Agile Team Roles and Responsibilities: A Complete Guide

Mila Chervenkova

Mila Chervenkova

Marketing Expert | Agile, Kanban & OKR Practitioner

Table of Contents:

What Are the Main Roles in Agile Teams?

In Agile, the roles and responsibilities within a team can vary slightly depending on the specific framework or methodology teams use. Unlike the traditional project management approach, the roles in Agile are not considered defined positions but a set of responsibilities that team members take. 

Several roles play an important part in the success of each Agile team. Regardless of the Agile methodology being used, the core principles of collaboration, self-organization, and delivering customer value remain consistent.  

Let’s delve into the leading roles and responsibilities of the most popular Agile methodologies. 

What Are the Main Roles and Responsibilities in Kanban? 

Unlike some other Agile management approaches, Kanban does not exclusively prescribe roles. Roles are not mandatory in Kanban because the method emphasizes flexibility and shared leadership within the team. Instead, Kanban focuses on visualizing and optimizing the workflow, allowing team members to self-organize and collaborate effectively to deliver work.  

Despite not being mandatory, there are 2 primary roles in Kanban - Service Delivery Manager and Service Request Manager. 

What Is the Role of the Service Delivery Manager? 

The Service Delivery Manager (SDM) plays a critical role in supporting the successful implementation and ongoing operation of Kanban within the team. Their main goal is to ensure the smooth flow of work items through the system. The SDM acts as a liaison between the Kanban team and stakeholders, ensuring that stakeholder expectations are understood and managed effectively. 

What Are the Main Responsibilities of a Service Delivery Manager? 

Here are some common responsibilities of a Service Delivery Manager in a Kanban environment: 

  • Optimizing workflow efficiency by spotting and resolving bottlenecks and impediments. 
  • Overseeing the team’s kanban board to improve processes and time to delivery. 
  • Monitors key performance metrics, such as lead time, cycle time, and throughput. 
  • Fosters a culture of continuous improvement, encouraging experimentation, learning, and adaptation. 
  • Facilitating Kanban cadences or meetings. 

What Is the Role of the Service Request Manager? 

The role of a Service Request Manager (SRM) is to ensure that the service requests are handled in the most optimal way. This includes prioritizing and processing them in a timely manner according to agreed-upon service level agreements (SLAs) or other relevant criteria. 

What Are the Main Responsibilities of a Service Request Manager? 

The most significant SRM responsibilities are: 

  • Managing the end-to-end service request flow. 
  • Managing process policies and consistency. 
  • Improving corporate governance.
  • Reducing the risk associated with a single individual. 
  • Serves as a point of contact for customers and stakeholders regarding service requests. 

What Are the Main Roles and Responsibilities in Scrum? 

There are three officially defined roles in a Scrum team: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Developer. The importance of each role in the team varies depending on the type and size of the team. A Scrum Master, for example, is usually only necessary for teams with more than nine people, while a Product Owner may not be necessary at all. 

What Is the Role of the Product Owner?

The role of the Product Owners in Agile Scrum teams is critical for the success rate of projects and teams' excellent performance. A Product Owner is a person who has the authority to make decisions and prioritize the product backlog. They ensure that the team is working on the right items. 

The Product Owner should be able to communicate with stakeholders about what's being built and manage and prioritize work for the team to ensure that customers' needs are met. 

What Are the Main Responsibilities of a Product Owner? 

Being in this position comes with many essential responsibilities to handle. Some of them are: 

  • Owning and managing the product backlog. They create PBIs (Product Backlog Items) based on customer requirements. 
  • Defining the product vision. 
  • Maximizing ROI. 
  • Writing and prioritizing user stories and epics. 
  • Creating acceptance criteria for work items. 

What Are the Benefits of Having a Product Owner on Your Scrum Team?

The key benefits of having a Product Owner on your Agile team are:

  • The Product Owner has a deep knowledge of customers' business, wants, and vision, which means they can adjust and respond to the evolving customers' needs accordingly.
  • They can be the liaison between engineering and business teams if there are any issues or misunderstandings between them.
  • The Product Owner can offer valuable insights to marketing and sales teams when they need information about the product.

What Is the Role of the Scrum Master?

The Scrum Master is the person who ensures smooth work development, facilitates the Scrum process and best practices, removes impediments, and ensures that the team adheres to Scrum practices. 

The Scrum Master plays the role of a mediator in the Scrum team. He assists product owners in defining customer demands and then communicating them with the development team. 

