1

Scrum suggests cross-functionl teams, does it mean that marketing specialists and sales specialist also should work in the same team as software development engineers and QA engineers?

What are the most common organizational approaches to organize and coordinate development specialists and marketing and sales specialists in companies practicing modern methodologies like Agile, Scrum? Do they still have functional departments, like marketing department, sales department?

3 Answers 3

2

I have worked with Scrum teams that have included marketing people, legal people, editorial staff, technical authors and many more job specialities. I have also worked with a team where the Product Owner was an active member of the sales team.

The biggest challenge with having multi-disciplined teams is there may be an inbalance in the workload on different skillsets. The marketing/sales people would often be partially committed to a Scrum team rather than fulltime team members.

There would typically still be departments (like a marketing department), but the significance was reduced as the focus was on the Scrum or journey teams.

2

Agile for the whole company

Scrum tries to overcome gathering different specialists like devs, qa, into one team? This seems to be a local optimization - agile dev teams, but not agile as a whole company

Scrum's basic premise is that software development is a complex problem. Scrum theory says that an empirical "Inspect and Adapt" approach is best suited for such complex problems.

Ken Schwaber, one of the founders of Scrum, extended this agile approach to the whole company. He calls it Evidence Based Management.

The Evidence-Based Management Guide

By measuring current conditions, setting performance goals, forming small experiments for improvement that can be run quickly, measuring the effect of the experiment, and inspecting and adapting goals and next steps, EBM helps organizations to take into account the best available evidence to help them make decisions on ways to improve.

1

A Scrum team has a Product Owner. When it comes to organizing various business aspects around the product, the Product Owner gets involved and it's a matter of other departments to coordinate and/or collaborate with the Product Owner. How this is done may vary widely across organizations, Scrum Teams, and individuals.

So yes, they still have functional departments, like marketing department, or sales department.

Depending on how Agile the company is, various other departments can get involved in the product development and work together with the team, but mostly, things get handled with the help of the Product Owner, because a Scrum team has one Product Owner, one Scrum Master, and (preferable) no more than 8 developers.

2
  • 2
    "they still have functional departments" - but then they probably have all kinds of organizational problems Scrum tries to overcome gathering different specialists like devs, qa, into one team? This seems to be a local optimization - agile dev teams, but not agile as a whole company
    – Daniel
    Jan 30 at 20:38
  • 2
    Very valid comment. Scrum is a framework for development teams mostly. It doesn't say how Scrum should integrate with the whole organization. That's left for the Scrum Master to figure out and offer their services to the organization. If the company wants to be Agile, Scrum for developers is not enough. The entire organization must change behaviors, mindset, and follow values that are conducive to an environment that can actually support Scrum and foster a space of collaboration, communication, experimentation, etc.
    – Bogdan
    Jan 30 at 21:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.