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Re: [scrumdevelopment] Single backlog per team

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  • Joakim Karlsson
    ... Ideally, I think it s best to have one team working on one project only. That said, I guess it could work to have one backlog spanning several projects.
    Message 1 of 10 , Dec 2, 2007
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      On Dec 2, 2007 4:13 PM, gzgruber <gilad.gruber@...> wrote:
      >
      > Our teams sometimes have multiple projects. I am wondering what is the
      > best way and what is the SCRUM way of handling this. My feeling is that

      Ideally, I think it's best to have one team working on one project
      only. That said, I guess it could work to have one backlog spanning
      several projects. But I think that would require that you have the
      same PO for all projects. Someone that can prioritize all work for the
      team.

      --
      Regards,
      Joakim Karlsson
      http://www.jkarlsson.com/blog
    • gzgruber
      Hi Tim, Team is OK with this, it prevent the fragmentation BR, Gilad ... is the ... is ... means ... the
      Message 2 of 10 , Dec 2, 2007
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        Hi Tim,

        Team is OK with this, it prevent the fragmentation

        BR,

        Gilad

        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Mike Vizdos <mvizdos@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > What does the team think?
        >
        > Thank you,
        >
        > Mike
        > Www.implementingscrum.com
        > Www.michaelvizdos.com
        >
        >
        > On Dec 2, 2007, at 10:13 AM, "gzgruber" <gilad.gruber@...> wrote:
        >
        > > Mates,
        > >
        > > Our teams sometimes have multiple projects. I am wondering what
        is the
        > > best way and what is the SCRUM way of handling this. My feeling
        is
        > > that
        > > the best way is to have a single backlog per team (even if this
        means
        > > that in a sprint the team is working on backlog items belonging to
        > > multiple projects). I think the purists will recommend splitting
        the
        > > team and having multiple backlogs.
        > >
        > > Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated
        > >
        > > BR,
        > >
        > > Gilad
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
      • kaverjody
        Hi Gilad, I think your backlog means product backlog , right? Then I against the idea of having a single product backlog per team. First, product owner is
        Message 3 of 10 , Dec 2, 2007
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          Hi Gilad,

          I think your "backlog" means "product backlog", right?

          Then I against the idea of having a single product backlog per team.
          First, product owner is the person who can decide the format of
          product backlog. And basically I think you do not have a single
          product owner for different projects. Second, the product backlog is
          constructing based on priority, how you construct the product backlog
          among projects? Then you mess up the backlog with project priority,
          which not directly relate to customer requirement priority.

          Based on the assumption you have to work on different projects in
          same sprint, my suggestion is :

          You should have your team's capacity estimated, then perhaps you need
          to negotiate with project managers about capacity division among
          projects. Then use your project specific capacity to select product
          backlog items for different projects.

          Best Regards,
          Xu Yi-Kaveri


          --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "gzgruber"
          <gilad.gruber@...> wrote:
          >
          > Mates,
          >
          > Our teams sometimes have multiple projects. I am wondering what is
          the
          > best way and what is the SCRUM way of handling this. My feeling is
          that
          > the best way is to have a single backlog per team (even if this
          means
          > that in a sprint the team is working on backlog items belonging to
          > multiple projects). I think the purists will recommend splitting
          the
          > team and having multiple backlogs.
          >
          > Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated
          >
          > BR,
          >
          > Gilad
          >
        • Roy Morien
          Given that a project is really just a collection of apparently associated activities, probably intending to achieve a common outcome, then I think that is
          Message 4 of 10 , Dec 2, 2007
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            Given that a 'project' is really just a collection of apparently associated activities, probably intending to achieve a common outcome, then I think that is what should be in the Product Backlog. If there are other activities that have no relevant association, then perhaps they should be in another Product Backlog.
             
            I think one major influence on this is to do with the changeover effort and setup time needed for team members to move from one activity to another. It is clearly inefficient and wasteful if the team is moved to something else that has no relevance to what they are currently doing. Perhaps this is the benchmark that you should apply to deciding your 'projects' and the associated Product Backlog.
             
