Scrum Team — I-Shaped vs T-Shaped People

Warren Lynch
Feb 15 · 2 min read

Some people have deep specializations in one domain, but rarely contribute outside of that domain. These people are known in agile communities as “I-shaped people” since, like the letter “I,” they have depth, but not much breadth. By contrast “T-shaped people” supplement their expertise in one area with supporting, but less-developed skills in associated areas and good collaboration skills.

Scrum Team — I-Shaped vs T-Shaped People

As an example, a person who can test some areas of the product and develop different areas of the product is considered to be a T-shaped person as shown in the above Figure.

A T-shaped person has a defined, recognized specialization and primary role, but has the skills, versatility, and aptitude for collaboration to help other people when and where necessary. This collaboration reduces hand-offs and the constraints of only one person being able to do the job.

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