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Scrum Advice Required

Last post 10:01 am February 18, 2016 by Ian Mitchell
3 replies
03:18 am February 13, 2016

Hello everybody,

I am one of the Development Team guys who works in a small start-up company which tries to apply the Scrum methodology. However, we always have issues with the scrum.

Company develops several products from Development Team perspective: Android, iOS, Web (Front-end), Eclipse RCP and a complex server back-end (micro-services and etc..).

Business perspective sees all of this is one big product. Development Team consists of one guy per product (one on Android, one on iOS and etc..). Currently, the Scrum Master is one of the guys from Development Team while the Product Owner is the one of the bosses.

All products are treated as one and we have one big backlog for everything.

The problem is that due to such technology differences involved in the products it's hard for people to be just one team who develops everything as one product. Instead, people treat everything as separate products and don't care much about the others; for example: Android guy finished his tasks and then he won't go and do something in the iOS when the main guy responsible for the iOS is not cooping with the amount of work.

This continues already for awhile with constantly emerging issues. As I understand, ideal situation to resolve such issues is to have Scrum Teams for each technology stack. However, the company is too small for this.

Are we just a bad team with the lack of deep knowledge of each technology? Is it an issue from the Product Owner side who manages everything as one product within one backlog and expects people to be multi-functional? Or this is the problem from the business side to catch several directions simultaneously without available resources to do so? The question is, what to do in this case or what can we try to do?

10:24 am February 17, 2016

Hi Georgji,

A Scrum team will often start with a group that possesses "I" shaped skillsets, that are deep in one area but do not cross over into other areas. The goal of a team should be to work together and change their skillsets to a "T" shape, so that you retain your deep understanding of one discipline, but gain a little understanding in others so you can help your team.

As a team member I would encourage you to lead by example, and start finding ways to help your team members out. It takes time and common goals to link a team and make them stronger, so be patient and do whatever you can to spread your agile vision, and show its value.

01:02 pm February 17, 2016

For instance, you can suggest the team fill a skill matrix in order to show where the team members need to develop their skill at first.

10:01 am February 18, 2016

> Business perspective sees all of this is one big product.

Is it in truth one big product, where all of the platform deliverable integrate into a single increment for release? Does business really consider there to be a single stream of value with this product?

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