            Of course, for those teams that are predominantly doing maintenance and 'on request' type development, where service requests come in almost on adhoc or asynchronous basis, then there may be no escaping the need for such changeover and setup times, and everything goes into a common Product Backlog.
             
            But in all of this, common sense must prevail, surely. If it is convenient and efficient to have many teams, each with its own PB, then fine, go for it. Each PB will have to be separately prioritised. If a common backlog that is shared by many teams, then that implies that many teams, of appropriate numbers each (7-9 maximum) share the same PB, and then it just becomes a problem of handling the prioritising of the PB, AND of the orderly selecting of items to go onto the various Sprint Backlogs.
             
            Yes?  No?
             
            Regards,
            Roy Morien.





            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            From: yi.xu@...
            Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2007 05:46:20 +0000
            Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: Single backlog per team

            Hi Gilad,

            I think your "backlog" means "product backlog", right?

            Then I against the idea of having a single product backlog per team.
            First, product owner is the person who can decide the format of
            product backlog. And basically I think you do not have a single
            product owner for different projects. Second, the product backlog is
            constructing based on priority, how you construct the product backlog
            among projects? Then you mess up the backlog with project priority,
            which not directly relate to customer requirement priority.

            Based on the assumption you have to work on different projects in
            same sprint, my suggestion is :

            You should have your team's capacity estimated, then perhaps you need
            to negotiate with project managers about capacity division among
            projects. Then use your project specific capacity to select product
            backlog items for different projects.

            Best Regards,
            Xu Yi-Kaveri

            --- In scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com, "gzgruber"
            <gilad.gruber@ ...> wrote:
            >
            > Mates,
            >
            > Our teams sometimes have multiple projects. I am wondering what is
            the
            > best way and what is the SCRUM way of handling this. My feeling is
            that
            > the best way is to have a single backlog per team (even if this
            means
            > that in a sprint the team is working on backlog items belonging to
            > multiple projects). I think the purists will recommend splitting
            the
            > team and having multiple backlogs.
            >
            > Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated
            >
            > BR,
            >
            > Gilad
            >




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          • Wolfgang Schulze Zachau
            That is the way we handle this situation. We have one team and one product backlog covering a variety of projects. There is one product owner and he is the
            Message 5 of 10 , Dec 3, 2007
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              That is the way we handle this situation. We have one team and one product backlog covering a variety of projects. There is one product owner and he is the ultimate decider on priorities, after careful consultation with the customers and other stakeholders. Works well, as long as the PO is left to make his own decisions. As soon as he is meddled with, things tend to go astray. We (as a company) have learned from that and now he is mostly left alone. Of course, you need thr right kind of guy to be PO. Somebody who is truly impartial and cannot be bought. And he needs a bit of brains.
               

              Regards,

              Wolfgang

               


              From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Joakim Karlsson
              Sent: 02 December 2007 16:29
              To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Single backlog per team

              On Dec 2, 2007 4:13 PM, gzgruber <gilad.gruber@ gmail.com> wrote:
              >
              > Our teams sometimes have multiple projects. I am wondering what is the
              > best way and what is the SCRUM way of handling this. My feeling is that

              Ideally, I think it's best to have one team working on one project
              only. That said, I guess it could work to have one backlog spanning
              several projects. But I think that would require that you have the
              same PO for all projects. Someone that can prioritize all work for the
              team.

              --
              Regards,
              Joakim Karlsson
              http://www.jkarlsso n.com/blog

            • gzgruber
              Hi Wolfgang, This is indeed the state I would like. We do have 1 PO for multiple projects and it seems like the correct way to handle. BR, G ... product ...
              Message 6 of 10 , Dec 3, 2007
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                Hi Wolfgang,

                This is indeed the state I would like. We do have 1 PO for multiple
                projects and it seems like the correct way to handle.

