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Agile Game: Component Team Vs Feature Team : Create a Photo Frame

Last post 12:55 pm January 21, 2020 by Mehaboobali Soppadla
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12:55 pm January 21, 2020

"Component Teams" and "Feature Teams" both will deliver value. This game is a visualization of which might suite best. Obviously there are lots of factors while deciding whether team to be feature team or component team, this game is an attempt to realize the benefits of feature team over component team. Feature teams will create a walking skeleton very quickly in the production lifecycle thereby identifying and resolving the integration problems very early in the sprint cycle. Also, feature team concept is capable for gathering the feedback very early and re-adjust the product based on the improvement suggestions.

Problem Statement: Create maximum number of photoframes by using the available logistics

Logistics: Take printout of team Celebration photos with different size, Black card-board (to use as a frame), Knife(Radium cutter), Straws(decorative/Border), Feviquick/Adhesive tape, Glittering star stickers. Create a show a sample PhotoFrame which is created with these logistics. Team can see the model photoframe but not aware of exact size of the photos(Prints) until the timebox starts[This is to similate the unknowns in a real-life projects]

Component Team Simulation:

Step1: Sample photo frame which is created with the above logistics is shown to the team as a base model

Step2: Split the team into 3 groups

  2a. Team A: Creates a frame using cardboard, Knife and Adhesive.

  2b. Team B: Cut or adjust the printed photo to fit into Photo Frames(Basically make sure paper print is stiff enough to put into frames)

  2c. Team C: Integrate the artifacts generated from Team A and B, Decorate the photo Frame

Step3: Brief the game rules to the team

  3.1 Team B holds the photoprints and other teams can take the measure by had/rope to create their artifacts [This simulates the scenario where other teams cannot see/access the artifacts from dependent teams until it is completely ready(signed off by component teams)]

  3.2a Team A - Start crating photo frames and keep in a designated place (Kind of independent API Team)

  3.2b Team B - Start cutting/attaching small piece of cardboard to photos and keep in a designated place (Kind of independent API Team)

  3.2c Team C - Creates decorative material for each photoframe and once done, they take up the frame and photo from other teams and integrate all together to create a final product. (Similar to UI Team)

  4. Only Team C can integrate all the artifacts generated from above 3 teams

  5. Time Limit is 15 Min

Observations while team perform the above activities:

  1. Team A and B had created few artifacts and kept in designated place. While Team C keep creating multiple decorative items, integration had not started until somebody from other team shouted out to integrate it.

  2. Since Team A cannot access the size of photos directly , it was hard to create the frames just by seeing it.

  3. Everybody tries to create the photoframes exactly same as that of sample model shown.

  4. Everybody had done their job just exactly what it shown in teh rules, but the outcome of integrated photoframe was not that attractive.

  5. Team A&B made around 2-3 artifacts but integrated photoframe was only 1 at the end of time slot.


Feature Team Simulation:

Redo the exercise with the same 3 team and rules as below

  1. Create maximum number of photo frames overall (not team specific)

  2. Each team can build their own photo frames and decorate as they wish (Integrate right from beginning) (Everyone will have access to all logistic)

  3. Each team can help others if any logistics are surplus/will be used at the later point

Observations while team perform the above activities:

  1. One of the team eliminated the step(3.2b) mentioned above as it was not required in the given context.

  2. Team were continuously adjusting the photo frame based on length variations/look and feel etc(Continuous and instant feedback)

  3. All the teams had come up with the new models of photo frames with the better look than sample model.

  4. Everybody were enjoying and more involved in the game to make the frames more beautiful

  5. All 3 team together there were around 4 photo frames created with different designs

  6. One of the team used the decorative items created by other teams which was surplus for them



1. Component teams had created multiple individual artifacts but integrated product was only one. Feature team had created 4 integrated (Fully Ready) photo frames within the same timeframe.

(In real-life while each team works separately on different components, multiple enhancements/new features will be delivered, but the integrated version of all these components will take time. By the time, feature is released to end-customer, Teams might not have same enthusiasm as it was while building it. As time spans team would have already been working on some other features and re-work might affect the teams moral)

2. Component team were good at each of their artifacts, but final product was not that great. Feature teams owns the product end to end and re-adjust quickly in all aspect to make it more beautiful.

(In Real life feature ownership is distributed across multiple teams and responding to feedback will take enormous time as decision making/integration will take considerable time. Also, while production issues occur, there could be chaotic environment regarding "Which team to make the changes" as many assumptions would have been shared across the teams.)

3. While component team were keep following the pattern used in the sample photoframe, feature teams could easily identify the redundant steps and eliminated it.

4. People were enjoying the game more during feature team simulation as compared to the component team simulation

5. Creative set fo photframes were developed during the feature team simulation as everybody directly work towards the marketable product and visualize it quickly

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