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This article by Anil Giri addresses a problem SCRUM practictioners have experienced: A "too large" and "too distributed" team. However, rather than allowing the team to fail by stopping the project he suggests ways to work around the challenges and considerations to make next time.
I like Anil's approach for a few reasons - first he's right. I say that not from experience, but also from the best team research. Co-location is the term for putting people in the same physical space to work as a team. In a previous article I noted the necessity of team members needing to build skills in a co-located team before doing too much work in virtual - remote member - project teams.
Here are some other lessons he offers that can be adapted for any team based challenge:
- Restructure the teams to form relatively smaller teams so daily scrum meetings can be completed in 10-15 minutes.My Note: This logic applies to any team. The sweet spot for the most effective work has been shown to be in the 6-8 member team. More than that and interaction becomes to complex, and individuals can retreat from work too easily.
- Introduce one facilitator for every team for on-the-spot resolution of queries(the facilitator has business knowledge and development background). This person may have to facilitate multiple teams, as the facilitator doesn’t do actual development - My Note: Most businesses fail to use facilitators effectively - they confuse them with trainers rather than process guides who keep things on track and works through roadblocks. Speed and focus increases.
- Facilitator re-orders the priority of defects in sprint on a daily basis - My Note:Some pre-staging of issues helps teams to hit the ground running on key projects. While there can be time-outs for larger group discussions, most of the time these can be quickly identified for them and their agreement.
- Introduce daily open office meeting with architects and product owners to discuss big impact issues/show stopper issues.My Note:These are issues which could not be resolved by the facilitator or support people. "Anybody can join this meeting and raise a concern." In a standard work environment this is the purpose of some Daily Operating System meeting. Wins are aknowledged but assessing and assigning losses and barrier removal are the purpose.
Do you have a team challenge that you would like to be a focus of an article or blog response? Leave a comment or email me at Billy@pyramidodi.com