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Last post 12:07 pm September 19, 2019 by Tony Divel
9 replies
03:51 pm September 18, 2019


The context.
It is a commercial company selling services, which has a commercial team made up of three commercial advisors, and a commercial manager, who together follow the same guidelines and objectives established in the Strategic Plan of the Company, which as an analogy It is the Vision of the Product.

This Scrum team is not a product creation or software development team, it is a business management team from end to end.

The objective.
Implement the Scrum framework in this commercial team and insert as part of the commercial and then business culture, the Scrum values ​​as part of the DNA of each member of this team.

Doing a Scrum Roles assignment exercise in this commercial team.

Scrum Master He is the commercial manager, especially because of the need to manage impediments and to be a helpful leader.
Produc Owner. Unidentified. This particular point becomes the reason for this publication.
Development Team The team of commercial advisors, who for the purposes of the framework, although they do not develop, I will call them a development team.
Stake Holders Internal and external customers, CEO of the company, Directory of the company.

So also and for purposes of the framework, we will call the "product" the general commercial function.

Here come the questions, which are the basis of this publication and that I put into consideration for your discussion.

Within the structure of the commented team and with the accompanying limitations, to whom to designate or assign the role of Product Owner?

The CEO of the company, for the function of being the one who generates the vision of the product is an option, because it is also in a high degree in contact with customers, however it is not possible to have it as a member in Scrum events.

The development team
It is in permanent contact with the client and can be considered who can best voice the client, however it contrasts with the Scrum framework when establishing multiple product owners, a single product owner to several products, not several product owners to a single product.

Or finally, in this particular case, could the same person play the role of Product Owner and Scrum Master? I think so, assuming the actions and activities they do to both, since in the particular case and their context, they do not generate a contrast or a conflict of interest.

What do you think about this? What is the best way to go?

05:00 pm September 18, 2019

I'd consider the spirit of what the Scrum Framework represents and how the team can use an empirical process to continuously receive feedback and improve the way they work together and the service they provide. 

How might the team align themselves towards a common goal and deliver value? 

As far as roles go in your case, I don't know how important it really is to find a way to assign people as 'SM, PO, or Dev Member' versus finding people who embody what that role represents and how they can use that to serve the team and organization. 

05:11 pm September 18, 2019

@Marcelo Nava Burgoa, why do you want to use the scrum framework in the context of this team, and how will it help empiricism?

10:44 pm September 18, 2019

I am convinced that the scrum framework, can generate a lot of value to a commercial team and other areas not only work but also personal experiences and that deliveries of early value, from the field that touches develop a commercial team, favors greatly to a goal, an objective, a plan and even the same vision of the company

01:44 am September 19, 2019

Check out this case study. Not exactly the same, but quite similar in many ways.

03:18 am September 19, 2019

Scrum (n): A framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.

Is the situation you are working with based on complex adaptive problems?  Or are you trying to force Scrum into a situation in order to say that you are doing Scrum? 

I have seen Scrum used in an entire organization where the C-staff formed a Scrum Team. The output of their Sprints were used as inputs to the other areas within the organization. Software Development, Events Planning, Sales, Marketing, Human Resources and even Facilities Management worked in Scrum Teams within the Scrum Framework. But the entire company sole purpose was to work with a variety of situations and their business changed as frequently as the economy did. So there was always a reason to inspect and adapt the way the company worked.  

Scrum is not for every situation. If you are having this much trouble identifying how the roles of Scrum will be fulfilled, it might be because you are trying to force Scrum into something for which it is not suited. 

The preceding was my opinion and only my opinion. I will admit that I can be wrong and I am frequently wrong. But from the problem statement you posed, I really don't see why Scrum is a fit for this situation. Agile practices might be able to benefit you but that doesn't mean that you use Scrum.  I would welcome you to show me that I am wrong and why. 

03:48 am September 19, 2019

 All coments are good..but anyone  has answered the request in a specific way.. product owner and scrum master..can be the same people?

03:49 am September 19, 2019

Whem i said people mean.. person.

04:31 am September 19, 2019

All coments are good..but anyone  has answered the request in a specific way.. product owner and scrum master..can be the same people?

Does the Scrum Guide rule this out? Either way, if it is proving difficult to implement these roles, combining their respective duties in the same person is unlikely to halve the problem.

The comments you have received are indeed good, and indicate what you should focus on. Who wants Scrum in your organization, and how do they hope to benefit from it?

12:07 pm September 19, 2019


Stephanie Ockerman wrote an article on your exact question if you'd like to check it out. It raises a lot of good questions to ask when considering a combination of the roles.

If you choose to go down the path of combining the roles, I would encourage you to try to help this PO/SM make their challenges transparent and be open to another approach should it become too much for them. 

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