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AgileDC 2018: Team Splitting Experience Report

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AgileDC 2018 Experience Report by Julie Wyman and Hunter Tammaro - Breaking Up is Hard to Do: How to Split a Team (Without Breaking It)

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AgileDC 2018: Team Splitting Experience Report

  1. 1. excella.com | @excellaco Julie Wyman & Hunter Tammaro Breaking Up is Hard to Do: How to Split a Team (Without Breaking It)
  2. 2. excella.com | @excellaco Let’s collect some data… What size is your current team? How big was your largest team?
  3. 3. excella.com | @excellaco We’re going to be Agile! So smaller teams, right? Act 1
  4. 4. excella.com | @excellaco Setting the Stage • IT department of ~20 devs, BAs, testers, & PMs • Well-established identity, relationships & working styles • Track record of success • Same product, codebase & environments
  5. 5. excella.com | @excellaco “Let’s Be Agile”
  6. 6. excella.com | @excellaco 2-Pizza Rule
  7. 7. excella.com | @excellaco The Scrum Guide Optimal Development Team size is small enough to remain nimble and large enough to complete significant work within a Sprint.
  8. 8. excella.com | @excellaco Not too small… Fewer than three Development Team members decrease interaction and results in smaller productivity gains. Smaller Development Teams may encounter skill constraints during the Sprint…
  9. 9. excella.com | @excellaco But not too big either… Having more than nine members requires too much coordination. Large Development Teams generate too much complexity for an empirical process to be useful.
  10. 10. excella.com | @excellaco Complexity of communication Image source: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DLE7fI0VAAAUkLw.jpg
  11. 11. excella.com | @excellaco Average Scrum team size is 7.4 members 78% of Scrum teams are between five and nine members
  12. 12. excella.com | @excellaco First steps… 1. Considerations: ease of communication, decision- making, framework, focus 2. First team as a pilot – short validation cycle 3. Split (mostly) along product lines 4. Cross-functional
  13. 13. excella.com | @excellaco What happened to being part of the same "team"? Act 2
  14. 14. excella.com | @excellaco Some more background… • 1 team mindset • Shared responsibility …these were specific to our case…but there are likely relevant specifics for your teams
  15. 15. excella.com | @excellaco Unintended consequences… • Confusion over shared responsibilities • Less cross-team collaboration • “A team”
  16. 16. excella.com | @excellaco Teams aren’t silos But not all organizations realize that!
  17. 17. excella.com | @excellaco What challenges have you encountered when team composition changed? Pair discussion
  18. 18. excella.com | @excellaco In between… • Awkward phase • Heard rumblings and confusion • Started to identify some misconceptions
  19. 19. excella.com | @excellaco Small teams working within a 1 team identity Act 3
  20. 20. excella.com | @excellaco Finding our balance… • Overall team retrospective provided a forum for open discussion • Provided team members an opportunity to own their response to the challenges
  21. 21. excella.com | @excellaco Retrospective results Collaboration within teams and outside the IT organization was better… 5 14 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 Worse Same Better Partnership between IT & the business 9 10 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 Worse Same Better Sense of teamwork within the project teams
  22. 22. excella.com | @excellaco Retrospective results … but the IT department itself was drifting apart • “Not enough communication” • “Team is more siloed” • “Less overall teamwork” 8 6 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Worse Same Better Sense of teamwork across the IT department
  23. 23. excella.com | @excellaco Team identified solutions… • Rotating “floater” • Balance types of work • Maintain department-wide social events • Create a shared release board & rotation for support
  24. 24. excella.com | @excellaco Team identified solutions… • Continue joint quarterly retrospectives • Locate team Kanban boards close to each other • Establish communities of practice
  25. 25. excella.com | @excellaco What have you tried to lessen any negative effects of a team change? Pair Discussion
  26. 26. excella.com | @excellaco Parting thoughts Finale
  27. 27. excella.com | @excellaco The important stuff… • Team identity can exist on multiple levels • Anticipate impact to existing culture, dynamics and identity • Listen to your teams! • Each team is different
  28. 28. excella.com | @excellaco Questions?
  29. 29. excella.com | @excellaco

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