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Question on the "Full-time owner" question in Health Monitor

We used the Health Monitor now for a few months and it was really helpful identifying problems inside the team. However, we are struggling with understanding the "Full-time owner" question:

Who would be such a lead in a Scrum setting? From the wording, it cannot be someone from the Scrum team, because it would be strange if one individual would be accountable for the whole team. So is it the team lead? And why do you define 80%? What about small projects?

I would be really happy if you could point me to further documentation - I don't like to adjust the Health Monitor or to just skip that question.

1 answer

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Hello @niels.lohmann

If I understand correctly, your question revolves around the following:

"There is one lead who is accountable for the result of this project. This needs to be someone whose time is at least 80% dedicated to it, and who can champion the mission inside and outside of the team."

The understanding is that for a project to be successful there must be one person who is directly accountable for the project's evolution, vision and communication channel to and from stakeholders. These role tasks, as you can imagine, will easily take up someones working hours in order to be correctly prepared to lead and explain the state of affairs.

Who this is within a Scrum team, it would usually be the Team lead or Project owner. However, given how flexible I've seen teams scrum applying in the past, I can tell you that I've seen this role fall on technical leads as often as on product managers.

What does your team's structure look like?

Hi @Fernando Bordallo

thanks for the quick reply!

We have Scrum as working model, and several Scrum teams for a line team with a team lead as line manager, but also as technical lead.

In our working model, the product owner's job is the stakeholder management and the development of the product vision. I think it would be odd if he would alone be accountable for the project results - it would feel more natural to also add the development team to this. But this would be against the "one person" requirement.

The team lead could be accountable, because they may be the one that initiated the project in the first place, but also they are the one with the most power to influence the project; for instance by adding more people to it. But this would be against the "80% dedicated" requirement.

Am I overlooking anything?

Given the project structure, you present I think it mainly depends on the level at which you run the Health monitor session. What I mean to say is:

  • if an individual (sub-line) scrum team runs the health monitor, I would understand there is one person in that team that can be considered the 'full-time owner' of that particular team's mission
  • if the line team (the composition of scrum teams) runs the health monitor, I would also understand there is one person that is held accountable for the mission

It's all a matter of accountability clearly falling in "one set of hands". Regarding the 80%, it's an approximation of course that tries to represent a rule for success:

"If a team is to succeed in its mission, there needs to be someone dedicating their time to ensuring alignment and focus throughout the team's endeavor".

How are you currently setting levels of accountability for each sub-team and line team?

We are running the Health Monitor with the scrum team. It's hard to pin the missing to an individual there.

In fact, your question on accountability is a really good one, and I need to clarify this inside our company.

Like Fernando Bordallo likes this

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