be taken for becoming a Scrum Master or incorporating the three Scrum principles within your team would be to persevere as well as discover additional knowledge on project and product management approaches. Whether you’re an aspiring Scrum Master or trying to incorporate Scrum principles into your team, check out the Google Project Management: Professional Certificate. A course dedicated to Agile and Scrum concepts can provide you with a solid foundation to get started.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Article sources

1 "15th Annual State of Agile Report," Accessed February 28, 2022.

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