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Scrum team is Cross- functional.

Last post 06:33 pm November 14, 2022 by Lars Devocht
3 replies
04:40 am November 11, 2022

Can someone help me clarify the phrase "Scrum team is Cross- functional"
- As many people, each person must have many skills and expertise to develop products and gather into a team.
- Is many people and each person has a certain expertise gathered into a team
 and, I am looking for a real-life example that demonstrates the five Scrum values in product development, please share with me your real experiences of the 5 values that you have encountered.

thank you


04:28 pm November 12, 2022

Can someone help me clarify the phrase "Scrum team is Cross- functional"

It means that the team has all the skills within it to meet its Sprint commitments. When a team has dependencies upon others, transparency over its ability to meet these commitments is reduced.

I am looking for a real-life example that demonstrates the five Scrum values in product development, please share with me your real experiences of the 5 values that you have encountered.

Openness: Management openly recognize we thought we were doing Scrum in this company, but now we realize we are not.

Focus: The Developers limit their Work In Progress and thereby stop starting, and start finishing.

Commitment: The Developers make their own commitments, which are then more likely to be met, rather than having commitments thrust on them by others.

Respect: Management recognize that team members are professionals who want to finish work to a high standard, and do not attempt to micromanage them or push work onto them. The Developers are allowed and encouraged to exhibit pull.

Courage: People across the organization not only want change, they are willing to change.


11:50 am November 13, 2022

Developers had Courage and Openness in sharing with the Product Owner that their Focus was impacted by having too many competing priorities and no single Sprint Goal. The Product Owner Respected the Developers and worked with them to create future Sprint Goals as a team, which the Developers felt connected to and could make a Commitment towards.

Note: I have simplified the details of the situation and left out the parts with the Scrum Master encouraging openness and courage at Retrospective for Developers to raise their concerns and the discussions that occurred to get to the outcome. Was not as smooth as written, and took a few Sprints to get there, but wanted to offer up the essence of the situation and how it related to Values.


06:33 pm November 14, 2022

Dear Nguyen Tran Thuy Vy,

The Scrum Guide about cross-functionality:

Scrum Teams are cross-functional, meaning the members have all the skills necessary to create value each Sprint.

A Scrum Team needs the mentioned skills at a Team level and expects the Developers to deliver a useful and valuable Increment each Sprint. How the skills are distributed between the Developers isn't mentioned in the Scrum Guide. 

The Scrum Guide about the skills of the Developers:

The specific skills needed by the Developers are often broad and will vary with the domain of work.

The more skills each Developer has, the easier it will be to deal with different domains of work; the less waiting for busy experts and the higher the throughput will be.

If "many people and each person has a certain expertise gathered into a team", means the  Developers only have one or limited domains of expertise, I expect the team to be fragile to variations in the work during successive Sprints or across different domains. Colleagues who can stand in for each other eliminate bottlenecks. Else it appears merely people that work in the same room.

So, I would conclude that the Scrum Guide doesn't specify that Developers need multiple skills, but it seems a good practice. Not only to improve throughput or to avoid brittleness but also as a motivating factor.