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56201Re: [scrumdevelopment] Team Consultants

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  • Michael Mallete
    Nov 5, 2012
      I think you already have good insights on the matter and would encourage to pursue that.

      From experience, some worked, some did not.

      On a recent team I was involved with, management added a frontend guy to the team in order for them to jump start adding frontend to the project (mainly, the work is API for third party clients). What happened is instead of the team trying to learn from the consultant, the consultant took on all the frontend work. And then moved out. In the end, the team learned nothing and has no skills to work on future frontend work.

      On another team a few months back, the team was informed that there was a stored proc expert available to them. Given that information, the team decided on how to capitalize on that availability. What they did was to work on the db tasks, and asked advice from the stored proc expert afterwards. No one told them to do so. They just figured it out. Now, the team has stored proc capability.

      In the end, I would rather treat consultants as coaches who can accelerate the team's learning. It's for the team to decide how fast they can learn from them. Although I don't discount the possibility of consultants to actually commit some work. But would favor the former almost always.

      mike mallete

      On Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 1:11 AM, Eric Tiongson <tiongks@...> wrote:

      /luker-mode off

      I 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.



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