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SCRUM GUIDE 2020: who is responsible for creating a valuable/usable increment every Sprint

Last post 03:40 pm December 27, 2021 by Michal Serkieza
8 replies
12:35 pm January 17, 2021

So if a question comes likes this what would be the correct answer


Who is responsible for creating a valuable/usable increment every Sprint?

A) Developers

B) Scrum Team


These are the excerpts from the guide

Page 6: The entire Scrum Team is accountable for creating a valuable, useful Increment every Sprint.

Page 6: Developers are the people in the Scrum Team that are committed to creating any aspect of a usable Increment each Sprint.


So my understanding is that correct answer will depend on the wording of the question. If it is checking the accountability then Scrum Team (the whole team is accountable) but if it is related to commitment (who is going to deliver) than it is The Developers.

I am slightly confused, kindly advice.

06:58 pm January 19, 2021

The correct answer always depends on the wording of the question.

I think you're right to identify a joint team accountability. This is then realized by three specific accountabilities who manage their commitments, including a commitment by Developers to achieve Done.

03:08 am January 20, 2021

Thank you Ian.

06:29 pm January 23, 2021

The open assessments will expect you to say the developers.

07:35 am January 25, 2021

Is it fair to say that

  • Developers are accountable for usable Increment.

Developers are the people in the ST that are committed to creating any aspect of a usable Increment each Sprint.

  • Product Owner is accountable valuable Increment.

The Product Owner is accountable for maximizing the value of the Product resulting from the work of the Scrum Team.

05:56 am January 26, 2021

@Scott Anthony Keatinge


Who is accountable for creating a valuable/usable increment every Sprint?

A) Developers

B) Scrum Team


From what I understand, the answer should be B in this case.

02:31 pm April 10, 2021

yes, I agree with #b too.

the developers are COMMITTED to create a usable increment, but what if PO and Scrum master didn't exist?

the incremement will not be useful and valuable, because it is the PO accountability to maximize the value (i.e. with product backlog order, explain the product goal etc) while Scrum master facilitates, coaches, has the process authority to establish scrum as defined in scrum guide, so increment  is from the whole scrum team.


03:26 pm April 10, 2021

If there is no PO or SM, then there is no scrum team as you are not doing scrum. 

In a nutshell, Scrum requires a Scrum Master to foster an environment where:

1. A Product Owner orders the work for a complex problem into a Product Backlog.

2. The Scrum Team turns a selection of the work into an Increment of value during a Sprint.

3. The Scrum Team and its stakeholders inspect the results and adjust for the next Sprint.

4. Repeat

02:28 pm December 27, 2021

Correct answer: B) Scrum Team


The question is tricky as

- we have accountability and responsibility and those two terms are not the same.

- to answer this question we have to refer to a few places in Scrum Guide


I've tried to answer the question based on what is written in the Scrum Guide

if you don't agree, that is awesome, but in that case please provide an argument from the Scrum Guide, so we could have a meaningful discussion.

1. Accountability

From the Scrum Guide, we know that Scrum Team is accountable

"The entire Scrum Team is accountable for creating a valuable, useful Increment every Sprint."

2. Responsibility

In the Scrum Guide, there are two relevant sentences

2.1.First sentence: "Developers are the people in the Scrum Team that are committed to creating any aspect of a usable Increment each Sprint."

As we know committed has two meanings

- dedicated: the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.

- obligated: an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action.

It does not give us much, because depending on which definition we take, we will have a different answer;)

dedicated -> I would say dedication is not so much connected to the responsibility

obligated -> connected to responsibility

2.2 Second sentence

"The Scrum Team is responsible for all product-related activities from stakeholder collaboration, verification, maintenance, operation, experimentation, research and development, and anything else that might be required."

I would say, that "anything else that might be required" could match with the question "creating a valuable/usable increment every Sprint"

3. Conclusion

The Scrum Team is both accountable and responsible for creating a valuable, useful Increment for every Sprint.

4. I also decided to analyze other connected topics to increment which are Sprint Backlog and DoD

Sprint Backlog

Accountable: Developers "Developers are always accountable for: Creating a plan for the Sprint, the Sprint Backlog;"

Responsible: Scrum Team: Everything that is not explicitly forbidden in Scrum Guide is allowed, therefore in theory Developers, can also delegate some work to SM and PO.

5. Commitment: DoD:

Accountable and responsible: The Scrum Team

"The Scrum Team must create a Definition of Done appropriately for the product."

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