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10983Reforming teams based on Product Owner priorities

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  • Clinton Keith
    Jan 4, 2006

      Yesterday, our product owner asked that we focus our teams on delivering wider vertical slices of the video game that we are making.


      Previously we delivered working software that demonstrated incremental improvements in the following areas:

      -         Artificial Intelligence – bad guys doing stuff

      -         Levels/Worlds – Where the action takes place

      -         Gameplay mechanics – What the main character does.


      We all feel that the problem with having such teams is that there we are still postponing understanding of the true value of our game by having these areas separate and integrating technology later rather than earlier.  The new teams would be divided into developing all of the areas above in the separate major gameplay mechanics e.g.:

      -         The driving portion of the game

      -         The “sneaking around and doing spy stuff” portion of the game.

      -         The hand-to-hand combat portion of the game.


      This mixes things up a bit.  For example, each team would need Artificial Intelligence applied.


      Here’s the question:

      Since game development requires a lot of specialists (artists, programmers, designers, etc).  We still have to consider who goes where (I’ll avoid using the word ‘resources’).  It’s a major reorganization of teams.  What is the best way to let these 50 people self organize into these teams?  The first impulse was to “command and control” it and assign people into the teams.  This isn’t the Agile way.  However, tossing people into a room and telling them to figure it out doesn’t seem very effective either.

      Any advice is appreciated!





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