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Re: Managing multiple backlogs

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  • Victor Szalvay
    I don t like that you have a single team working on more than one product, especially when you also have many teams working on each product. Productivity
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 4, 2006
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      I don't like that you have a single team working on more than one
      product, especially when you also have many teams working on each
      product. Productivity drops off beyond two or so projects per team,
      so it is not an effective practice to load teams up with many products
      (does anyone have a reference to this study?).

      It is normal, and often necessary, to scale up the number of teams
      working on a single product. Scaling can be done along functional
      lines or according to the architecture layers. However, scaling is a
      last resort because it increases the complexity of the overall effort
      by adding interface points and additional formality (such as the scrum
      of scrums). I think Fowler said that the last thing you want to do is
      scale an agile project.

      That said, here you have a case you're scaling the number of teams
      when each team seemingly has cycles to spare because they are working
      on other projects!

      Is there a reason why you're doing this? Do you have teams set up
      along functional lines or by role? If by role then you should instead
      create entirely self-contained (or as close as possible)
      cross-functional teams that can focus on a single project.

      Hope this helps,

      -- Victor Szalvay
      Danube Technologies, Inc.
      http://danube.com

      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "dpierce3353" <dan@p...> wrote:
      >
      > We started implementing SCRUM 6 mos. ago with a single team that was
      > working on more than one program (product). We only maintained one
      > backlog so this was more literally a "team" backlog instead of a
      > product backlog because it contained all of their work.
      >
      > Now we are rolling out SCRUM to the rest of the department and have
      > at present 4 teams. Unfortunately, we have maintained our "team"
      > backlog approach whereby work is assigned to teams which is put on
      > their backlogs. So backlogs have items that are from different
      > programs. A program's 'backlog' is spread amongst several 'team'
      > backlogs. Finally, teams are working more than one program.
      >
      > My assumption is that we are doing this wrong. We should have one
      > backlog per program and teams should be burning down a single
      > program's backlog. My question to the group is: Do I have this
      > right? We have some internal disagreement on this point.
      >
      > Thanks in advance,
      >
      > Dan Pierce.
      >
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