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27649Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Estimating When Several Platforms Are Involved

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  • Phil Shrimpton
    Mar 1, 2008

      > In situations like the one you describe the team coach, or scrum master
      > needs to encourage those who believe they are 'done' (they are not done,
      > in fact as no one is done until the story is done) to find ways of
      > supporting the ones who still have work. This could be in pairing,
      > writing customer acceptance tests, or simply acting as team gophers.
      > They do whatever it takes. In the longer term you'll want to find ways
      > that team members can better understand each others' work so they are
      > able to step in and support as required.

      This is what I am having problems with. Our systems are made up of three distinct technology platforms, and when hiring staff we have gone for quality over quantity, so all members of the team have between 8 and 12 years + of experience of their respective 'technologies'.

      The team has been working together for a number of years and each person does have a good understanding (and respect) of what is involved it the others work. What I can't see happening is saying to my (expensive) Oracle DBA of 12 years, "There is not enough Oracle work for you this sprint, but Fred is struggling to get all the Icon sets done, can you help him draw some pictures", or saying to our experienced UI people "There are no screens to do, but Billy needs some help creating a distributed message queue with shared cache".

      The make up of the team is such that over the lifetime of a project there is enough work in each of their areas to keep them busy 'full time', I just can't see how getting people to do 'other peoples' work is not going to affect productivity and costs. The UI guys are some of the best I have ever worked with and I have a lot of respect for them, but I probably would not let them anywhere near the backend code, and even if I did it would take them 10 times longer than the 'backend developers'.

      I can certainly see how the cross-functional could work with a more general team of less experienced developers who are used to doing a 'bit of everything', its working with a team of experts on a project with a diverse technology mix is what I am struggling with.

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