Team Practices Group/Roles and Responsibilities

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The Team Practices Group (TPG) was dissolved in 2017.

Agile Specialist[edit]

The Agile Specialist helps development teams to continually improve their sustainability, predictability, and ability to collaborate. Responsibilities include:

  • Serve as a Scrum Master as needed
  • Consult with teams on context appropriate processes and practices that support team health
  • Promote a culture of excellence in delivering outstanding software
  • Identify opportunities to continuously optimize and improve
  • Work closely with colleagues on the Team Practices Group on our own team goals and initiatives

Scrum Master[edit]

The Scrum Master is responsible for maintaining one or more teams’ processes and supporting each team in meeting its commitments. Responsibilities include:

  • Facilitate formal process activities for the team (lead Ceremonies, maintain Artifacts, etc)
  • Help the team improve their communication patterns
  • Facilitate a shared understanding of requirements and coordinate the associated work
  • Guide the team in the management of external dependencies, removal of blockers and escalation of risks/issues
  • Ensure that team status and progress are visible to all stakeholders
  • Apply appropriate metrics and processes to diagnose and improve team health
  • Enable the team to continually improve their ability to develop high-quality software
  • Increase predictability, sustainability, and transparency of the team
  • Help the team to manage scope and focus on value
  • Work closely with the Team Practices Group to:
    • Collectively evolve TPG vision and culture
    • Act as a sounding board and advisor to other members of the TPG
    • Identify and address key organization-wide issues related to team health (e.g. code debt, quarterly priorities)
    • Curate a list of organizational best practices around team health and usage of tools
    • Develop shared resources (e.g. Recommended Reading list, glossary, etc)
    • Help define quarterly team goals
  • Embody the spirit of the Agile Manifesto and Lean/Agile principles and model healthy behavior in areas like communication and pace
  • Participate in the Agile community within the organization and beyond

Agile Coach[edit]

The Agile Coach helps development teams select, implement, and improve their processes. The Agile Coach can perform all duties of a Scrum Master, and can also meet the following responsibilities for a team, either in addition to their own Scrum Master responsibilities or in conjunction with another person serving as Scrum Master:

  • Serve as a Scrum Master as needed
  • Analyze the process, culture, and dynamics of teams
  • Identify challenges caused by inappropriate, non-existent, or unnecessary processes
  • Guide a team to consensus as they select and adopt a set of new practices tailored to that team
  • Stay current with best practices in the Agile field and promote them as appropriate
  • Provide mentoring and training to development teams, Scrum Masters and Product Owners on wider aspects of Agile and Scrum, as well as educating functional managers and executives
  • Facilitate organizational mindset shifts associated with Agile transitions

Senior Agile Coach: Organizational Collaboration[edit]

This Senior Agile Coach works closely with departments, teams, groups, and individuals across the organization, and the rest of the Team Practices Group to identify, prioritize, and address bottlenecks in order to improve collaboration across all levels of the organization. The Senior Agile Coach can perform all responsibilities of an Agile Coach and also fulfills the responsibilities outlined below.

Responsibilities include:

  • Identify and prioritize when groups (including but not limited to departments and teams) are in conflict, and coach them towards resolution
  • Analyze the dynamics within organizational and group workflows
  • Stay current with best practices in the Agile field and organizational dynamics and promote them amongst the TPG, relevant organizational subunits, and the organization as a whole
  • Design and implement engagements with groups seeking support in improving collaboration, group functioning, and/or workflows, encompassing any aspects of process, morale, group engagement, relationships, trust, team building/development, etc.
  • Provide relevant mentoring and training within the Team Practices Group, to other teams, departments, Product Owners, managers, executives, and others
  • Facilitate increased agility and improved collaboration across the organization
  • Disseminate domain knowledge, practices, skills, and key learnings through blog posts, brown bags, workshops, and trainings, within the organization and in relevant communities of practice


The TPG Manager/Director is responsible for the staffing and operations of the team. Responsibilities include:

  • Personnel (including but not limited to: hiring, reviews, one-on-ones, professional growth, resolving escalated disputes, facilitating staff goals)
  • Determine team strategy and priorities, and ensure alignment with the missions of the team and the organizations
  • Represent the team to and interface with management
  • Identify and solicit teams that are candidates for TPG support
  • Assign TPG members to work with specific teams
  • Coach and support TPG team members
  • Facilitate and plan TPG offsites
  • Serve as an Agile Coach to the organization as a whole
  • Define annual goals of the team
  • Run TPG quarterly reviews with executive team
  • Budgeting