Scrum Foundations Course – Cross Functional and Self-Organizing Teams

Cross Functional and Self-Organizing Teams


Next: Scrum Roles

Scrum Teams are self-organizing and cross-functional. These characteristics are often misunderstood, so let’s talk about what they mean in the context of Scrum.


A Scrum Team is self-organizing, meaning that the team chooses how best to accomplish their work, rather than being directed by others outside the team. Within the Scrum framework, the team has total autonomy to choose how things get done.


How do you estimate in Scrum? … Ask the Team.
What technical practices should be used? … Ask the Team.
What tools should we use to track our work? … Ask the Team.
How is work distributed during the Sprint? … Ask the Team.

The traditional approach to organizing teams is to do so by skillset or job title. For example, all of the researchers might be on one team, sales, on another, engineering another, and marketing on yet another team. This structure results in a “relay race” approach to delivering new products and
services, which impedes speed, flexibility, and quality.


Instead, Scrum Teams are cross-functional, meaning that the members of the team have all competencies needed to accomplish the work without depending on others not part of the team.