Monday, March 10, 2014

Team agile bloopers

Team agile bloopers from a practitioner's notebook:

We had 6 agile teams working to build a product. Each team was responsible for their component but they all needed to be integrated for the product.

1. We didn't get buy-in from 1 team to run agile. We had a team that agreed to follow agile but decided to go their own way. This caused many issues when we tried to do early integration as they were not ready. The remedy is to be more disciplined and bet buy-ins from all teams.

2. Didn't do a good enough job at task breakdowns. This is actually fine at the individual team level but needed a lot more work at the scrum of scrum level. The remedy is to develop a clear architecture and be more discipline to develop to the architecture.

3. Not discipline in our daily stand-ups. Not all teams followed this - those teams tend to have the most communication issues. The remedy is to require more disciplined adherence to daily stand-ups and complete buy-in of the agile process.

4. Inadequate time for reflection - I should have done a better job of adding buffer time for integration activities and for reflection. We were able to do reflection in some of the teams but not at the product level. This was due to some teams missing their iteration release. The remedy is to do better planning for system level integration.

5. Lack of product owner involvement - we had two customer development teams working along our teams. I thought that those customer teams would represent the interests of their product owners. It turns out that there was little communication between the real product owners and the customer's development teams. We were able to get to the real product owners but it was too late. The remedy is to identify who is responsible as product owners and require their involvement throughout the project.  

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