Who Owns Quality in a Scrum Team – Exposing the Truth with Facts

Many people still don’t know who owns quality in a scrum team. The scrum guide clearly implements the responsibility of adding value to the product on the shoulders of developers. This bookish claim is somewhat digestible, but developers are brilliant minds responsible for fulfilling the tasks given to them. So, if not developers, then who owns the definition of done and value in a scrum team?

This article will be interesting because it is an eye-opener, telling you who owns quality in a Scrum team. It sheds light on different aspects, helping conclude who is responsible for the quality. This piece discusses the meaning of quality and how you can measure the product quality instilled by the Scrum team. Furthermore, you will learn about the main characters running and executing the Agile process. 

What is quality, in terms of Scrum?

In general there are two quality types in Scrum:

  • Intrinsic quality
  • Extrinsic quality

01 Who Owns Quality In A Scrum Team

All the built-in qualities in a product are intrinsic, including durability, maintainability, reliability, and uniformity. Whereas extrinsic quality refers to the quality perception that users have for a particular product. The former quality type can be determined through testing and bug identification. The latter quality type is analyzed through usability, customer feedback, and sales.

Non-Agile companies often pay more attention to intrinsic qualities. But organizations that take things Agile consider many factors as a part of quality. This is also one of the hints of who owns quality in a scrum team. 

Also Read: All About Agile Project Management Software that You Should Know

For example, the entire Scrum team ensure that the product meets the vision and has user-centric features. It means they struggle to achieve intrinsic and extrinsic qualities in a product. That is why they prefer multiple iterations and releases. 

3 main characters of a Scrum team

From the above section, it looks like we have the answer to who owns quality in a Scrum team – it’s the Scrum team itself. But what about developers? Doesn’t the scrum guide put all the burden on their shoulders?

02 Who Owns Quality In A Scrum Team

A great Scrum team consists of : Product Owner (PO), Scrum Master, and Development Team. Now let’s find out about the three of them and what they do so that you can have a rational answer.

A product owner has the following responsibilities:

  • Creating a product vision and marketing strategy
  • Product management
  • Product backlog creation
  • Product backlog refinement by involving end-users and stakeholders

A scrum master shares the following responsibilities:

  • Understanding product owner’s requirements
  • Sprint planning and reviewing
  • Backlog management
  • Facilitating and coaching the development team
  • Removing obstacles blocking the team’s productivity
  • Recognizing team conflicts at an early stage

The duties of a development team are:

  • Adhering to the definition of done
  • Working on user stories from the product backlog
  • Experience sharing with peers for the ideal outcomes
  • Ensuring on-time deliveries based on increments

Nobody (not even the scrum master) interferes with the development team as long as they work towards bringing quality to a product. 

Also Read: The Agile Leadership Trio: The 3 Pillars of a Scrum Team

Metrics to measure the work done and quality of a Scrum team

Scrum metrics – measuring work done by a Scrum team

By now, you know that a product owner, Scrum master, and developers are the greatest assets of a Scrum team. So let’s find out how to measure the work done by a Scrum team to deliver value to customers. 

Meeting Sprint goals

A sprint goal answers the question, ‘What to do next?’ It could be anything from addressing a potential threat to delivering a user-centric feature. Counting Sprint goals and meeting them as expected defines how frequently the Scrum team meets the business objectives. 

Escaped defects

Escaped defects describe the number of bugs and bottlenecks the team encounters during the software development. Ideally, they should thoroughly test stories to ensure no escaped defects. However, this is not always possible; escaped defects are always there. But this is a good sign, ensuring the team has worked on most of the stories. 

Team velocity

Team velocity describes the average number of user stories completed by the scrum team in previous Sprints. The number that comes forward help estimates the team’s capability to complete upcoming sprints. 

Scrum metrics – measuring quality of a Scrum team

These metrics can help you analyze the quality added to a product by a Scrum team to satisfy customers’ needs. 

Return on investment

The scrum approach ensures fast Return on Investment (ROI) than any other model. It is because the software is delivered to customers in working condition. At the same time, updates are continuously done through iterations to increase user experience. If a scrum project brings good ROI, the digital product has been popular among the users.

Also Read: 6 Important Things to Follow in Your Digital Product Strategy

Capital redeployment

If the investors are ready to reinvest the capital in the same Scrum team or a project. It means the team has proved its mettle to add quality to the product. 

Number of satisfied customers

There are many methods to analyze customers’ satisfaction levels. One of the prominent tools is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). It helps measures user recommendations for a particular software. If the product has more positive reviews, it means that the scrum team has added quality features. 

Who owns quality in a Scrum team practically?

According to the Scrum metrics, it appears to be that the entire Scrum team is answerable for quality. However, the product owner is responsible for ensuring that the team has applied the best development practices.

03 Who Owns Quality In A Scrum Team

So, technically the product owner is the one who owns quality in a Scrum team because the PO:

  • Signs the design documents
  • Confirms the pre-development testing scope
  • Approves non-functional and performance requirements
  • Gets business reports from Quality Assurance Specialist
  • Agrees to solve defects before they are added to the backlog

5 characteristics of a good Scrum team

Regardless of who owns quality in a Scrum team, an excellent Scrum team has the following features:

  • Commitment towards achieving goals and on-time deliveries
  • Focus on adding quality to the product
  • Openness towards sharing experiences and collaboration
  • Respecting all team members
  • Courage to overcome obstacles 

Conclusion

All roles in a Scrum team play their part in adding value to a software solution. However, the product owner owns quality in a Scrum team. The person in this position makes sure that the entire team has completed the tasks and achieved the set goals.

At Slash, we have an experienced tech squad capable of adding quality to all development projects. We assign product owners, scrum masters, and a professional team of developers to create outstanding digital products with high ROI. Contact us to get your work done in a strict agile environment. 

 

FAQs – who owns quality in a Scrum team

Who is responsible for quality in an agile team? It is the entire agile team who owns quality in an agile project, especially the product owner.

Who owns the quality of a product? According to the scrum guide, the development team ensures adding quality to a product by fulfilling the requirements.

Who owns the quality of a project? Product owner owns the quality of a project as they are responsible for planning, testing, approval, and launching a project. 

Aditya Prakarsa
Aditya Prakarsa
Software Developer
Aditya has worked as a software developer for more than 10 years. He has also worked as a sales and marketing manager for more than 5 years. He joined Slash in 2021 as an Iteration Manager and has since been introduced to Agile. He has discovered the benefits and advantages of Agile in software delivery when compared to traditional software delivery or Waterfall. Working as an Iteration Manager has forced him to deep dive more into Agile and its frameworks such as Scrum, Kanban, and XP.
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