Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cross-Functionality in Scrum

Scrum recommends that a team should feature all the skills required in order to deliver the releasable product increment by the end of the Sprint. 

Why is it a good thing to have all the skills needed? It is all about dependencies. We try to design our software systems to be loosely coupled and highly cohesive. The same principles apply to team composition. We want our team to be like a special unit, self sufficient and able to deliver on the chosen assignment.
So, what would happen if one significant skill is missing from the team? The team will have a strong external dependency and will need to ask for support from external sources. This is a huge risk. Will the team get access to the person at the right time for the right duration? This creates an additional drag factor and affects the delivery date or reduces the scope of the product to be delivered.

Scrum does not require cross-functional teams, it only recommends them. In practice they have shown to be a significant boost for productivity. Especially in combination with self-organization.

Often it is misunderstood that cross-functional means that any person in the team needs to be able to do all the upcoming work. This is wrong. The unit that needs to be cross-functional is the development team. The dev team has the responsibility to self-organize in order to maximize the usage of its skills.  Hence, the team might be composed of specialists only, however the sum of the individuals needs to possess all required skills.

Nevertheless, as described above, if you only have specialists then you will have rather large teams, as for every skill you will need at least one developer. This will cause larger than needed teams and probably all other kinds of problems: part time team members based on FTE mathematics, work organized by activity not by feature, bad ‘unskilled' estimates, ...

Therefore agile teams favor generalists, developers with a rounded and versatile skill set. I like to use the term specialized generalists, strong all-rounders with one top notch special area.


Unknown said...

ThereforeDiablo 3 items agile clubs favor generalists, designers obtaining a rounded and flexible ability set. i love to produce utilization of the expression specialized generalists, remarkably Cheapest wow goldeffective all-rounders with an person best notch wonderful area.

Unknown said...

i love Buy rs goldto run using the expression specialized generalists, strong all-rounders Cheapest Diablo 3 goldwith a dude or lady very best notch wonderful area.

xiaophebe said...

After that.... you might as well bend over and apply lube... Now since there is already a Paragon system in play, how had could it be to increase skill timers by 3% Diablo 3 Gold. 3% longer Smoke screen, war cry, and a host of other skills. This will allow for longer all out onslaught times. Longer survivability for some classes and less monotony for other classes. One thing that comes to mind as a potential drawback is pvp....Buy Diablo 3 Gold Where does pvp fit in all of this. Well. If you want to pvp you are going to want to max out your paragon levels to be ahead of the curve. Yes it will allow for advantages over other lower paragon levels but isnt that the point behind Paragon?

Unknown said...

Even though the city enjoys the majestic architecture on the National Center for the Performing Arts Cheongsam and nicely-designed buildings in Zhongguancun amongst others, the city is also home towards the world-famous Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.