                BR,

                G

                --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Wolfgang Schulze Zachau"
                <wolfgang@...> wrote:
                >
                > That is the way we handle this situation. We have one team and one
                product
                > backlog covering a variety of projects. There is one product owner
                and he is
                > the ultimate decider on priorities, after careful consultation with
                the
                > customers and other stakeholders. Works well, as long as the PO is
                left to
                > make his own decisions. As soon as he is meddled with, things tend
                to go
                > astray. We (as a company) have learned from that and now he is
                mostly left
                > alone. Of course, you need thr right kind of guy to be PO. Somebody
                who is
                > truly impartial and cannot be bought. And he needs a bit of brains.
                >
                >
                > Regards,
                >
                > Wolfgang
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > _____
                >
                > From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                > [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Joakim
                Karlsson
                > Sent: 02 December 2007 16:29
                > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Single backlog per team
                >
                >
                >
                > On Dec 2, 2007 4:13 PM, gzgruber <gilad.gruber@
                > <mailto:gilad.gruber%40gmail.com> gmail.com> wrote:
                > >
                > > Our teams sometimes have multiple projects. I am wondering what
                is the
                > > best way and what is the SCRUM way of handling this. My feeling
                is that
                >
                > Ideally, I think it's best to have one team working on one project
                > only. That said, I guess it could work to have one backlog spanning
                > several projects. But I think that would require that you have the
                > same PO for all projects. Someone that can prioritize all work for
                the
                > team.
                >
                > --
                > Regards,
                > Joakim Karlsson
                > http://www.jkarlsso <http://www.jkarlsson.com/blog> n.com/blog
                >
              • George Dinwiddie
                ... Surely the Product Owner (or Product Owner Team, if it s multiple individuals) *can* prioritize a single backlog that encompasses multiple projects. Can
                Message 7 of 10 , Dec 3, 2007
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                  kaverjody wrote:
                  > Hi Gilad,
                  >
                  > I think your "backlog" means "product backlog", right?
                  >
                  > Then I against the idea of having a single product backlog per team.
                  > First, product owner is the person who can decide the format of
                  > product backlog. And basically I think you do not have a single
                  > product owner for different projects. Second, the product backlog is
                  > constructing based on priority, how you construct the product backlog
                  > among projects? Then you mess up the backlog with project priority,
                  > which not directly relate to customer requirement priority.

                  Surely the Product Owner (or Product Owner Team, if it's multiple
                  individuals) *can* prioritize a single backlog that encompasses multiple
                  projects. Can they do it easily? Probably not. Can they be 100% sure
                  that the priority is the best? Probably not. But they can do it and
                  give their best guess as to the business priority order of the backlog
                  stories. They may mix stories from various projects as they best see fit.

                  This, while perhaps not optimal, is workable--and it's greatly preferred
                  to having multiple backlogs for a single team, and pushing the
                  priorities down to the decisions of the technical level. Does the
                  company want the developers deciding which project is most important at
                  the moment? Probably not, but I've seen POs operate in this fashion
                  because it was easier for them than negotiating with the other POs. In
                  other words, rather than make explicit decisions on business value, they
                  used the development team as a tool to compete with other POs.

                  > Based on the assumption you have to work on different projects in
                  > same sprint, my suggestion is :
                  >
                  > You should have your team's capacity estimated, then perhaps you need
                  > to negotiate with project managers about capacity division among
                  > projects. Then use your project specific capacity to select product
                  > backlog items for different projects.

                  I've seen this result in exactly the situation I mention above. As
                  estimates are only estimates, the developers are put in a position of
                  deciding whether to continue working on an unfinished story or switch to
                  something different because they've used up the capacity allotment. Or
                  perhaps they're pressured into working overtime because the POs will
                  blame the developers for anything that goes wrong. A lot of things can
                  happen, but few or none of them are Agile.

                  I can tell you that that it's not pretty, and it's not good for the
                  business.

                  - George

                  --
                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                  * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                  Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                  Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                • George Dinwiddie
                  ... I ve elaborated further on this at http://blog.gdinwiddie.com/2007/12/03/combined-backlog-for-multiple-projects/ Let me know what you think (either here or
                  Message 8 of 10 , Dec 3, 2007
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                    George Dinwiddie wrote:
                    > I can tell you that that it's not pretty, and it's not good for the
                    > business.

                    I've elaborated further on this at
                    http://blog.gdinwiddie.com/2007/12/03/combined-backlog-for-multiple-projects/

                    Let me know what you think (either here or there).

                    - George

                    --
                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                    * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                    Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                    Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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