Is there a healthy interval for ratio between developers and non-developers in a SCRUM team?



  • I have recently read https://orbit-kb.mit.edu/hc/en-us/articles/206445976-What-is-a-good-ratio-between-developers-and-software-quality-assurance-people- about a good ratio between developers and software quality assurance people and I am wondering if there is a similar concept for developer / non-developers in a SCRUM team.

    This is caused due to the fact that current and previous work contexts for me is very different:

    • old context - SCRUM team of 5-6 developers, one tester (test cases, some manual testing), one tech-lead (highly technical, most of the time spent writing code, significant fraction during mostly technical meetings), the PO, one people manager that manages three SCRUM teams in total, a fraction of a SCRUM master. People manager is typical "formerly technical", but writes no code in this role

    • current context - SCRUM team of 2-3 developers, 1/2 tester (i.e. also involved in another project), one "team leader" that should handle people manager tasks and spend a significant fraction tackling stories (i.e. writing code), the PO. The team leader is typically involved in so many meetings (both technical and non-technical) that they spend less than 10% of their time writing code

    After working more than one year in each setup, I feel that the first context that has a lower ratio of non-developers to developers is significantly more efficient.

    Another source of inefficiency for the second text might be related to having the same person work in both "interrupted mode" (meetings, discussions, etc.) and "focused-mode" (continuous-time allocated to a single activity such as coding), but that's outside of current question focus.

    Are there any recommendations related to the ratio between developers and non-developers in a SCRUM team?



  • The only ratio you will find is 1 Product Owner and 1 Scrum Master per development team.

    Anyone in a Scrum team (besides PO and SM) should strive to be a developer.

    A developer may have several different duties, though. Some will be more tech-oriented and thus helping defining the architecture. Some will be more people-oriented and take the burden of representing the team on discussions with other peers. Some will be more focused on making sure the quality of the software is good.

    But all are developers.

    If you have a QA in your team that does no coding, your team may not have developed the necessary skills to assure quality of deliverables.




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