In Scrum, we work with a small self-managed team with all the skills needed to create value for every increment, as we know from the PSMI guide

But what does it mean to have all the skills needed to create value?

First, you need to know that the two main typologies of teams are Component Team and Feature Team.

The component team is composed of people who know only one aspect of the increment. So, for instance, you have a team of experts in designing the user interface.

The feature team comprises people with all the different skills needed to make the feature. This is also called a cross-functional team. So, for instance, you have the expertise of designing the user interface and developing software in the same team, and with this team, you are independent to create the increment.

The feature team has all the skills needed to create value and is better in Scrum for more reasons. Feature teams can make the end-to-end functionality, focusing on the delivery of the increment. They have less risk with targetting the schedule because you have all the expertise in the team, and you’re not waiting for someone else. They are also more capable of evaluating each decision’s impact, fostering self-managing ability.

Coming back to the question, we have all the skills in the feature team, but it doesn’t mean that all people know how to make everything.

Example: In a scrum team, you may have one person multi-skilled in the user interface (T-Shaped) and software development plus three specialists (I-Shaped) only in software development.

If you look at the example, you can also have a specialist on the user interface and other member specialists in software development.

Sometimes you can find the specialist named I-Shaped because they have an vertical knowledge about an argument. For example, the user interfaces desiner specialist. On the other hand, the T-Shaped have some horizontal ability on some arguments and are near-specialist of something else. For instance a Developer with some knowledge about user interfaces.

The important thing on this topic is to look if you need a specialist or if maybe you can use a multi-skilled person. You need to understand that a specialist is less flexible in doing all the sprint work, but you can have it in your Scrum team if you need it.

If the team doesn’t have all the skills required, maybe it can be trained by a specialist. Hiring new people just for one sprint isn’t a good option. Remember that “time and cost” are fixed.

What about self-managing?

Self-managing means that they self-organize their work. All the teams are accountable for all the sprint backlog tasks and must collaborate. Remember that the Scrum Master is not the team’s boss and, even if he acts as an impediment remover, the first choice is to look at if the team resolves the impediment themself.

For the exam you need to remember that:

  • Scrum Team is about self-managed and cross-functional (Feature team);
  • Cross-functional doesn’t mean that every people need to have all the skill. Instead, it means that the team has all the skills;
  • Multi-skilled person (T-Shaped) are preferred, but if you need you can also use specialist (I-Shaped);
  • Hiring isn’t a good solution.


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