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Effective team management

Last post 04:00 pm March 12, 2018 by Filip Łukaszewski
7 replies
01:08 pm March 9, 2018


Our current org is this:

There is a tower (Tower1) that contains Product Owners/ Service Owners/ Project Managers . These are responsible for products like Email, SharePoint, and UC.

Then there is a tower that contains Engineers/Developers for these same technologies.

On top of this we have other towers that provide network, directory, mobile and so on services that have an impact on Email, SharePoint and UC.

The challenge is that there is no clear ownership as to who does what. Tower1 believe they set the roadmap and strategy and hand over to Engineering/Development to execute. The heads of Eng/Dev believe they have a stake in the vision and often go off.

Delivery of a prpduct is also extremely bureaucratic, many tollgates and reviews. The irony is that in reality, most of these are useless and effectively bypassed to get something in. 

I've been reading about better ways to do this. Spotify/ Google have the concept below I believe

How would this fit into our environment?

02:53 pm March 9, 2018

How would this fit into our environment?

I don't think it would. It is the organization which must change to "fit in" with agile practice, if any benefits are to be expected.

03:15 pm March 9, 2018

Start with a vision and plan for dismantling the towers.

03:21 pm March 9, 2018

I recommend that you enforce the agile principle and the management should give you full support if they anticipate better outcome.

There must be Product Owner, Scrum Master and the development team

The rest you can name them Key- stakeholders and they can work through the Product Owner.

The product Owner can deal with them but when it comes to the agile team, only the PO can work with the team.

The scrum master must educate them in a diplomatic way (since it is very challenging to change the culture).

I hope this helps.

03:45 pm March 9, 2018

Sure, what I am asking is given where we are...I want to change as it's not efficient imo. But I'd like to learn about how Agile would set them teams up, bearing in mind we don't develop much software as such this is a group that manages Exchange email, SharePoint and so on.

Yes, there are new features and configs that we add, but they are not self-developed.

05:05 pm March 9, 2018

It looks like there is an immediate need to establish product ownership. The PO must have clear authority over the product vision and strategy, and any corresponding roadmap. The others you mentioned may well be stakeholders in the product, and people with whom the PO ought to liaise. The PO would represent and explain their interests to any Development Teams.

08:14 pm March 11, 2018

Can the Product Owner also be the Head of Engineering or Development? Is there any reason these roles can't be the same person?


04:00 pm March 12, 2018

They should not be the same person. Head of Eng or Dev. probably would expect some things to go his way, while Scrum Guide says "No one (not even the Scrum Master) tells the Development Team how to turn Product Backlog into Increments of potentially releasable functionality;". Therefore, this person would have a lot of tempting power he should NOT try to exercise...

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