What do we do when we have missing expertise in the Scrum Team?

What do we do when we have missing expertise in the Scrum Team?

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:

  • Join the Mental Model Dōjō Learning Community

    Upcoming Dōjō Session

    The Art of Upward Management with Authenticity – Building Productive Relationships with Demanding Leaders

    Community Sign-Up

    Join our Mental Model Dōjō learning community and receive Knowledge Base and YouTube channel updates and invitations to community events.

    Joining the the Mental Model Dōjō learning community is free. Agile Organization Development, managed by Lifecycle Pte. Ltd., is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy, and we’ll only use your personal information to administer your account and to provide the products and services you requested from us. From time to time, we would like to contact you about our products and services, as well as other content that may be of interest to you. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information on how to unsubscribe, our privacy practices, and how we are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy, please review our Privacy Policy. By clicking submit, you consent to allow Lifecycle Pte. Ltd. to store and process the personal information submitted.

Follow Coach Takeshi:

Takeshi Yoshida, Founder & Chief Coach, Agile Organization Development

About Agile OD: We are a tribe of learning professionals that help organzations succeed in change, transformation, innovation | Coach Takeshi bio & credentials