Talking about the Team

TeamOne of the hallmarks of being agile versus merely doing agile is that scrum team members contribute in whatever way is needed for the team to meet the sprint goal. Old habits of dividing roles into teams can be a barrier to realizing the benefits of agility.

Before agile, many organizations had “development teams”, “QA teams”, “UX teams”, etc. To be agile, the organization should promote a culture where there is a “Scrum team”, which consists of a ScrumMaster, PO, developers, QA people, test engineers, and anyone else who helps get stories to “done”. Everyone on the Scrum team is equally responsible and committed to delivering the work, which means that sometimes they must do certain tasks that are outside of their typical skill set for the team to meet its goal.

From an organizational design perspective, having a QA team or QA Community of Practice can still be necessary from an HR perspective (i.e. reporting to a QA manager) and to share/grow QA practices across the organization. But the notion of separate teams within the Scrum team perpetuates the unproductive notion that the work is complete once I have finished my part of it, even if the story truly is not “done”.


  • Within a Scrum team, there is no “Dev Team” or “QA team”. There is only “the team”.
  • Leaders in organizations that are transitioning to agile should work to remove the division of responsibilities between traditional roles and promote the notion of one role on a team – “team member”.