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57182RE: [scrumdevelopment] Concept of "work ahead" team

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  • Jesse Houwing
    Aug 31, 2013
      Keep in mind that these sessions are not only meant to get a clear backlog item, but also to transfer knowledge from the domain expert, stakeholders and po to all team members.

      Since the other team members have relatively recently started, they should have a gap in their domain knowledge, these sessions should give them a lit of insights when the contents are presented in a way that really explains them.

      It might feel like a lot of unrequired work to get the backlog in shape, but it is a lot of really needed work to get your team members in shape.

      Get them to ask questions. Get them,to ask the same question over and until you get to the real why. That way your team members will be able to understand and carry the vision in all their work.

      Sent from my Windows Phone

      From: Alex Pereira
      Sent: ‎29-‎8-‎2013 15:05
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Concept of "work ahead" team

      I Agree with Peter here. Although my Agile experience is far lower than a lot of people in this group, I came to realize that it probably depends on what stage of Agile the organization is, and also, the domain experience of developers/QA on the team.

      Take for example my current job (as a sr. dev), in which I have been for only 3 1/2 months - I was also hired for my previous experience as a Scrum Master. The company is in the early (really crawling) stages of Scrum, and the VP wants all developers/QA to participate in the backlog refining meetings. This is by far the worse arrangement, which I have been trying to persuade them to change.

      My team consists of:
      1 Team Lead/Sr. Dev - been here for over 5 years, so lots of domain knowledge
      1 Jr. Dev - been here about 2 years
      1 Mid Dev. - been here about 6 months
      1 Sr Dev (me) - been here about 4 months
      1 Jr. Dev - been here about 2 months
      1 Sr QA - been here for over 9 years, so lots of domain knowledge

      We have about 2-3 backlog refining meetings each week, and for the most part, with the exception of the team lead and QA, the rest of the team have very little input to give. Which means we are wasting time. I understand we have a lot of issues to overcome here, but for the context of this email, I will just stick with the "work ahead" team concept.

      Based on my past and my current experience, I think the best "lean" approach would be to have a group consisting of the most knowledgeable team members (team lead/sr. dev + QA), together with PO, UX, and other stakeholders create and expand user stories as much as they can. We could probably cut down meetings involving all devs/qa to 1 per week, in which we could discuss the approach to be taken (further refining) and also estimate. I believe this would be the most lean and optimal approach. 

      Alex Pereira
      http://www.brainstack.net/ (Professional Blog)

      From: Peter Trudelle <trudelle@...>
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Cc: Kurt Häusler <kurt.haeusler@...>
      Sent: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 8:43 PM
      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Concept of "work ahead" team

      While I largely agree with Kurt's characterization of the extreme
      version of such meetings, I think that that a simple form of them may be
      useful at early stages of an organization's transition to Agile.  I've
      recently set a couple of these up, calling them "Epic Time", but more
      along the lines of Customer Teams, or Three Amigos, to source and refine
      stories to ensure they are ready for the team to take up at Story Time. 
      The Scrum teams had been agonizing over stories that weren't ready,
      spending 30+ minutes per story trying to figure out what they might
      mean, with the POs trying to act as intermediary with
      customers/stakeholders, who were not engaging directly with the teams.
      These Epic Time meetings involve the PO, customers/stakeholders, SMEs,
      and team members sent by the team to represent development, testing, and
      user experience.  We try to ensure a flow of  higher-quality stories to
      the team, so as not to waste the entire team's time.


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