When a dev team has multiple projects to progress

Last post 02:11 pm June 18, 2015
by Ian Mitchell
2 replies
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11:10 am June 14, 2015

Reading through the scrum guide it would appear that scrum is well applied to getting through a large chunk product development, enough to warrant putting a dedicated team together to achieve the goal.

It is often the case that an SME company who has delivered multiple projects already is, at any one time, faced with progressing Change Requests, bug fixes, implementing a new feature for the next version of a product, or assisting in more deployments.

The nature of SMEs mean that members of a small team wear many hats. In this scenario where many of the teams tasks are atomic or that a group of tasks that make up a single goal are done by a single developer, is scrum appropriate and is there a more apt agile process instead?

Thanks

01:19 pm June 18, 2015

Ultimately the backlog items are refined into tasks that require a person to perform. There is no reason, assuming the administration is as required, to adopt a SCRUM approach. Complex chunks of "new" features are just lots of easy tasks strung out to deliver a coherent whole. What you're describing is that these tasks, bugs and change requests are already deemed to be easy. Software development of large systems are still done by teams of between 3 & 9 on a development team. The spending time on the breakdown of the work to be done is just not required to be as long.
SCRUM seems perfectly appropriate to me.

02:11 pm June 18, 2015

A Kanban or DevOps delivery model is often associated with this type of work, at least where changes are continually deployed or do not observe a cadence for some other reason.

On the other hand, if customers expect regular releases, and with at least some advanced notice of the changes manifested, then Scrum Sprints and Sprint Goals are likely to be of use.

Note that a single team can alternate between different Product Backlogs sprint by sprint. This can be a sensible option if multiple product lines have to be serviced. The sprints are typically no more than a week or two in length.