I am a great believer in stable teams. I think that teams need to be doing a Scrum together to get to the performing stage of the the Bruce Tuckman model of group development (forming–storming–norming–performing).
Recently I created a new Scrum team by taking developers from two existing Scrum teams in the office.
We put a lot of work into the importance of the Team and the Team coming first so disrupting two very mature and successful Scrum teams was not undertaken lightly.
The Teams were formed to work on products that required a mix of technical skills. These products have been delivered and the new products for the foreseeable future don’t require the same mix of technical skills. To make everyone’s lives easier we split the technical skills into teams that align with the work in the future product roadmap.
What steps did we take to reduce disruption?
The whole process was made easier because the initial drive to split the teams came from within the teams. They knew that they were no longer working on the same products. They knew that there weren’t getting any mixed skill stories that required the whole team to collaborate throughout the whole sprint any more.
I emailed the entire company about the change and invited everyone to ask any questions they had.
The new team were encouraged to design their own Agile solution based on their experiences with Agile.
We use both Scrum and Kanban here. All of the members of the new team were experienced with both. The new Team chose to use Scrum because they were more comfortable with the story writing, estimation and planning processes.
The Team chose two week iterations as that is what they are used to and having a similar cadence as the existing teams made it easy to synchronise the core Scrum meetings without any conflicts .The new team also chose the timings or their Scrum meetings eg Standup, Pre-planning, Planning, Showcase and Retrospective.
Building a new team
The team identified a free wall in the office that had enough space and chose to replicate the columns of one of other teams eg To Do, In Progress, Signoff and DONE. The backlog will be in JIRA just like the other teams.
New Team Name
The decision that took the most time and generated the most heated discussion was the selection of the new team name. All of our team names are car themed so the team chose Tesla as it is fast, exciting, new technology and environmentally conscious.
Throughout the whole process, where possible, we empowered the new team to make the decisions about how they wanted to work.