Multidisciplinary Scrum Teams

21 01 2013

One of the key value of the Scrum approach to agile project management is to break the silos between different roles in software development like developers or software testers. In this article “T-shaped Skills and Swarming Make for Flexible Scrum and Agile Teams”, Kenny Rubin discusses the importance of looking to creating team with people have broader skills and that can reach beyond their initial specialization to contribute with many activities to the sprint’s deliverables.

Besides flexibility, this article also introduces the concept of “swarming”. Swarming is defines as “a behavior whereby team members with available capacity and appropriate skills collectively work (swarm) on an item to finish what has already been started before moving ahead to begin work on new items.” A classic role-focused attitude is “The testers might still have ‘their’ work to finish up, but I’m finished coding this feature, so I’m off to start coding the next one.” Rubin explains that “In a team that swarms, people would understand that it is typically better to stay focused and help get the testing done instead of running ahead to start working on new features.”




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