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A Day in the Life of the Scrum Team

A client recently asked me, “Can you tell me what the members of the Scrum team do day to day. What does an actual day in the life of a Product Owner, Developer, and Scrum Master look like?” Great question. Let’s break down what a typical day looks like for all these roles. Note that […]

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April 12, 2022

A client recently asked me, “Can you tell me what the members of the Scrum team do day to day. What does an actual day in the life of a Product Owner, Developer, and Scrum Master look like?” Great question. Let’s break down what a typical day looks like for all these roles.

Note that in Scrum, at the beginning of the sprint, the Product Owner, Developers, and Scrum Master will spend a good portion of the day in sprint planning. At the end of the sprint, they will spend a good portion of the day in sprint review and retrospectives. The examples below represent a sample day in the middle of a sprint, after sprint planning, but before end of the sprint.

Product Owner

A Product Owner focuses their time on three keys areas:

  1. Working outside the Scrum team. This involves working with their stakeholders, customers, users, subject matter experts, and the Product Owner’s leaders. The Product Owner works with this group to understand their needs, goals, and priorities. Plus, these people answer the Product Owner’s questions and have them validate what the team builds.
  2. Working with the Scrum team. This involves:
    1. Release planning
    2. Sprint planning
    3. Answering their questions
    4. Verifying and validating anything the team builds
    5. Sprint review
    6. Retrospective
  3. Product backlog refinement. This includes:
      1. Honing the product goal and roadmap
      2. Managing the product backlog
      3. Adding new product backlog items as they learn new needs
      4. Reprioritizing based on latest learnings and needs
      5. Splitting things up that are too big
      6. Ensuring that the items at the top of the backlog are ready to consume

Note that effective Product Owners ensure that they allocate a responsible amount of time to all three of those areas.

Take a look at a sample day in the life of the Product Owner:

8 a.m.: respond to emails

9 a.m.: attend daily Scrum. Note the Product Owner is optional for daily Scrum. They can attend, but they don’t have too. Also note we allocated 30 minutes here. Daily Scrum is only 15 minutes long (max), but the time right after daily Scrum is great for ad-hoc discussions, follow-ups, Q&A, and reviewing previous day’s work and items.

9:30 a.m.:  meet with Scrum Master to review how the team’s doing and get feedback on how they’re doing as Product Owner

10 a.m.: Verify and validate the user stories the team completed thus far in the sprint and answered some team questions

11 a.m.: Meet with stakeholders to understand and work through some new requirements

12 p.m.: Lunch

1 p.m.: Create new user stories, reprioritize a few product backlog items, and brief the Scrum team on these updates

2 p.m.: Meet with stakeholders to have them verify some of the work we completed

3 p.m.: Meet with leadership to brief them on product progress

4 p.m.: review where the team is in terms of progress on the sprint goal, the release goal, the roadmap milestones, and the product goal

Developers

Developers are the team members that provide the estimates and build the product.

Below is a typical day in the life of a developer.

8 a.m.: Respond to emails

9 a.m.: Attend daily Scrum. Note we allocated an hour here. Daily Scrum is only 15 minutes long (max), but the time right after daily Scrum is great for ad-hoc discussions, follow-ups, Q&A, and reviewing previous day’s work and items.

10 a.m.: Meet with Product Owner to review new user stories and provide estimates

10:30 a.m.: Meet with Product Owner and a selected stakeholders to review completed items

11 a.m.: Work on their user stories

12 p.m.: Lunch

1 p.m.: Work on their user stories

3 p.m.: Attend workshop by Scrum Master on effective estimation techniques

4 p.m.: Peer review teammates’ work

Scrum Master

The Scrum Master is the team coach. They work with the Product Owner, the Developers, and the organization to help them be the most effective in the Scrum framework. Scrum Masters are focused on ensuring the team is working effectively in the Scrum framework, impediments are being removed, the team is continuously improving, and the team has an environment of transparency, inspection and adaptation

Below is a sample day in the life of a Scrum Master:

8 a.m.: Review emails and review the team’s Scrum board

9 a.m.: Attend daily Scrum

10 a.m.: Remove impediments they are tracking

11 a.m.: Work with Product Owner on improving how they write user stories

12 p.m.: Lunch

1 p.m.: Hold workshop on helping team improve estimates

2 p.m.: Facilitate requirements gathering session

3 p.m.: Facilitate team requirements review session

4 p.m.: Meet with members of Scrum team for a series of one-on-one sessions

While the details each day may change, these typical schedules can shed some light into what an average experience on a Scrum team entails. To learn more about the Scrum roles and see more examples, please join us for certified Scrum Master, certified Product Owner, and/or certified Scrum Developer trainings.

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