Who owns quality in Scrum team?

Who owns quality in Scrum team?

Vivek Jayaraman
4th Mar, 2020

As per the Scrum Guide, Scrum is a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value. There are three roles in Scrum, and they are the Development Team, Scrum Masterand the Product Owner.

We need to understand the responsibilities of these roles to understand who is responsible for quality.

The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the work done by the development team. The primary responsibility of what goes into the product lies with the Product Owner. 

He/She works with customers and stakeholders regularly to understand their needs and pains. Their responsibilities include effectively communicating the product backlog items, ordering the product backlog based on goals, and ensuring that the development team correctly understands the product backlog items. 

Is the Product Owner responsible for the quality as he/she communicates with the customers and stakeholders to come up with product requirements?

The Development Team is a self-organizing & cross-functional team responsible for delivering a working 'done' product increment at the end of every sprint. They have all the necessary skills to convert a product backlog item into a product increment. No one tells the development team on how to come up with a product increment. 

While the Product Owner remains accountable for what goes into the product, the development team is responsible for how it is done. Since the development team comes up with product increments, are they accountable for quality?

The Scrum Master is a servant-leader who services the Product Owner, Development Team, and the Organization as a whole. The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring the team understands the Scrum framework and its purpose. 

He/she mentors and coaches the scrum team to be high-performing. Helps the Product Owner in practicing agility, coming up with precise product backlog items, and ensuring everyone in the organization understands the goal and scope. 

Is Scrum Master responsible for the quality?

The three roles together in Scrum form a Scrum Team. The Development Team, Product Owner, and Scrum Master together are called Scrum Team. It is not just the development team, but the entire scrum team is self-organizing and cross-functional. 

It is a myth when people say that only the development team is responsible for quality. In Scrum, the whole scrum team is held accountable for the quality. All three roles need to work together in delivering excellence. 

Without an optimal product backlog and an apparent explanatory product backlog item, the development team can't provide a quality increment.

In Scrum, the whole Scrum team is responsible for the quality.

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