What Are the Main Responsibilities of a Scrum Master?

The 5 essential responsibilities of a Scrum Master on an Agile team are:

  • Providing leadership and guidance to the team;
  • Ensuring the team works together to achieve their goals;
  • Facilitate meetings for discussions (brainstorming new ideas, identifying problems, finding solutions);
  • Respond to any questions that may arise at any time;
  • Following and promoting the Agile workflow process.

What Is the Role of the Development Team Members?

A development team is a group of people who are responsible for building a product. Development team members are responsible for incrementally implementing requirements into a product, often in sprints or iterations. They are responsible for ensuring that the product is delivered and meets the customer's needs.

What Are the Most Common Roles in a Development Team?

  • Developers: Developers manage the programming, testing, and debugging of the product.
  • Designers: The responsibility of designing the product and its user interface lies with the designers.
  • Testers: Testers ensure that everything works as it should, both before and after release.
  • Quality Assurance (QA): QA is a team that monitors the quality of what is being produced by checking for bugs and other issues. QA software testing ensures that the software meets the customer's requirements and specifications and is free of bugs. It is an essential part of the software development process, as it helps in delivering high-quality software to customers.

Developers are the backbone of any software company. The skills of this team are important, as they need to be able to create an accurate and successful product in order for it to be worthwhile.

What Are the Additional Roles for Larger Scrum Projects?

In addition to the main roles in an Agile team, there are additional roles for larger Scrum projects, listed below.

  • An Integrator
  • An Independent Testing and Audit Team
  • Technical and Domain Experts
  • An Architect Owner

What Is the Role of the Integrator in Larger Scrum Projects?

Integrators are sometimes needed for large agile projects involving independent but closely coordinated subsystems. They are responsible for integrating subsystems and testing, which may be done by an external testing team. 

What Is the Role of the Independent Testing and Audit Team in Larger Scrum Projects?

During the product development lifecycle, an independent testing and audit team may work alongside Scrum team members.

What Is the Role of the Technical and Domain Experts in Larger Scrum Projects?

Technical and domain experts have the knowledge of technology and understand the wide variety of stakeholders' expectations and requirements.

What Is the Role of the Architect Owner in Larger Scrum Projects?

Architect Owners may be needed for architectural envisioning, decision-making, and planning. There may be multiple architecture roles in a single subteam working on the project's connected subsystems.

What Are the Main Roles and Responsibilities in Extreme Programming (XP)? 

Extreme Programming (XP) is a highly collaborative Agile software development framework in which team members work closely with the customer to deliver high-quality software incrementally. At its core, XP emphasizes customer satisfaction, continuous feedback, and rapid adaptation to changing requirements. 

The main roles in XP along with their responsibilities are listed below. 


The Customer, also known as the product owner, collaborates closely with the development team to define and prioritize user stories and requirements. They are actively involved in making decisions about product features and functionality. They also provides feedback and insights on the product increment during each iteration or release. 

XP Developer/ Programmer 

As part of the development team, the Developer is responsible for coding, testing, and incrementally delivering high-quality software. They work in short, time-boxed iterations, estimate stories, define tasks, and conduct unit testing and test-driven development. 

XP Coach 

The primary role of the Coach is to guide the team in implementing XP practices and principles. They oversee the flow of work, facilitate training sessions and workshops to introduce XP concepts and techniques, help the team overcome challenges, and provide mentorship and support to all team members.  

XP Tester 

The Tester’s role on the team is to run functionality tests and ensure that codes pass the testing criteria. 

XP Tracker 

The Tracker ensures that everything goes according to the initial plan. They often facilitate meetings between the customer and developers so they can address any changes to the product design and functionalities and resolve integration issues. 

What Is the Role of the Agile Coach? 

Behind every successful Agile transformation, an experienced Agile Coach stands, ready to guide and support teams and organizations on their journey to revolutionize how they manage their work.   

The main role of the Agile Coach is to introduce Agile principles and practices to teams shifting their traditional processes to the more flexible and adaptable approach of Agile.   

The Agile Coach is a valuable addition to teams. They help teams and organizations navigate the complexities of Agile adoption and transformation. They serve as guides, mentors, and change agents, helping team members unlock their full potential and achieve business agility. 

What Are the Main Responsibilities of the Agile Coach? 

