Who owns quality in a scrum team

Agile quality Scrum

Do you want to learn who owns quality on a Scrum team?  Great, just keep reading this tutorial and we'll explore how Scrum teams deal with quality and the iron triangle of quality, cost, and time.

Sound good?  Cool, let's dive in and learn how Scrum teams can ensure high quality at the end of every Sprint. 

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Who owns quality in a scrum team


Executive Summary

Quality is the responsibility of everyone on a Scrum team. The developers need to produce high-quality work for every product backlog item.

The Scrum Master must ensure the team understands and complies with the accepted criteria and done definition.

The Product Owner must ensure the customer is pleased with the product and meets the product owner's vision before releasing the product.

As you can see, this issue is a bit more complicated than just saying, "the product owner is responsible for quality."

While everyone on the team is responsible for the quality, they are responsible in different ways.

Before we get started talking about quality and Scrum, it might be worth heading over to our most popular post, What Is Scrum, where you can learn everything you need to know about Scrum.

The Scrum Master's Role in Quality

The Scrum Master should ensure the team holds the events of Scrum and communicates effectively.

If you do this correctly, the developers should understand their work, and the customers should regularly see the product and provide relevant feedback to improve quality.

The Product Owner's Role Quality

The product owner must inspect the work and see if the product meets their product vision.

This inspection process is key to ensuring a high level of functional quality of the product.

Many product owners won't be able to inspect any code or technical details. However, if the product is very technical, you may need to bring a tester onto your team.

The product owner also ensures that the right stakeholders and users attend product reviews. This proper attendance will ensure that the developers get the feedback they need and that the customers are pleased with the product.

Quality and Scrum Developers

Developers have the most responsibility for producing a quality product because they are doing the work of production.

They need to assess quality in multiple ways, including

  1. Reliability
  2. UI
  3. UX
  4. Accessibility
  5. Form
  6. Fit
  7. Function
  8. Cost
  9. Maintainability
  10. Cybersecurity
  11. Compliance

Do you need a quality inspector on your Scrum Team?


Here's how to tell. Does your product regularly require technical inspection and quality assurance?

You need a quality person on your team.

Do you work in a regulated environment such as finance or a medical company where regulators have QA/QC requirements?

You need a quality person on your team.

Do you already have high quality, happy customers, and product/market fit?

You don't need a quality person on your team.

You get the idea that the decision to have a quality person on your team (or not) depends on your situation.

Dive deeper into Scrum team quality control

When it comes to quality, who owns it on a Scrum team?

That's a question with no easy answer, as quality is everyone's responsibility. The Scrum team is responsible for the quality of the product they deliver. However, that doesn't mean that each team member isn't accountable for quality in their way.

The product owner is responsible for ensuring that the product backlog items are clear and concise and that they meet the stakeholders' requirements.

The development team is responsible for ensuring that the code they write is high quality and meets the acceptance criteria.

The testers are responsible for testing the product and ensuring that any defects are found and fixed before release.

Ultimately, the Scrum team's responsibility is to deliver a high-quality product. But each team member has their part to play in ensuring quality throughout the process.

Quality Team

A quality team is a team of people who work together to ensure that a product or service meets the highest possible quality standards. Quality teams are in many different organizations, from manufacturing companies to service-based businesses.

The members of a quality team typically have a wide range of skills and knowledge, as they need to be able to identify problems and potential improvements in the quality of a product or service. They also need to be able to work with other team members to find solutions to these problems.

Quality teams usually have a manager responsible for coordinating the team's activities and ensuring quality. The manager may also be responsible for training team members and conducting quality audits.

The quality team members typically have regular meetings to discuss their progress and identify any new problems or potential improvements. They may also hold training sessions to keep their skills up-to-date.

Quality teams ensure that products and services meet the highest possible standards. By working together, quality teams can make a significant difference in the quality of a company's products or services.

Agile Triangle

In the business world, the agile triangle of value, quality, and constraints is a critical concept to help organizations achieve success.

The triangle represents the three most important factors when making decisions in an organization. Value refers to the benefits an organization will receive from taking a specific action. Quality refers to the degree to which an effort will meet the organization's needs. Finally, constraints refer to an organization's limitations in taking action.

The agile triangle of value, quality, and constraints can help organizations make better decisions by taking all three factors into account. When making a decision, organizations should first consider the value they will receive from taking action. They should then view the quality of the action and how well it will meet their needs. Finally, they should consider the constraints that they have in taking action. By considering all three factors, organizations can make better decisions to help them achieve success.

Use the agile triangle of value, quality, and constraints to help you make better decisions for your organization.

Best Practices for Using the Agile Triangle

In the world of business, there are always three things to consider: value, quality, and constraints. While it may seem like a juggling act to keep all three balls in the air, it's not as complicated as it looks. By following some simple best practices, you can ensure that your business consistently delivers the best possible product or service while still meeting deadlines and staying within budget.

The first best practice is to always start with value. What is it that your customer or client needs or wants? You can ensure that everything you do meets your users' needs by beginning with value.

Next, you need to consider quality which is closely related to value. Remember never to sacrifice quality to meet a deadline or stay within budget. Always take the time to do things right, even if it means taking longer. Your customers will appreciate the extra effort, and it will pay off in the long run.

