Leadership Lessons for creating High Performing Scrum Teams

Typical tasks of a “tech lead” or “engineering manager” are … Aleksandar, typically, a Team Lead (TL) is not a Scrum role but a management role. In my experience, TLs oversee a portfolio of projects which may include Scrum, Waterfall, etc projects but they should not influence or interfere with the Scrum project. They may need to step in if any issues arise, at the Scrum Masters’ discretion, for removing blockers.

is there a team lead in scrum

However, I have seen some people assume certain level of leadership authority and responsibilities and hence try to manipulate other team members. In certain situations, product/project sponsors might empower certain individuals of the team. I understand that the development team is responsible for developing the increment. I think this common responsibility and common ownership of the scrum backlog contradicts the idea of Team leader. Moreover we have different roles in the Scrum Team to ensure the team is self sufficient to deliver the increment.


There are some good managers, of course not all managers are controlling, so you could do that, but you just need to be careful because if, for example, Vanessa was my manager. Maybe she shouldn’t also be my scrum master because that kind of impedes the self-management of the team. Just because there isn’t a set lead developer role in a scrum methodology doesn’t mean the more experienced programmers opinions aren’t the most respected. Agile is not letting everyone go wild on their own thing and then trying to stick it all together, there is still a unified vision and direction that needs to be set. Scrum teams are self-managed which means scrum team members must be as autonomous as possible without requiring micro-management. Instead, scrum team members use scrum boards, product backlogs, burndown charts and other agile tools to manage their work.

is there a team lead in scrum

Once we gather all the likely requirements and analyze what tasks to undertake to deliver the project, a project manager distributes those tasks to those with the specialized skills to do the work. Next comes an integration and testing phase where we bring all the completed work together to see if we achieved our desired outcomes. It’s impractical to bring the entire team to every meeting where the team needs to interact with business people, other technical teams, etc. You go to the meetings so that they can stay at their desks and get stuff done. You’re the point of contact so that they’re not interrupted by people stopping by directly. ProjectManager’s kanban board view is ideal for scrum teams.

What are T-shaped skills and how does it impact team’s performance?

In fact, if the team is truly owning all technical responsibilities, the Tech Lead will not need to take an active role and can return to being a full-time individual contributor. When the team realizes
that they need a Tech Leader role, they will just create it, unofficially. Let’s assume that team is combined of people with different level of experience,
senior and junior developers.

is there a team lead in scrum

This is possible if you are disciplined about keeping clear boundaries between the process and development responsibilities. Those coaches are very talented people, but they were used to deal with day-to-day delivery and technology. Now they had to start practicing people-development and driving engineering practices initiatives for the group (we do that by driving guilds of engineering practices). What it doesn’t do is provide a one-size-fits-all model for teams to work within. For example, if the team is working on a web insurance application, they will need people who know the technology, the back-end systems, and the business domain. If, on the other hand, the team is working on the next generation of Donkey Kong, the skills needed would be very different.

Future Trends of Organizational Structure – Where does Wirearchy fit in?

This will be the topic for the next blog post in this series providing a Scrum Guide companion for Leaders. Leaders can leverage Scrum whenever the organization is facing a problem/opportunity in an environment that contains uncertainty. This could be uncertainty around either what value looks like or how to create it, or both. Pure Scrum often has conflicts with Corporate America (or Israel in your case). Corporate feels the need for a hierarchy because that is what fits with “normal” compensation structures.

The development team should be able to self-organize so they can make decisions to get work done. Think of a development team as similar to a production support team that is called in during the night because something has gone wrong. The development team, like the production support team, can make decisions and deliver the fix/value for the problem at hand. Self-organization isn’t about disrespecting the organization, but rather about empowering the people closest to the work to do what’s needed to solve the problem. A team representative should take care that they do actually represent the team, and don’t exert a greater influence on decisions than their peers.

Benefits of a Scrum Team

For leaders, this means letting go of the plan and fully listening to what other people on the team think. Anyone can be a leader in any role, no matter what part of the organizational system they’re in. An agile leader is someone who lives by and follows an agile mindset to create a ripple effect through our organization. Another argument for having a technical lead is to have someone “accountable” for the work. This seems to be contrary to the idea of team commitment, and often points to underlying problems, such as a lack of trust between the business and the team, and between management and team members.

  • This gets even harder the more complex the problem a team is trying to solve.
  • This leadership style makes sense for some projects, but not the ones that we would choose Scrum for.
  • It goes without saying that sub-.500 seasons are not acceptable at a program like the Hurricanes with their history and – uh – high-profile booster support.
  • In Scrum, we recognize that the only way to reduce our risk is through delivery and validation.
  • The biggest risk here is that Project Manager won’t be able to distinguish people related things from work ones.
  • It’s preferable that a lead in this position try to help the team find ways to work more effectively through process, architectural, and engineering mentorship.

Maybe you’ll co-create that direction of travel with the teams or teams of teams so that everybody feels inspired and inspiring and really helping to light the place of helping people to get better. Just as the number of roles impacts performance, the sheer number of people on a Team also has a dramatic effect. The classic formulation is seven people, plus or minus two, though https://wizardsdev.com/en/vacancy/team-lead-wordpress/ the fastest teams usually hover around five. What’s fascinating is that the data shows that if there are more than nine people on a team Velocity actually slows down. Scrum Teams are cross-functional, meaning the team has all the skills necessary to create value for each Sprint. They are also self-managing, meaning they internally decide who does what, when, and how.

We might be working with new or unfamiliar technology, so we might order a smaller piece of work first to help us learn how best to use the technology (or pivot to a different one). We might not be sure what we are building has a large enough market. Delivering a piece of product sooner allows us to validate our assumptions about the business opportunity sooner.

is there a team lead in scrum

You don’t have to get promoted vertically to get more pay, to get more recognized. You can grow horizontally where we have more frequent funding cycles, so we can be more adaptive of what, and where the funding should go. When individual programmers ran into problems that they were unable to fix, they would go to the lead and the final responsibility for getting things fixed was his. What is your experience with Team Leaders and Scrum Masters? In this blog post, I will give you my opinion on whether the Team Leader role is still needed. With superios being part of the Development team, most of the people won’t feel safe and secure enough to discuss openly, no matter how loudly we will ask to be open and honest.

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