Agile Roles and Responsibilities Matrix Made Simple

A the start on any agile engagement or new team forming it is critical to running a agile roles and responsibilities workshop. Its helps clear up the overlap of Agile team roles and responsibilities which if not can effect the delivery of sprint work. The priorities are changing. Scope is being expanded. Who is to do what?

Key responsibilities aren’t clear. Is it my responsibility to help improve predictable delivery? I’m not sure. The role is not clear but also its not clear who is responsible and are they kept accountable.

I have since been planning on how to approach this with the team and key stakeholders. To address this with the development team I plan on presenting 4 simple slides, which you can find below:

  1. Stages of Team Development
  2. Expected Roles in Agile Teams
  3. Roles Explained
  4. A concept map can help map Roles to People within Organization

Above all any approach we use to clarifying roles to encourage individual team members to play more roles not less!

While preparing this blog post I discovered fascinating approach by using the concept of jobs to help achieve this. The idea that a persons job changes depends on the situation and the entire team self organizes to achieve the outcome including key stakeholders such as domain experts.

Agile Team Roles (including product owner)

Secondly, before presuming everybody knows what to expect in an Agile team I outline the various roles. You can have multiple leaders within Agile environments from Product Manager, Product Owner, Technical Lead, Architect, UX, Sponsors, SMEs, Scrum Master, Agile Coach and Agile Project Managers. In smaller organizations you will have people multi-jobbing which can confuse things even further.

It can be very confusing who is responsible for:

  • Prioritizing the work for development team
  • Writing user stories for backlog
  • Managing scope of product features
  • Delivery of product features within sprints
  • Planning sprint work for development team
  • Ensuring technical integrity or technical solutions

In a well formed organization with clear roles defined these questions will be easily answered. That said you can’t just presume the team has the same experience. Agile methodologies can be implemented in various ways in different organizations.

Agile Roles and Responsibilities Matrix

Agile Team RolesResponsibility
Product Owner​ / Business Analyst– Creating, Ordering and clearly communicating Product Backlog items;​
– Ensuring that delivered features meet user needs​​
Technical Lead​ / Domain Expert– Delivery of agreed sprint work and ensures definition of done has been met by team members​
– Identifying and clearing technical roadblocks for team​​
UX Designer​– Works with product owner and tech lead to create mockup designs ​​
Developer​– Works on prioritized work by product owner in the sprint​​
Tester​– Work with Product Owners to define Acceptance Criteria and the Definition of Done.​
– Measuring and reporting test coverage across all applicable coverage dimensions​​
DevOps​– Version control, testing, security, integration and deployment method​​
Architect​– Defining and maintaining the structure of the solution, and ensuring that it will meet the requirements​​
Scrum Master / Agile Coach​– The removal of impediments to the Agile Team’s progress​
– Ensuring that all ceremonies take place and are positive, productive, and within the timebox.​​
Project Sponsor / Stakeholders​– Project sponsor empowers the product owner to act on their behalf​
– Stakeholders work with the product owner who manages communication with project team​​Agile Project Manager​- Responsible for planning, leading, organizing, and motivating Agile project teams​​Product Manager​- Identifies the customer need and the larger business objectives that a product or feature will fulfill. ​​Agile Team Roles Table
Agile Roles and Responsibilities

I will need to do further research into Agile by Design approach but from the above images you can see there is a clear benefit of encouraging team members to do more but making it clear who is accountable.

FAQ About Agile Roles

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