Disciplined Agile

Tactical Scaling Roles

At the team level we define ten roles that occur on delivery teams, five primary roles and five supporting roles. The five primary roles (Stakeholder, Team Member, Team Lead, Product Owner, and Architecture Owner) occur on delivery teams regardless of the situation faced by the team. The five supporting roles (Specialist, Independent Tester, Domain Expert, Technical Expert, and Integrator) are typically needed when delivery teams face one or more tactical scaling factors

The following table summarizes the specialist roles, and their responsibilities , that may appear at the team level of the DA™ tool kit to support tactical agility at scale

Table 1. Disciplined agile roles that support tactical scaling.

Role Responsibilities Process Blade(s) or Scaling Factor
  • Travels between sites, working at the location for a period of time before returning to their “home site”
  • Keeps communication between sites going
  • Helps to build relationships between people at disparate sites
Geographic Distribution
Boundary Spanner
  • Coordinates communication between geographically distributed sites
  • Looks for opportunities to help people at different sites to communicate with one another when needed
  • Works with boundary spanners at the other sites to promote collaboration between sites
Geographic Distribution
Chief Architecture Owner (CAO)
  • Leads the architecture team within a program
  • Effectively a Team Lead for the Architecture Owners within a program
  • Mentors and guides the architecture owners within a program
  • Guides the Architecture Owners through negotiating technical dependencies within a program
  • Works closely with the enterprise architecture team
  • Often takes on the role of Architecture Owner on one or more delivery teams
Program Management / Large Team
Chief Product Owner (CPO)
  • Leads the Product Owner team within a program
  • Effectively a Team Lead for the Product Owners within a program or a Product Manager for the program
  • Works closely with the Program Manager to allocate work between sub-teams
  • Mentors and guides the product owners within a program
  • Guides the Product Owners through negotiating functional dependencies
  • Works closely with the product management team
  • Often takes on the role of Product Owner on one or more delivery teams
Program Management / Large Team
External Auditor
  • Audits teams within your organization, or the entire organization itself, for compliance to industry regulations
  • Not an employee of your organization, they typically work for a government agency or for a professional services firm
  • They will assess you for compliance and report where, if at all, you need to improve
Regulatory Compliance
Internal Auditor
  • An auditor who works for your organization
  • They are very familiar with the applicable regulations
  • Teaches people about applicable regulations
  • Works with teams to help them identify what they need to do to be compliant
  • Assesses teams, potentially simulating an external audit, to determine level of compliancy
  • Works with external auditors to help them to gain access to the people and materials they require to audit
Regulatory Compliance
Program Manager/Coordinator
  • Organizes sub-teams within the program
  • Coordinates the activities within a large delivery team (program)
  • Collaborates with Product Owners to allocate and organize work amongst sub-teams
  • Collaborates with Architecture Owners to negotiate technical dependencies
Program Management
Project Manager
  • Manages or coordinates a project (even in organizations where you have long standing teams, also called product teams, you may still have projects that need to be managed)
  • Coordinates large portions of work (projects) that require several delivery teams to work on
  • Coordinates work (projects) across organizational boundaries
  • Coordinates work (projects) across organizations, particularly when the work is being done for a customer organization
  • Does NOT manage or direct members of an agile team
Organizational Distribution