Finally, it would help if you kept an eye on constraints. Constraints include both time and money. It's essential to set realistic deadlines and budgets so that you don't find yourself cutting corners. By planning and being realistic about what you can achieve, you can avoid many pitfalls that can trip up businesses.

By following these simple best practices, you can ensure that your business consistently delivers the best possible product or service. By starting with value, keeping an eye on quality, and being realistic about constraints, you can keep your business on track and ensure that your customers are always happy.

Iron Triangle

The term "iron triangle" describes the relationship between quality, cost, and time in business.

This relationship is often a triangle. Each side of the triangle represents a different constraint your team will manage to improve the quality of a product or service.

The iron triangle of quality is a powerful tool for businesses to use when trying to improve the quality of their products or services.

By understanding the relationship between these three factors, businesses can more effectively manage them and ultimately improve the quality of their product or service.

Dangers of using the Iron Triangle in Program Management

The iron triangle of quality, cost, and time is a dangerous trap that businesses can fall into when improving their products or services. This trap occurs when companies focus on only one or two factors while ignoring the third. Neglecting any part of the iron triangle can lead to sub-par products or services, high costs, and long delivery delays.

Avoid this trap by focussing on all three factors simultaneously. The key is to find the right balance that meets the customer's needs while also being achievable for the business.

Finding the right balance can be difficult, but it is essential for businesses.

If this seems like a lot, take a deep breath.

You can make great products of the highest quality, delivered on time and at a reasonable cost with Scrum.

Agile Iron Triangle

The Agile Iron Triangle is an essential concept for applying Scrum and project management in the real world.

Here's why. Often, your customers will want more control over parts of the agile triangle, such as schedule. In addition, they will want your Scrum team to communicate about the schedule in a "non-Scrum" way.

Communicating about the schedule in a "non-Scrum" way can take many forms, but for simplicity, let's say they want you to use a Gantt Chart to communicate schedule. Now, you need to transform your backlog into a Gantt Chart.

Now you are in the Agile Iron Triangle. Your Scrum team uses the agile triangle of value, quality, and constraints, and your customer uses the iron triangle of cost, schedule, and performance.

Your job is to translate from the agile triangle to the iron triangle. You become the agile iron triangle as you turn your team's backlog into a Gantt Chart.

It's not ideal to be in the Agile Iron Triangle, but once you recognize your situation, you can meet your customers' needs and protect your team by translating between the agile and waterfall worlds.


If you're new to agile software development, the term "sprint" might be confusing.

A sprint is simply a set period during which specific work is completed and made ready for review.

Sprints are commonly used in agile software development methodologies, such as Scrum, as they allow teams to break down complex projects into manageable chunks and track their progress over time.

While sprint length can vary depending on the project and team, they are typically between two and four weeks long. At the beginning of a sprint, the team will agree on the goals for that period. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

During the Sprint, the team will work on completing the tasks necessary to achieve the sprint goals. At the end of the Sprint, the team will review their work and demo the completed functionality to the stakeholders.

If you're working on a project that uses sprints, you can expect frequent feedback and collaboration with your team. Sprints are a great way to break down complex tasks, track progress, and ensure everyone is on the same page.

Scrum Master

Scrum masters are responsible for ensuring that Scrum teams adhere to the scrum process.

They work with team members to help them understand and follow scrum principles, and they also help resolve any impediments that may arise. In addition, scrum masters are responsible for facilitating scrum ceremonies, such as sprint planning, sprint retrospectives, and product demos.

Product Owner

A product owner is responsible for a Scrum team's product vision and backlog. They are the ones who ultimately decide what features are in the product and the delivery order.

The product owner works closely with the development team to ensure that the product backlog is clear and achievable, and they also liaise with stakeholders to ensure that the product meets their needs.


As the world of work changes, the way we work must change. One of the most popular new ways of working is a scrum team.

A scrum team is a team of people who work together to get a job done. They work in short bursts of time, called sprints, and they work on a set of tasks, called a backlog. The backlog is the list of tasks to complete the job.

The scrum team works on the backlog in order of priority. First, the team decides how much work they can do in each Sprint. They then work on the tasks in the backlog until they have completed the Sprint.

Sprints are typically two weeks long. At the end of each Sprint, the team reviews their progress and decides what to do next. The team members are responsible for their work.

They decide how to do their work and when to do it. The team is self-organizing, which means that each member has a say in how the team works. The team is also self-managing, which means that each member is responsible for their work. Finally, the team completes the work and ensures the customer is happy with the results.

They can change the way they work based on the customer's needs. Scrum teams are a great way to get work done quickly and efficiently. They are also a great way to build teamwork and collaboration.


This tutorial taught that quality is everyone's responsibility on a Scrum team. You also learned that you might (or might not) need a dedicated quality person on your team, depending on your situation.

Are you stuck in the agile iron triangle?

Do you feel torn between your agile teams and your waterfall customers? Are you frustrated at the constant miscommunication and wasted time as you reformat reports late into the evening? We get it; it's hard to make agile work when your customer isn't at the same level of agile maturity as your team.

We can help. Why not book a free consultation to see how you can escape the agile iron triangle.

Yes, I want out. of the agile iron triangle

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