On the recurring, practical question of what to do when there are missing skills and expertise in the cross-functional Scrum Team:
- Yes, it’s true that the Scrum Guide says “Cross-functional teams have all competencies needed to accomplish the work without depending on others not part of the team.”
- Of course, we’re not God. We don’t know everything. In the age of networked knowledge workers, reaching out to experts and seeking their help is a competency in itself.
- Scrum Development Team (DT) members can use the help of subject matter experts (SME) in two ways. DT members can seek advice to the SME, try learning and do the expert task themselves, or they can engage the SME to do the expert task.
- The key is that the DT still owns and is accountable for the expert task, not the SME. There’s no such thing as “temporary team members” in Scrum; the SME remains outside of the Scrum team.
Hope this clarifies.
Two excellent follow up reads: