How to pick a Scrum team

Oct 28, 2008  ·  Sandy Mamoli

I was recently asked by a friend how to pick an Agile team.

My friend is a project manager within a New Zealand government department and to deliver an important project he was given complete freedom of choice with regards to project methodology and people.

He chose Agile and Scrum as a delivery framework and needed 8 people to form his dream team. The big question was which people to pick and which skills to focus on.

I've never been fortunate enough to pick my own scrum team. Normally, I get a certain degree of choice and then a combination of who happens to be available and people who I really, really fight for. And sometimes I fight to avoid getting someone on the team.

Having complete freedom I think I'd focus on:

  1. Personality and work attitude - people who are solution oriented, like to deliver, like to succeed, are easy to work with, can communicate and just get the job done

  2. People who like each other or have a chance of getting along, i.e. have respect for each other and can have fun together

  3. Absolutely no primadonnas: We can all be flexible and accommodate a lot but the lone genius who lives by his own rules just does not work (I usually remove them and I have never regretted it)

  4. People who are confident enough to handle the visibility and transparency that come with Scrum

Sure, people should be qualified and good at what they do but it is much easier to teach people skills than to perform personality transplants.


Tags: Agile, Team.