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Scrum Accountabilities Matrix (2020)

Last post 10:35 am September 20, 2023 by Ryan Kent
4 replies
04:23 am September 8, 2023

I've recently been preparing for the PSM I and after going through the Scrum Guide 2020 and numerous practice tests, I created a matrix with the purpose of giving an end-to-end visibility of the different scrum accountabilities in relation to the Scrum artifacts and their commitments. 

I'm sharing the table below and would appreciate everyone's review and suggestion for any correction or optimization on this:

10:17 pm September 13, 2023

Once an Increment is Done, wouldn't the imperative be for the Developers to make it available?

A Product Owner might reasonably stop a release from happening, should they perceive a business reason for doing so.

More broadly, I'd suggest that this matrix is showing responsibilities, some of which in some cases might be delegated. Accountability never is.

02:53 pm September 14, 2023

I agree with @Ian that this is more of a responsibility matrix.  But it is incomplete even in that.  

Product Backlog: Every person on the Scrum Team has responsibility for the this. For example, the Developers might open items for technical debt that needs to be addressed.  The Scrum Guide states:

Product Backlog items that can be Done by the Scrum Team within one Sprint are deemed ready for selection in a Sprint Planning event.

To me, that implies that the Developers have had time to refine the items enough to know if they are able to be Done in one Sprint.  So there is a responsibility there for the Developers. You list that for Product Backlog Items but since they only exist in the Product Backlog, there is an inherent responsibility. 

Sprint Backlog: Not only do the Developers create it, they maintain it and communicate with it. Same applies for the actionable plan.  

Definition of Done: It is not just created, it is maintained and communicated. 

I could elaborate more but that would take away other's chances to respond.  :)  

02:53 am September 19, 2023

Thank you Ian and Daniel for your valuable insights, they helped me further fine tune the matrix but I'll upload share it once I have more feedback. @Daniel we would appreciate if you want to share more on this, no guarantee when others might get back to this :)

10:35 am September 20, 2023

I assume this will be used as a reference or a teaching tool.

There are only 3 Artifacts in Scrum: Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog and Increment. With the addition of Product Backlog items and Actionable Sprint Plan as illustrated, it implies there are 5. Product Backlog contains Product Backlog items and the Product Goal, but the artifact is the Product Backlog. Sprint Backlog contains the Sprint Goal, selected Product Backlog items and actionable plan, but the artifact is the Sprint Backlog.

If you want to include sub-details for items and actionable plan it may help to have them identified as something other than Artifacts to avoid confusion for someone who is new to Scrum.

What about putting the Commitments before Artifacts (left to right)? Product Goal followed by Product Backlog as an example. A Product Backlog ought to emerge as an ordered list of what is needed to achieve the objective of the Product Goal. Definition of Done is the formal description of quality measures required for the product and is what is used to determine when a selection of work can be born as an Increment. Sprint Goal creates coherence and focus and Sprint Backlog emerges and adapts to achieve it.


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