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How Cross-Functionality makes for a better Increment (63)

March 21, 2024

We started this Scrum foundation series explaining we see four underlying concepts of the Scrum framework. In the past series of mails we covered the three pillars of Empiricism, the Scrum Values, and Self-Management.

A self-managing team is taking decisions about who does what, when, and how. This ensures the team can move forward without unnecessary waiting time. If we want to improve on that, and to support the team taking ownership, having the needed skills within the team is another step.


👉 Cross-functional, meaning the team internally has all skills needed to successfully complete their goals.


Growing cross-functionality = growing skills = raising mastery = higher motivation = higher effectivity.


In order to have your artefacts bringing the transparency they were created for, your team needs to have the required skills.

Let’s have a look at the Increment.


Reminder: the objective of an Increment is to bring transparency on the current state of the product/solution, the Definition of Done being the quality commitment of the team. A new Increment brings the team another step closer to their Product Goal.

Without even trying to being exhaustive, here are a skills / experiences I would expect the team to use:

  • Technological: does the team master the tools and customs for developing such a product?
  • Testing, verification and validation: does the team has the skills to verify the solution solves what it intends to address
  • Training: can the team explain, train, guide the users how to make effective use of the solution
  • User eXperience: can the team put on the shoes of users and step into their world to understand what the best solution is to develop, how one solution might prove better than another when looked at from a user's perspective.
  • Marketing, documenting, and many more...

These are just a few examples of skills that are put in action in order to have a transparent Increment.

Teams are often focussed on the technological skills, yet often seem to overlook that the product/solution is for users, for people who need to understand how to make the best use of this solution. Being able to understand users and communicate with them is crucial to develop and deliver awesome solutions.


☝️ It is not a matter of who in the team has the skills, as long as together the team has the skills needed.


Cross-functional is about having all skills within the team to create value each Sprint.

In order to have a transparent Increment, the Scrum Team needs specific skills that allow the development and delivery of the product, and also the empathy to understand the stakeholders and potential users of their product.

Together with your Scrum Team, evaluate which skill improvements the team would benefit from to make your Increment more transparent.


I hope you find value in these short posts and if you are looking for more clarifications, feel free to take contact.

If you want to take a deeper dive into the core concepts we are covering in this blog series, then surely check out our Professional Scrum MasterY workshop. We have some scheduled in the coming period.

Don't want to miss any of these blog posts? Have the professional Scrum foundations series weekly in your mailbox.

A Cross-Functional Team and the Increment

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