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Dev Team does not have the skills to accomplish the Sprint Goal

Last post 08:46 am March 6, 2015 by Michal Král
2 replies
07:24 am February 26, 2015

Hi there,

What should be done when the Dev Team does not have all the skills to accomplish the Sprint Goal?

The answer that i've read somewhere mentioned something like this:
"The Scrum Master should have the Dev Team determine the definition of DONE. The Dev Team needs to self-organize to determine what can be accomplished with the team members it has. They develop the additional skills over time to improve the definition of DONE."

This is where I am confused about. The Dev Team needs to self-organize so can't they just bring in the necessary skills (add new members to the team) to accomplish the goal (taking into account a short term reduction in productivity)?

10:20 am February 26, 2015

Hi Zeki,
the last part (They develop the additional skills over time) usually does not happen incidentally. As missing skills are an impediment, it is the Scrum Master's duty to help them develop the skills. This might include bringing in external expertise, so you are right: They can do that.
This doesn't mean the answer provided is wrong. It just makes clear that the Scrum Master should provide guidance.

08:46 am March 6, 2015

Hi Zeki, as Ludwig said, when there is compliance, than team should learn the new skill, the second part is usually easier. New member can be added to team, team members can learn new skill (be it by training or pairing with skilled colleague or whatever leads to goal). Such thing are called Undone Work(as opposed to Definition of Done) and for example Craig Larman suggest to deal with it every 3rd Sprint with decreasing help of department capable of such thing.
The key is to improve so that there is less Undone Work in the future, in small steps.
Hope it helps.

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