Know your Scrum Accountabilities Exercise

Understanding Scrum accountabilities is pivotal for the effective functioning of a Scrum Team. Misunderstandings can lead to inefficiencies and become impediments to achieving self-management. That’s why we often run a dynamic and interactive Scrum Accountabilities exercise aimed at exploring these accountabilities. This exercise is not just a game; it’s a catalyst for meaningful conversations and collective enlightenment.

This exercise serves as a powerful enabler for individuals to grasp some of the key principles of Professional Scrum. It’s not just about mechanical Scrum; it’s about understanding the how and why behind it. By fostering a collective understanding of Scrum accountabilities, this exercise becomes an invaluable asset for any Scrum Team aiming for self-management. and common alignment of understanding,

Who Should Play?

This exercise is not just for new teams; it can benefit:

  • Newly Formed Scrum Teams: For those just starting out, this exercise lays the groundwork for understanding Scrum accountabilities.
  • Teams Aiming for Self-Management: If your team is on the journey to becoming self-managed, this exercise can serve as a critical milestone.
  • Established Teams Needing a Reset: Even teams that have been working together for a while can drift or develop misunderstandings. Use this exercise to realign and recalibrate.
  • Teams Facing Role Confusion: If there’s ambiguity or confusion about roles and responsibilities, this exercise can bring much-needed clarity.

This exercise becomes an invaluable asset for any Scrum Team aiming to align or realign their understanding and help them become a team that is self-managed.

The Objective

The exercise aims to:

  • Facilitate a thought-provoking group discussion
  • Achieve a collective understanding of Scrum accountabilities
  • Gain deeper insights into the boundaries of each accountability
  • Uncover and rectify any misunderstandings within the team
  • Sets the stage for the team to become self-managed.

The Game Mechanics


  • Accountability (Blue Cards): The individual who is ultimately answerable for a given activity. They absorb the consequences if the task is not completed, whether they performed it or delegated it.
  • Responsibility (Pink Cards): Individual(s) responsible for completing an action, but it can’t be forced upon them.

Steps of the Exercise

Here’s a table detailing how to play the game:

1Distribute blue cards (Accountability) and pink cards (Responsibility) to team members.
2Team members place cards under the corresponding Scrum accountability: Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Developers.
3Open the floor for discussion.
4Debate and move cards as needed. Note: Do not duplicate any cards yourself!
5Reach a collective agreement.

Scrum Accountabilities Exercise Mural

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