The list of main responsibilities of an Agile Coach may vary depending on the nature and scale of implementation. Despite this, let’s sneak peek into the most common aspects of the Agile Coach’s role: 

  • Providing guidance in understanding and implementing the core principles and practices of Agile. 
  • Preaching the Agile way of thinking that promotes collaboration, knowledge sharing, and feedback exchange. 
  • Promoting a culture of continuous improvement. This commitment to ongoing learning and growth is a cornerstone of Agile, inspiring teams and individuals to strive for excellence and innovation. 
  • Helping teams and individuals develop essential Agile skills. 
  • Improving collaboration and communication within and across teams. They propose a culture of open communication and shared knowledge. 
  • Supporting organizational change by aligning everyone to work together toward achieving common organizational goals. 

What Is the Role of the Stakeholders in an Agile Team?

The stakeholders are those who have an interest in the project that is being undertaken. They can be internal or external to the organization, and they may have a financial, operational, or strategic interest in the project.

Internal stakeholders are those who work for the company that is developing the product. They include employees and managers, as well as other departments within the Agile organization.

External stakeholders are those who do not work for the company but have a stake in it. These may include customers, suppliers, partners, and investors.

The stakeholders are an important part of Agile teams as they provide valuable input on what should be done with the product and how to deal with any issues that arise during the course of development.

How Should You Build an Agile Team?

Open communication, collaborative teamwork, and continuous improvement are the three most important pillars of building a successful Agile team.

1. Open Communication for Better Process and Team Transparency

It won't be easy to adopt an Agile work environment overnight. The work needs to be overhauled, staff reorganized, and the company's culture changed. As the teammates adjust to their new work environment, there will be growing pains for the organization. Transparency by leadership is required to mitigate these issues. The organization will be able to dialogue freely during this transitional period by establishing clear processes and allowing staff to offer their input through survey questions and answers.

2. Find the Sweet Spot between Team Members and Daily Tasks

Agile teams require efficient collaboration, adaptation, and flexibility. This won't happen until you get the right people in place. To build an Agile team, you'll often need to break down and reorganize staff assignments. It is important for organizations to analyze the work styles and personalities of team members, including their strengths and weaknesses. This would result in forming a balanced team that will meet the project objectives and scope. Ensure that employees receive adequate support and feedback, as well as an appreciation of their competencies and interests.

3. Embrace Continuous Improvement

Each member of an Agile team adds value to the team and has a purpose. One of the biggest shifts comes from teaching people to embrace risk and learn from mistakes as a way to establish a culture of continuous improvement. Many mature organizations view failure as inherently bad, which can be challenging. Think about putting in place rules and practices that call out risks and opportunities for learning to overcome this challenge. Use meetings to thank team members for experimenting or discovering valuable learning insights to share with the whole organization.

Can an Agile Team Be Successful without the 4 Key Roles?

No, you can't have a successful Agile team without all four main roles. However, for smaller Agile teams, not all four roles must be present. For example, the role of the Product Owner may not be needed for small teams. In Kanban, the Product Owner's role will be covered by the team leader.

What Are the Tools to Enhance the Work of an Agile Team?

There are Agile tools that Agile teams use to support and enhance their daily work.

How Can You Ensure Collaboration Between the Roles in an Agile Team?

The roles, responsibilities, and expectations of each person in an Agile team must be clearly defined before starting a project so that everyone knows what they are expected to do. There must be enough time for communication between team members in order for them to understand each other's needs and goals.

Additionally, it is essential to conduct regular meetings about the progress of a project so that everyone is aware of what is happening. One way to have a quick overview of the work in progress and keep everyone aligned with the project status is by holding daily stand-up meetings.

Feedback loops in Kanban

Feedback loops in Kanban

Besides that, another common Agile practice is for teams across the organization to have their sync progress meeting. This is done through Agile ceremonies where internal and external feedback is collected to help teams adapt to emerging clients' and business needs and make better data-driven decisions.

Collaboration is the key to success in an Agile team. Team members should be able to work together and not just do their own jobs. They should be able to work with each other with a shared understanding of what they are doing. They need to have the same goals and expectations about the project.

Try Businessmap Free for 14 days



Mila Chervenkova

Mila Chervenkova

Marketing Expert | Agile, Kanban & OKR Practitioner

Mila is a seasoned marketing professional with a rich background in product marketing, content creation, and website optimization. Years of Practicing Kanban, Agile, and OKR practices have made her an expert in creating powerful productivity habits.