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Agile teams: roles and responsibilities

February 07, 2014

Agile teams: roles and responsibilities

Some coaching material on how agile teams collaborate.


February 07, 2014

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  1. Why roles and responsibilities? I want to be an expert!

    Look, I’m worth something! Let me focus on my work! I know what others want from me! 2014-02-10 4 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  2. Why roles and responsibilities? We know who to talk to!

    We know who is to blame! Everyone is the specialist for something! Maybe someone would like this job! 2014-02-10 5 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  3. Culture eats process for breakfast team individual contribution expertise improvement

    analysis 2014-02-10 6 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  4. Somebody needs to … …have a vision of what is

    needed …say what needs to be build and when …clarify what needs to be build and why …design how to use this thing …have an idea on how to make it work and do it …verify that it is working and fits the needs …run it (sell it etc.) 2014-02-10 7 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  5. Groups are not teams  Roles and responsibilities don’t matter

    in performing teams.  Corollary: When you don’t know what is expected of you, you are not working as a team. 2014-02-10 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities” 10
  6. Individuals&interactions over processes & tools  Business people and developers

    must work together daily throughout the project.  Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.  The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.  The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams. from agilemanifesto.org 2014-02-10 11 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  7. Agile teams  Contain all the roles required  5-7

    people is the sweet spot  Deliver value every iteration  Scrum Teams are self-organizing and cross-functional.  Agile teams are cross-functional teams […] The team is responsible for self- management. (Scaled Agile Framework)  … similar in other agile and lean methods … 2014-02-10 12 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  8. Members of cross-functional teams  Cross-functional teams have all competencies

    needed to accomplish the work without depending on others not part of the team.  A generalizing specialist is someone who:  Has one or more technical specialties (e.g. Project Management, UX/design, Java) […]  Actively seeks to gain new skills in both their existing specialties as well as in other areas, including both technical and domain areas. Cf. Scott Ambler, “Generalizing specialists” The Scrum Guide, scrum.org 2014-02-10 13 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  9. Self-organization  … is a process where some form of

    global order or coordination arises out of the local interactions between the components of an initially disordered system.  This process is spontaneous: it is not directed or controlled by any agent or subsystem inside or outside of the system;  however, the laws followed by the process and its initial conditions may have been chosen or caused by an agent. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-organization 2014-02-10 14 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  10. Three levels of self-organization  Self-organized  E.g. software development

    team  Self-selected (= self-designed)  Self-organized and system selects its own members  E.g. founders of a start-up business  Self-directed (= self-governed)  Self-selected and no direction outside the system  E.g. criminal organization cf. Jurgen Appelo’s “Dolt’s guide to self-organization” 2014-02-10 15 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  11. Self-organize to what? cf. Jurgen Appelo’s “Dolt’s guide to self-organization”

    2014-02-10 16 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  12. 3 pillars of team work Team member • engagement, motivation

    • ability to make contacts • ability to take criticism • ability to learn • reliability • tolerance Inner structure • internal goals • rules • transparent communication • clear leadership • cooperative decision making • feeling of “we” context • goals • communication • infos • support • degree of freedom • supporting tools • praise • clear boundaries Cf. Dieter Rösner 2014-02-10 19 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  13. Collaboration  Everyone works together to move one task forward

    to done cf. Johanna Rothman “Agile teams and collaboration” 2014-02-10 20 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  14. Enable collaboration  Shared understanding of …  … how

    we do things here  … what our values are  Visibility  Which tasks need to move forward?  Which tasks are moving forward?  Who is working on it?  Who needs help? 2014-02-10 21 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  15. Lather, rinse, repeat Figure out what to do next Start

    working on it together Help each other out as needed Finish it 2014-02-10 22 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  16. Facilitation  We facilitate each other’s work with feedback and

    coaching, meta-feedback and meta- coaching  Not evaluation or praise, feedback:  Create an opening  Describe behavior or results  State the impact  Make a request Observable behavior Feedback cf. Johanna Rothman “Agile teams and collaboration” 2014-02-10 23 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  17. But …  “I don’t know how to do this”

