A pyramid is used here as a visualization of the evolution of a Scrum team. This pyramid was designed for Scrum but can be adapted to any other framework or work methodology. The goal is to create a pyramid by setting our own criteria for each level. It is a work to be done with the team, it is not a Scrum Master exclusive or team manager.

By team I meant Scrum team and not Development team. So we have to take into account the Scrum Master and the Product Owner.

The pyramid I will describe here represents my own vision.

After being created, the team goes through a stage of formation and maturity, towards excellence.

The Childhood

At the base of the pyramid we have the team that is starting in Scrum. It may has members that already know Scrum (the Scrum Master is one of them) but what we want here is to look at the team as a whole. Nevertheless these elements are a valuable help to the growth of the remaining.

The Development team plans a sprint in a very lightly way, that is, much with the spirit of “we’ll see” or “it will work”. They start by being overly optimistic, but when they realize that they can´t do everything they thought during that sprint, they tend to be too pessimist.

In addition to the difficulties in meeting the sprint plan, these teams have difficulties in doing a self-analysis; they don’t feel comfortable with each other. When a team does a self-analysis she is analyzing an action and not a person, but they still don’t understand this very well. In this stage the team members are afraid of criticism and therefore they don’t do it.

Finally, the daily meetings follow the guide of the three questions, without taking any advantage of it: What did I do yesterday? What am I going to do today? What prevented me from moving forward?

At this stage, the teams are in full learning and exploration mode. It is a phase of experimentation.

Formation

This team has been working for some time together with Scrum. They already know their velocity and their difficulties, so they’re planning more safely. A planning session may takes longer than is desirable, but they can deliver committed work in most sprints without resorting to pessimistic estimates.

Refinement, or Grooming, begins to look like some useful sessions with outcomes. Together with Planning, it allows the team to make commitments with greater security and confidence.

Also Reviews, or Demos, begin to make more sense. Presentations are prepared and there is active participation of the Product Owner and other Stakeholders.

Unlike the immature teams, these teams begin to self-critique, identify some difficulties and seek improvement actions, but still not at ease. Team members, including Product Owner and Scrum Master, understand that they are part of a whole, where everyone can and should contribute.

In the daily meeting, team members no longer speak directly to the Scrum Master and the Product Owner plays its primary listener role and shows himself available to the team. However, the Scrum Master still helps the team identify problems, keeps pace with the meeting, so it does not exceed 15 minutes, and encourages them to do the planning for the day.

The team continues to learn and adapts this information to their daily life, becoming aware of this adaptation.

Maturity

This is a credible team. The client has confidence in the team because it fulfills their commitments. The customer participates more in reviews and other sessions with the Product Owner.

The team knows how to take advantage of a Grooming, getting a prioritized and detailed product backlog for the nearest sprints.

The review is used not only to present what was done in the sprint but also to discuss possible improvements, to talk about what will be done in the next sprints and to review the release burndown.

The Retrospective session is shared by all. Improvements are identified to be made and are effectively carried out. The team is able to celebrate successes.

Also the daily meeting is done with the active participation of the elements of the Development team, discussing the problems encountered and planning the work day. The sprint burndown is one of the tools used and is always up to date. The presence of the Scrum Master is not noticed and he can be absent from some of these meetings without hurting the team.

The team is comfortable with the entire Scrum Framework. It is an experienced team that already makes decisions and evaluates their impact.

Excellence

A team of excellence is beyond our expectations.

The team is able to increase its productivity and deliver more value to the customer. To do this, it takes full advantage of the planning, grooming, and daily meeting sessions so everyone knows exactly what to do, where they have to intervene more quickly, and what resources are needed to accomplish each task.

This team is always looking for ways to improve, and promotes learning and recognition of its elements. They know they have to create moments of relaxation and moments to innovate.

“Conflicts” are managed by the team without affecting their performance. The Scrum Master has a less direct role, less Facilitator and more Coach, always challenging the team to overcome.

Model team, therefore, influencing other teams and the organization.

The Pyramid

Pyramid

The different stages of development in Scrum are not steps, they are sets of skills and attitudes that characterize the teams at a certain stage of their growth.

What is your vision?