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Same Scrum Team Multiple Products

Last post 12:36 pm December 29, 2022 by Ian Mitchell
3 replies
09:41 am December 29, 2022


We are an organization working with OKR objectives for quarters. You can think of these objectives as new features for our product.

And we have only 2 scrum teams but 4-6 objectives. At this point, my question is could we handle multiple objectives by each Scrum team at the same time (even if I don't want, we have to make this happen since the lack of resources)? If we could, should we use the same board? 

11:33 am December 29, 2022

I'm a bit confused by the disconnect between your title, which talks about a Scrum Team supporting multiple products, and the body of the post, which talks about objectives. How many products do you have? Are the 4-6 OKRs related to the same product or multiple products?

Since you're talking about objectives, I think it would be valuable to frame this in the context of both Evidence-Based Management and Scrum.

11:44 am December 29, 2022

Apologies - I accidentally tabbed and submitted when finishing that post.

Evidence-Based Management talks about strategic goals, intermediate goals, and ways to measure current and future value. Scrum contains Product Goals and Sprint Goals. You can create a hierarchy between the current Strategic Goal (for the organization, for the portfolio, or for the product), the Intermediate Goal (again, for the organization, the portfolio, or the product) that represents the next step toward that Strategic Goal, a Product Goal for each product that is guiding the Product Backlog, and the Sprint Goal that moves each team closer to the Product Goal. Depending on your organizational structure, it may or may not be helpful to think about your Product Goal as the Intermediate Goal.

You can also consider the Scrum Value of Focus. Would having multiple goals cause teams and individuals to lose focus on achieving that particular goal and, therefore, be unable to make the best possible progress toward that goal?

To use an example, if these OKRs equate to Product Goals, it doesn't make sense to have more than one current Product Goal. Not all work undertaken by all teams in all Sprints needs to directly support this one Product Goal, but this Product Goal gives focus to the Product Backlog and Sprint Backlogs. By having each Sprint Goal be a step toward the Product Goal, you're getting feedback from stakeholders on if you're moving in the right direction and can optimize for achieving that goal. If you have multiple teams and a complex enough product, each team could focus on a goal, but that may risk isolating the teams from producing a done and fully integrated Increment each Sprint.

12:36 pm December 29, 2022

could we handle multiple objectives by each Scrum team at the same time (even if I don't want, we have to make this happen since the lack of resources)?

Perhaps the team can't handle even one of these objectives, or should want to.

Scrum is about learning to build the right thing at the right time. So rather than allowing objectives to be pushed onto them by others, what commitments are the team able to make and meet for themselves?

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