     Could you get help from the team?  “I don’t know what needs to be done”  How can you find out?  “I don’t have time to do this”  Does this have priority or not?  “I don’t know if I should do this”  Can the team help you?  “Somebody else told me I should do this”  Is the team self-organized?  “Somebody else told me I have no time to do this”  Does this have priority or not?  “this”: some task / activity to be done 2014-02-10 24 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  18. Transition to self-organization  Roles don’t matter as long as

    the team members know what they need to do  Roles can help during transition to self- organization  Avoid the obstacles of sticking to roles and responsibility definitions  e.g. blame-free post mortems: move from “what / who caused this” to “how can we avoid this next time”?  e.g. help each other out in case of lack of knowledge / time 2014-02-10 25 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  19. Roles and tasks in agile teams  Many tasks are

    the same as in non-agile teams  e.g. designing, testing, developing, …  Some are: planning, requirements management, …  Role names might differ  e.g. Scrum: Product owner, Scrum master, …  e.g. XP: Customer on-site, developer, tracker, …  e.g. DAD: Primary roles such as Stakeholder, Team member, Team lead, Product owner, Architecture owner and Secondary roles such as Specialist, Domain expert, Technical expert, Independent tester, Integrator 2014-02-10 26 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  20. Team organization complexities  Co-located vs. distributed teams  Component

    vs. feature teams  Scaling the product owner  Decision making 2014-02-10 27 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  21. Co-location makes it easier  Co-location allows for easy and

    quick exchanges in a team  Just ask or talk with the guy needed  You know when the guy is available  Simple tools can be used (boards, etc.)  Working together comes naturally  Benefits of face-to-face communication 2014-02-10 28 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  22. What is distribution anyway?  Distribution can come in various

    forms  Geographical distribution  Organizational distribution  A simple definition:  Distributed teams are teams that have something preventing them from collaborating in person and face to face. (by Tom Wise, leadingagile.com) 2014-02-10 29 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  23. Distributed teams complexities  Increased organizational effort  determine time

    slots for communication  determine who needs to be communicated with  “natural” boundaries occur  language barriers  cultural differences  “them” over there vs. “us” here  groups vs. teams (of teams)  Too much indirect communication  Fact: Projects done by small, co-located teams are way more successful 2014-02-10 30 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  24. Higher bandwidth is better Email Phone Face-2-face  Face to

    face (plus whiteboards etc.)  High resolution video on large screen plus great sound that is always on  Bad video and bad sound that’s sparely used due to extra costs  Messengers, chats, electronic whiteboards  E-Mail, ticketing systems  Wikis, documents 2014-02-10 31 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  25. Minimizing impact  Bring everybody together physically in a single

    location as early as possible  Meet physically with everybody every so often  Celebrate major achievements together  Invest in good video conferencing and first-class audio systems / phones  Use electronic tools mainly to record / track decisions, not as main communication tools  Enable non-work communication (chat, social media …) 2014-02-10 32 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  26. Component vs. feature teams  Components are typically technical systems

     Features often cut across components/systems  Components are communication boundaries  „not my concern“ / „not invented here“  Same concept might be handled / implemented / named differently in the various systems.  A feature might have varying impact on the different systems, i.e. more or less work.  Integration needs require alignment of teams, progress and solutions.  Please note: this is Organizational distribution! 2014-02-10 35 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  27. The agile product owner adapted from Roman Pichler’s “Product owner

    on one page” 2014-02-10 36 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  28. Scrum: Product Owner  … is responsible for maximizing the

    value of the product.  … is responsible for managing the Backlog.  clearly expressing Product Backlog items  ordering the items in the Product Backlog to best achieve goals and missions  optimizing the value of the work the Development Team performs  ensuring that the Product Backlog is visible, transparent, and clear to all, and shows what the Scrum Team will work on next  ensuring the Development Team understands items in the Product Backlog to the level needed.  The PO may do the above work, or have the development Team do it. The PO remains accountable.  The Product Owner is one person, not a committee.  For the Product Owner to succeed, the entire organization must respect his or her decisions. 2014-02-10 37 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  29. Scaling the PO: problem space  the “single wrenchable neck”

     It’s not only about working with multiple teams  Too many requirements for one person  Too many stakeholders need to be handled  No single person can be a domain expert in all areas in a large project  Solution space is too large  “if you haven’t come up with at least 3 options to solve a problem, you don’t really understand it”  Multiply by number of requirements 2014-02-10 38 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  30. Scaling the PO  Use the team  Have the

    team work with the customer  The team should build up domain expertise ( team stability over time)  Hear the team’s opinion on planned features  Delegate (some) decisions to the team ( solutions)  Work with other teams / POs  e.g. Scrum of Scrums  build a community / tribe of Product Owners for getting feedback / help  easier with fewer dependencies 2014-02-10 39 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  31. Scaling the PO: e.g. SAFe  Product Owner per Team

    (“lower-case” p)  Product Manager per product (“upper-case” P)  works with Portfolio Management  determines business objectives  owns the program vision  participates in release planning  maintains the product roadmap […]  Program Portfolio Management  Epic owners for business and architectural Epics  decides about investment themes […]  Collaborate via “Delegate” (not entirely, ART) 2014-02-10 40 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  32. Decision making: what is needed  Requirement decisions  What

    should we build?  When should we build what?  depend on business objectives  require understanding of problem domain  require understanding of value  Solution decisions  require understanding of outcome  require understanding of risk  require understanding of dependencies  require understanding of effort  depend on budget 2014-02-10 41 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  33. Requirement decisions: problems  Lack of knowledge (“I don’t understand”)

