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Merging 3 Scrum Teams into 1?
I am a rookie scrum master (I just started in November 2021) from Germany and need some expertise from the community.
Currently I am facilitating a team of 5 devs and 4 business analysts. The PO role is still vacant and we are desperately looking for a candidate but couldn't find any match since I started there. And yes I know 4 BA is way too much, but that's a different topic.
There are two other teams in my cluster that are responsible for the software that our team is going to supersede.
Due to the fact that the two teams are more or less running out of work (and only have a max. of 2 devs) and the scrum master already left we are now planning on merging the teams into one team. The two smaller teams will still have some tasks until 2025 to maintain the old systems until we are completely ready to overtake their functions. So plans are to already start the knowledge transfer and give them a perspective before they are running out of tasks.
Currently I am planning to do some workshops with some of the team members to arrange the consolidation.
And that's where I need your help (or at least feedback). Since its my first time dealing with such a challenge I have no idea what I'm doing and google wasn´t a very big help.
So my current plan is the following:
1. ) Do a short vision workshop to ensure everyones on the same page and know what the team is heading towards to (max. 30 Min since the objective is already more or less clear) and make plans for the main steps/goals and until when we want to merge the teams.
Then do two additional sessions focusing on our ideal, the challenges this ideal is facing and what we need to do to solve those challenges.
2.) Have a closer look at the organizational/ structural conditions:
How is the PO (or the POs , plural, ) going to manage the interests and priorities of 3 different teams?
What about our Business Analysts and their knowledge? How will they be integrated into the team?
3.) Have a closer look at the systems :
Which rituals can be merged and who is going to take part? (Do we need every dev in a refinement where we already know that only two of them know how to do the job?)
What about our backlog and our files?
After receiving an overview the next step would be to have a list of to - dos and responsibles that are prioritized and put into a timely order.
Any suggestions or feedback? I am really grateful for any kind of input or experience in similar cases.
No matter how you slice it, you won't have a Scrum Team at all until there is a Product Owner. None of those pseudo-teams will have a reason for sprinting, because there is no-one to account for product value. The Scrum Events you obliquely refer to will indeed be nothing more than "rituals". That's the most immediate problem to be solved.
My advice in the first instance is to follow the money, and find out who is funding these teams to do whatever it is that they are doing. If the teams stopped, who would care? That consideration is likely to take you into the area where accountability for value resides right now. The challenge would then be to determine whether or not this is sensible and is where product ownership genuinely ought to lie.
Before answering your question, I would like to consider the points mentioned by Ian Mitchell.I agree with him.
Can you please tell "There are two other teams in my cluster that are responsible for the software that our team is going to supersede."- Are these team working on same software. If yes, then its good to merge them. But before that on what circumstances , those 2 teams are working seperately. You need to find the reason and based on that having a collaborative workshop will be useful. (to align on Goals and Objectives)
2) How is the PO (or the POs , plural, ) going to manage the interests and priorities of 3 different teams? - If teams will merge then there will be only one PO, Product backlog can be seperate for seperate team.(optional)
What about our Business Analysts and their knowledge? - BA main responsibility to bring the requirements and convert those in to user stories with the help of PO. PO will do the prioritization. 4 BAs are not necessary.If the PO is in the team then we necessarily dont require BA in Agile wow. How will they be integrated into the team?- 1 BA per team,
3) Which rituals can be merged and who is going to take part? All rituals will be merged,(Do we need every dev in a refinement where we already know that only two of them know how to do the job?)- Refinement is team ceremony , where entire team is participating.
IF PO is not there then ofcourse this is big challenge to call the team as scrum team and team will face challenges in terms of prioritization.
Requirements can bring by BA's. And meanwhile any BA can also play as an interim PO role (for the time being) because BA are connecting with customers and they can understand the prioritization.