Sprint Humor: Which Teammate are You?

An Agile sprint usually refers to the two-week period allocated to complete a project under the Scrum framework. This assumption is based on data collected by recruitment company Zippia Inc. They surveyed organizations from 76 countries and found that 61% of respondents used Scrum. 

 

With that in mind, we’ve decided to enrich your understanding of the Scrum methodology by exploring what personality types best correlate with each Scrum team role. However, before we get into all that, let’s outline what exactly goes into a Scrum sprint. 

 

Characteristics of a Scrum Sprint

 

Scrum allows organizations to channel Agile principles and values into their day-to-day work. That includes prioritizing individuals and actions over processes and tools, or responding to change over following a project plan. Attending Scrum ceremonies, delivering artifacts, and following role-specific processes ensures the Product Owner (PO), Scrum Master, and Development Team adhere to The 4 Values and 12 Principles of the Agile Manifesto. Each action is carried out during a Sprint, which usually involves the following stages. 

 

Pre-Planning

Freethinkers and Todoist fanatics pioneer genius in this phase. Pre-planning is all about establishing a roadmap of a product’s overarching objectives and a timeline for delivering functionality. The client, PO, and Scrum Team generate an ice-box of design ideas and associated tasks. The PO then prioritizes this information to pitch a workflow to the rest of the Scrum Team during the Sprint Planning Call. The decided-upon deliverables then get moved into the Sprint Backlog.

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Planning

During Sprint planning, the PO, Scrum Master, and Development Team outline the user stories, bugs, or features they intend to work on in the upcoming Sprint. This information is prioritized in the Sprint Backlog, which is usually managed by the PO in a process known as backlog refinement. Client feedback or revised tasks are added to the backlog throughout a project’s life. The most crucial user stories are at the top of the list, and those that don’t get worked on move into the next Sprint. 

 

In most cases, prioritized tasks include a detailed outline of associated actions and their current status. Each important function gets a velocity point, which helps quantify how much work was completed during a Sprint. While the PO or Scrum Master usually runs this meeting, the Development Team always takes center stage. Each member takes on an assignment and sets a deadline based on their technical capabilities and workload. 

Tasks are categorized by number as they move through the Product and Sprint Backlog. 

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Working

It’s off to the races for the Scrum Team here! The Development Team works on the tasks outlined in the backlog iteratively and incrementally. Scum Masters hold a Daily Stand-Up to make sure everyone is on track to meeting their goals. Scrum recommends these mandatory calls last a maximum of 15 minutes – a sensitive topic for some developers. 

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Review and Testing

During testing, the client, PO, and Development Team test the solution to ensure it holds up (cue imposter syndrome and novel forms of anxiety). If it does, the product meets the Definition of Done. However, in the case of constructive criticism, feedback is added to the Product Backlog and incorporated during the next Sprint. 

 

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The Sprint Review is an opportunity for the internal team to highlight success. Say a developer released a new product feature; this would be an opportune time to lead a demo. Moreover, the Sprint Review is an opportunity to ensure that tasks considered to meet the acceptance criteria outlined by the PO at the start of the Sprint, actually do. Finally, team members discuss what to work on in the next Sprint based on deliverables met in the previous Sprint. 

Sprint Reviews usually last about two hours, considering the best Sprints are time-boxed to two weeks. The Scrum Master – thankfully and unsurprisingly – ensures the team sticks to this schedule. 

 

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Sprint Retrospective

 

This ceremony furthers Agile’s central principle of continuous improvement. The internal team comes together for about 90 minutes to reflect on the previous Sprint. Hubstaff Tasks suggests asking questions like, “What should we start doing? What should we stop doing? What should we continue? This can help refine the project’s direction and decipher whether changing priorities should be reflected in the Product Backlog,” the Agile project management platform reports. 

 

Feel free to structure questions in a way that better speaks to your team. You’re doing the Scrum thing as long as you’ve discussed how the Sprint went and outlined suggestions for better results. Sprint Retrospectives generally last 90 minutes for a standard two-week sprint. However, feel free to deduct or add 45 minutes depending on how many additional (or fewer) weeks you schedule your Sprint. 

 

Now, let’s move on to the fun part: where do you fit in? 

 

Sprint Team Member Personality Types 

 

While the three Scrum roles outline what each Scrum Team member is responsible for, they aren’t job titles. This means you may identify with the Scrum-role-personality-type if you work outside the technology or the business industry. Moreover, the essence of Scrum is adaptability, so don’t be alarmed if you (or a colleague) fit more than one persona.

 

Development Team

 

These folks get down to the nitty-gritty. They spend hours on the keyboard, behind a sewing machine, or in the lab, finding and optimizing their flow state. They are the behind-the-scenes programmers who make it okay to have your camera off during calls (moment of silence, please). 

 

Forbes lists eagerness to collaborate, technical excellence, and attention to detail as some of the primary personality types associated with Development Team members in Scrum. That’s partly because the Development Team self-organizes throughout the Sprint. This includes delegating tasks to one another based on communication and exhibited skillset. Moreover, being part of a group that brings a product from ideation to reality means you know how to “lay the bricks, do the plumbing, even dig holes,” says Dave West, CEO and PO at Scrum.org.  

 

Development Team member roles are less suited to a jack-of-all-trade type as they allow individuals to excel at specific expertise – in conjunction with other specialized folks in pursuit of a shared goal. 

 

Product Owner

 

Product Owners can get a bad rep – but that’s only because this role involves prioritizing decisions that ensure business value is delivered to the customer. That choice doesn’t always align with Development Team capabilities, especially within the parameters of a Sprint, but we’ll leave that part to the Scrum Master. 

 

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Meticulous communication skills are a personality trait of a PO. After all, who else can share fluctuating needs and changing priorities between two stead-fast parties and still ensure their creative vision is realized? Laser focus is also important, as the primary role of the PO is to ensure that everyone concentrates on meeting the primary objective [insert here]. 

 

Scrum Master

 

“As a Scrum Master, you’ll likely play the role of teacher, therapist, parent, psychologist, and so much more,” says Markanthony Akem, founder of Agileseventeen. That’s because the Scrum Master ensures the PO and Development Team correctly follow the Scrum methodology while keeping the peace between and amongst both sides. “They help the PO define value, the Development Team deliver the value, and the Scrum Team gets better,” says West.

 

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Think of the Scrum Master as that educator you love because they don’t play favorites. They strike the perfect balance between challenging you and protecting your bandwidth and aren’t afraid to voice the truth everyone else is too polite to articulate. 

 

Personality traits of this role include leadership, problem-solving, and preferably a Ph.D. in psychology (not really but brace yourself). “The Scrum Master’s role involves meeting team members where they are, with their individual strengths, and helping them deploy those strengths in achieving a shared objective,” says West. 

 

Are you still waiting to see your personality traits reflected in these roles? Or maybe you’re simply more intrigued after reading this introductory article. Wherever you stand, we encourage you to browse our course offerings and get more personalized information on what’s involved in the Scrum Master or Product Owner role. 

 

For the Development Team types, we suggest joining our Community Portal to connect with or learn from other professionals in the industry. 

Of course, you can always email us at talkagile@agileseventeen.com to learn more about what Scrum Team member role best fits your personal and professional goals.