Scrum Project Roles

January 2, 2014

Understanding defined roles and responsibilities are very important for the successful implementation of Scrum projects. The usual roles of product manager or a team leader is not present in Scrum. There are three core roles in Scrum that are responsible for meeting the project objectives. They are:

  • Product Owner
  • Scrum Master
  • Scrum Team

Together they are referred to as the Scrum Core Team and no role has authority over the others. They are ultimately responsible for meeting the project objectives. Individually they have certain responsibilities. The Product Owner is the person responsible for maximizing business value for the project and maintaining business Justification for the project. His responsibilities also include analysing and prioritizing the requirements, and controlling the budget. The Scrum Master is a facilitator to the Scrum Team. He clears out the issues, guides the team as per scrum processes, and teaches Scrum practices. The Scrum Team is a group or team of people, responsible for understanding the business requirements defined by the product Owner and final creation of the project deliverables. Besides these three roles, there are some Non-core Roles such as Stakeholders.

Product Owner

The Product Owner represents the interest of the stakeholder community to the Scrum team. Therefore, he is responsible for the right creation of a product. Product Owner is also responsible for ensuring that the Scrum team delivers value and he always maintains a dual view. On one side he understands and supports the needs and interests of all stakeholders while on the other hand he understands the needs and workings of Scrum Team. Being a Product Owner means:

  • You define the project vision.
  • You define the product or service functionality requirements to the Scrum Team.
  • You define acceptance criteria of the product to the Team.
  • You create User Stories for the Team.
  • You help Scrum Team in creating sprint backlog.
  • You accepts/rejects deliverables.
  • You will be assessing the viability and ensuring the delivery of the product or service.
  • You will be focusing on value creation and overall Return on Investment (ROI).

Scrum Master and the Scrum Team

 Scrum Team consists of a group of individuals who work on the user stories in the sprint backlog to create the deliverables for the project. The Scrum Team independently decides the User stories or requirements of the project rather than taking up the tasks assigned by Project Managers as in other project management methods. The Scrum Team becomes the manager who creates the tasks and deliverables of the project.

The Scrum Master is the “servant leader” of the Scrum Team who moderates and facilitates team interactions as team coach and motivator. He ensures that the team is protected from external influences and there by providing the team an ideal working environment. He acts as the enforcer of Scrum principles, aspects and processes.

Compared to Project Manager’s role in other project management methods, in Scrum the delegation of work or planning of project is not entrusted to Scrum Master. The changed role perception is one of the most important aspects when someone wants to understand Scrum with the intent to introduce it in his own company.


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