Scrum Dynamics 19 - Optimising Scrum Teams

Have you ever seen a happier looking, long-running scrum team?

Have you ever seen a happier looking, long-running scrum team?

This is Scrum Dynamics episode 19. We’re on a mission to ensure every Microsoft customer and partner successfully implements Dynamics 365 using the Scrum framework.

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In this episode, Dermot and I discuss how to optimise Scrum teams on a Dynamics 365 project.

Todd Mercer, from MD Financial Management in Ottawa Canada, asks “What to do motivate a team to operate at peak capacity for a long period of time? For enterprises that can’t afford a dedicated product owner or scrum master, what roles do you see pair up on part-time basis?”

Dermot and I discuss sharing the product owner, scrum master and developer roles. We also share our experience of keeping scrum teams interested and having fun on long-running projects by keeping things fun, letting them experiment, and get more involved in refining the backlog.

Using the Dedicated-Time Model or Dedicated-Team Model (Scrum Field Guide by Mitch Lacey) for managing legacy systems while deploying Dynamics 365.

Using a decision log to document design shifts from sprint to sprint in order to explain scope changes to your project sponsor and ask for additional budget if you need it. Scope changes belong to the product owner, rather than the development team.

Having T-shaped skills in developers and cross-functional skills in a development team to avoid resource constraints. Encouraging developers to broaden their skills and knowledge to improve the team’s overall velocity.

Avoiding customisation conflicts by using a magic wand to indicate that you’re working on a commonly-used solution component. Using digital tools such as Skype or Teams and frequent conversations to keep each other up-to-date on what we’re doing.

How to work around the challenges of working with remote team members or completely distributed scrum teams.

Working on very small scrum teams and large teams. I recount my experience working as a one-person development team, and Dermot and I worked on a team with 18 people. The Scrum Guide says development teams should have 3 to 9 people, so are Dermot and I crazy?

Should you split large teams into component teams and feature teams? Dermot is a fan of feature teams because they have the cross-functional skills to release an increment to production. Component teams can’t release their work into production, but I have seen a component team used successfully for systems integration work.

How do you manage dependencies on resources outside your scrum team? When Dermot needs firewall changes performed by the networks team he lines up the request weeks in advance to ensure there are no blockers during his sprint when the firewall changes are needed. I have two of the infrastructure team embedded in my programme to help raise, route and escalate dependent requests outside of my scrum teams.

Can a Dynamics team work with multiple product owners? I reckon they can when there is a product owner for each feature team in a scaled scrum project, but not when there is a committee of product owners. Dermot shares his experience of area and chief product owners.