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Hiring services from others outside the team

Last post 07:49 am October 10, 2013 by Andrei Toderean Dascalu
5 replies
09:04 am October 9, 2013

Hello everyone =D, I have another question:

Is it possible, during Sprint, to hire another organization for services like testing(ex. Crowdsource testing), design, animations etc ?

I saw this topic - - liked a lot the replyings, but a new version of the guide came out a month after the last reply. The guide's page 4 says: "Cross-functional teams have all competencies needed to accomplish the work without depending on others not part of the team".
But, is it possible for a 9 people tops team to really have always all competencies?
Thats why I made the question above.

thanks for the attention!

09:45 am October 9, 2013

It should be possible for a Development Team of 3 - 9 people to make a valuable contribution to a potentially releasable increment.

As you know, many teams can collaborate on the delivery of an increment, for which they must agree a Definition of Done. Each team will be responsible for ensuring that their own work meets that Definition. In other words each team is responsible for its own quality testing, and that is not a responsibility which can be outsourced,

It would be fair and reasonable to have contributing teams that are each responsible for certain specialized services, such as design and animations. Each of those services can be handled separately by qualified teams and brought together into a meaningful release. However the teams will need to collaborate closely in order to manage their dependencies and avoid causing each other impediment.

Crowdsource testing sounds like it might be a specialized service, rather than a team's responsibility towards DoD compliance, but this would really depend upon how and why it is being used.

10:16 am October 9, 2013

I agree with you Ian, and I also thought about the possibility of having other teams. And indeed, at the DoD part, the guide talks about multiple teams working on the same product. I think that what we can say about the statement at page four is that all the functionalities taked on by the team A, the team A should be able to acomplish without external help.

10:24 am October 9, 2013

Of course, I don't know if it's always possible to hire specialized people for just 1 or 2 sprints or even just 1 project, I think it depends on where you are and on the service.

04:30 pm October 9, 2013

Hello Nissivm,

Allow me to share some of my thoughts....

Firstly, I agree with Ian that a Scrum Team may be self-sufficient and be cross-functional so that there are no external dependencies.

This isn't to say that this happens at the very first Sprint or there may be a need with someone having additional skills later in the Sprints. The Dev Team can always raise this at a Retrospective.

This may supplement your latter post where some new members become part of the Team. Again, to re-affirm, I would consider a max of 9 people in the Dev Team.

Here's something else to consider, though wasn't related to the original question --
'Topic Two" during Sprint Planning does allow for people outside the Dev Team to offer technical or domain advice, if invited.

Hope some of this helps.

07:49 am October 10, 2013


Since the main scrum process is "the sprint", we can infer that its input is the sprint backlog (the set of user stories to work on) and its output is the product increment.

This process is an independent block, if someone needs to interact with the development, they should become a functional part of the DT if they want to act here.

If the services are complementary, then you need to see how they will be placed with respect to the process. For example, an external testing service will probably take the product increment created during the sprint, while a design service will likely provide design elements that the DT will use during the sprint (part of the input).

The main thing to lookout for is that these complementary services do not alter the scrum process and will not add external pressure on the DT.

For that, should a service provide input for the sprint (like the design), it should be the PO's task to ensure that at Sprint planning each story has attached the required design done by the external service. If the needed input is not available, a story shouldn't be added to the sprint since we can't rely on the external provider to have everything ready when work will start on it.

Likewise, any testing service that will process the increment resulted at the end of the sprint must be also agile enough to act on any changes that could occur during a sprint (stories that proved to be too much or things that were added/dropped). A testing service might base their work on the Sprint Backlog, but must be able to accommodate change just as the DT would.

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