56200Re: [scrumdevelopment] Team Consultants
- Nov 4, 2012Eric,
Take a look at #2 here: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/scrumdevelopment/message/55446
This team was sort of like the concept of Team consultants, with a few exceptions, the biggest being that they were an Agile/Scrum team of their own writing components.
Looking at Mitch's blog post on the concept, there are some things I like, and there are quite a few things I don't like.The biggest problem I have with this is that it smacks of a whole bunch of specialists who are matrixed to multiple teams. This isn't evil in and of itself so long as you recognize that this is a big impediment to Scrum/Agile that should be removed. IMO, Mitch's concept essentially condones matrixed specialists, so overall, I'm not inclined to be a fan. There are a couple of bright spots in that he mandates that the specialists be full-on responsible Scrum team members, but again, often matrixed. One of my other big dislikes is Mitch's repeated use of the term "project", again in a way that smacks of matrixed environments. I'm not saying Mitch's idea sucks, only that I have quite a few concerns with it.As far as I'm concerned, when "large specialties" happen, there is X number of important skills that are not widely held. IMO, there should be an aggressive program to reduce X to near zero. Anything that increases, or only slowly reduces X, should be eliminated as soon as possible.This might include:
- You mentioned pairing -- I like that idea quite a lot. Whether you do "casual pairing" or "paired programming," I like it. I think you'd get faster cross pollination with "paired programming"
- Mitch's article mentioned teaching. I'd like these specialists to be giving about one(or maybe more) presentation/learning session a month to any team that is interested in hearing more about the specialty.
- Strongly encouraging teams to eliminate their specialty skill deficit.
- Communities of Practice/Interest.
- Reducing organizational barriers to practicing such skills. For example, this might include giving more DBA permissions to more people, when it is safe to do so. If education and training are needed to make is safe, then do it!
- Training dollars to increase the number specialty skills that are more widely held
From: Eric Tiongson <tiongks@...>
To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Cc: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, November 4, 2012 10:57 AM
Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Team Consultants
That's exactly what I was thinking, I can't imagine consultants delivering stories by themselves. Or maybe I can ask consultants to always pair up with one of the core team members. Some of our teams are not (yet) into pair programming.
Thanks.Sent from my iPad
On Nov 5, 2012, at 1:17 AM, Michael James <mj4scrum@...> wrote:If I did that, I'd probably stipulate that those people need to act more as mentors and less as task executors.--mj(Michael)On Nov 4, 2012, at 9:11 AM, Eric Tiongson <tiongks@...> wrote:/luker-mode offI guess we've all been witness to this - too many projects and not enough specialized skills to go around or perhaps there's a small group of people who are always on demand because they are good at making things "work". For one reason or another you find yourselves seeing people being dragged from one project to another.I've been reading on The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice for Your First Year and in the book it describes creating a group of Team Consultants that can, in a way, "lend a helping hand" every now and then to core scrum teams.There's a blog post regarding this here - http://www.mitchlacey.com/blog/structuring-the-team-in-scrum-agile-projects. It explains the concept better than I can.This is exactly what our CEO and I have been discussing over the past few weeks, he wants a group of team consultants and I'm a bit hesitant. Call me old-fashioned but I always try (and mostly succeeded) in keeping the same group of people within the project from start to end.Have you guys done this, i.e. having Team Consultants within your projects? I have been a Team Consultant before but the engagements that I've been involved in (as a Team Consultant) are waterfall-ish and I can't quite picture in my head how this kind of arrangement would work with Scrum.Regards,Eric
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