     Ask or bring in the domain experts / customer  Ask the team  Gather data, light-weight analysis  Lack of empowerment (“Too many powerful stakeholders have too many opinions”)  Defend your clear-cut opinion, provide evaluation  Organize a decision among stakeholders  Use a non-agile approach  FUD: Fear, uncertainty and doubt 2014-02-10 42 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  34. Breaking the vicious circle  Get feedback as early as

    possible  Ask people to give feedback (stakeholders, customers, team …)  Get data (from existing statistics, use A/B tests …)  Decide in the presence of uncertainty  Learn along the way (see above)  Remember that we intend to …  Correct mistakes as early as possible  Don’t miss the “Last responsible moment“ 2014-02-10 43 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  35. 2014-02-10 44 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”  Contact

    me:  Email: Holger Schauer  www.find-method.de  plus.google.com/+HolgerSchauer
  36. Picture references  Miners, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-13287-0001,_Bergarbeiter,_Arbeitsbesprechung.jpg, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-13287-0001

    / CC-BY-SA  Trial, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-31316- 003,_Berlin,_Proze%C3%9F_gegen_Agenten_vor_dem_Obersten_Gericht.jpg, CC-BY-SA 3.0, German Federal Archives  Sasha Lobo, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sascha_Lobo_in_Berlin.jpg, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Ronniegrob  Bored, http://www.hackcollege.com/blog/2010/07/14/three-tips-to-making-the-best-of-your-boring-internship.html, CC-BY-SA 2.0, sunshinecity on flickr.com  Team, http://www.flickr.com/photos/28990363@N05/3385718581/, CC-BY-SA 2.0, paddynapper on flickr.com  Group, http://ukwebfocus.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/facilitating-a-wikipedia-editing-session-the-solo13-experience/, CC-BY-SA , Toni Sant  Cells, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bone_marrow_WBC.JPG , CC-BY-SA 3.0, Bob J. Galindo  Heart, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wiki_Heart_Antomy_Ties_van_Brussel.jpg, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Tvanbr  Maze, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Longleat_maze.jpg, Public domain, Rurik  Fence, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Westtown.jpg, Public domain, MyWikiBiz  Compass wind rose, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Brosen_windrose.svg, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Brosen  Gold bars, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gold_Bars.jpg, CCO 1.0, Agnico-Eagle  Coach (O. Hitzfeld), https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Otmar_hitzfeld_in_bulgaria.jpg, CC 3.0, Biso  Swarm, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fish_in_the_Ningaloo_reef_%28368690753%29.jpg, CC 2.0, Angelo DeSantis, http://www.flickr.com/photos/angeloangelo/368690753/  Kanban board, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Simple-kanban-board-.jpg, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Jeff.lasovski  Money, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Billets_de_5000.jpg, Public domain, Wazouille  Market, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ul_merc%C3%B2_dal_lunedi.JPG, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Brianza2008  Choking, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:North%E2%80%93south_choke_blue.JPG, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Jdcollins13  Thumb, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thumb_up2.png, CC-BY-SA 2.5, AzaThoth  Teams, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Patriots-Steelers_2005.jpg, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Bgag 2014-02-10 45 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”
  37. Further reading  Johanna Rothman, “Agile teams and collaboration: what’s

    new about agile”, http://www.slideshare.net/johannarothman/agile-teams-and-collaboration-whats-new-about-agile  Jurgen Appelo, “The dolt’s guide to self-organization”, http://de.slideshare.net/jurgenappelo/the-dolts-guide- to-self-organization  Tim Wise, “Enabling distributed agile teams”, http://www.leadingagile.com/2013/10/enabling-distributed- agile-teams/  Johanna Rothman, “Networks for managing agile programs”, http://www.jrothman.com/blog/mpd/2013/03/organizing-an-agile-program-part-2-networks-for-managing- agile-programs.html  Scott Ambler, “Roles in disciplined agile delivery”, http://disciplinedagiledelivery.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/roles-in-disciplined-agile-delivery/  Scott Ambler, “Generalizing specialists”, http://www.agilemodeling.com/essays/generalizingSpecialists.htm  Roman Pichler, “Scaling the Product Owner”, http://www.romanpichler.com/blog/roles/scaling-the-product- owner/  Roman Pichler, “The Product Owner on one page”, http://www.romanpichler.com/blog/roles/one-page- product-owner  Dean Leffingwell, “Scaled agile framework”, http://scaledagileframework.com/  Ken Schwaber, Jeff Sutherland, “The Scrum guide”, https://www.scrum.org/Scrum-Guide 2014-02-10 46 H.Schauer “Agile teams: roles and responsibilities”