Roles and Responsibilities (Reddit)

From Wayne's Dusty Box of Words

Here's what a typical sprint looked like for me as a full-time SM for a team whose responsibility was the integrations between various modules of a large system, we used 2-week sprints:


  • Facilitate stand up and follow up on blockers/impediments
  • Review team member's allocation/capacity and identify if someone is overloaded/underutilized and work with the team to adjust accordingly, may include working with PMs/SMs from other teams to borrow other team members as needed
  • Review Kanban/Scrum board and ensure all items are updated
  • Review burndown and identify any concerns; make adjustments to sprint if needed (move work into/out of sprint)
  • Ad-hoc calls with POs and team to discuss upcoming features and identify complexity/estimate/determine resourcing needs
  • Ad-hoc calls with other teams and SMs to coordinate dependencies
  • Ad-hoc resolution of impediments and blockers (e.g., follow up on new equipment or software requests, ensure coverage for team PTO, etc.)
  • Ensure follow through on improvements identified by the team during previous retros


  • Backlog refinement sessions with PO to define acceptance criteria, the definition of ready, prioritize the backlog
  • User story writing/splitting workshops with team to begin crafting user stories, acceptance criteria, the definition of ready, the definition of done for upcoming backlog items

Mid-sprint checkpoint

  • Review burndown and cumulative flow to identify any risks to meeting the commitment
  • Communication to POs and other dependent teams on our confidence in meeting commitments, identify any mitigation necessary

Pre-sprint planning

  • Review the backlog with the PO and the team to ensure that there is enough work defined to an appropriate level to cover capacity for the next sprint (including all elements such as user stories split to an appropriate size, all include acceptance criteria/DoR/DoD, meets S.M.A.R.T. goals, etc.)
  • Scrum-of-Scrums with other SMs to identify dependencies and coordinate our plans for the upcoming sprint, make any negotiations needed
  • Secure location/equipment for sprint planning session (book conference room, ensure there is a projector or large monitor available, make arrangements for food)
  • Coordinate travel arrangements for any off-site team members or arrangements for them to participate remotely

Sprint planning (Every 2 weeks)

  • Facilitate full-day planning session with the team
  • Assist team in taking each user story from the backlog and splitting it out into tasks (usually I would do this by writing each user story on an index card, grouping related cards together on the board, and walking the team through the steps/tasks necessary to complete the story and then transcribing those tasks onto sticky notes)
  • Assist team in estimating tasks
  • Ensure that all stories/tasks are updated on Kanban/Scrum board in the system of choice
  • Ensure that team leaves enough buffer in sprint velocity to account for production support/bugs
  • Ensure that all dependent work has dependencies clearly identified and tied to the appropriate story in another team's backlog
  • Final review of our full sprint commitment - ensure we are not over/under velocity, ensure all stories are fully tasked out and estimated
  • Communicate sprint commitment out to POs and other teams

Sprint Demo (Every 2 weeks)

  • Facilitate session with PO to demo all completed features/stories (ensure the room is booked, have needed equipment to project/share screens, etc.)
  • Confirm acceptance on completed stories
  • Ensure stories that were not accepted are updated, re-tasked to reflect the additional needed work, prioritized appropriately in the backlog
  • Communicate accepted/non-accepted work back out to POs, team, and impacted dependent teams

Sprint Retro

  • Facilitate sprint retro with the team only (NO POs!) (ensure the room is booked, have the equipment to screen share, etc.)
  • Ensure participation from all team members to define what went well, what didn't go well, what can be improved. How you actually choose to do this is up to you: you could just ask each person directly (boring, ineffective), use a game, ask team members to pair up and present together, etc. Many techniques to make the team more comfortable with sharing their concerns/failures. Just be creative and sensitive
  • Take time to celebrate the team's success and acknowledge individual team member's accomplishments
  • Ensure that the team develops concrete, tangible, actionable items for improvement
  • Document retro findings and communicate any follow-ups necessary