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Relationship between Feature Team and Cross Functional Team

Last post 06:50 am March 18, 2017 by Ian Mitchell
2 replies
05:22 pm March 17, 2017

What is the difference between a feature team and a cross functional team? Based on Craig Larman’s description of Large Scale Scrum (LeSS), a feature team is a cross functional team. So, is there a situation where a cross functional team is not a feature team? And does Scrum mandate feature teams?

05:28 pm March 17, 2017

Cross-functionality is a characteristic of a team. A team can be either cross-functional or not.

The phrase "feature team" refers to a type of team which, according to LeSS, is cross-functional (it has that characteristic).

In other words, for a team to be called a feature team, it should be cross-functional, but not all cross-functional teams can be considered feature teams. There are other characteristics that distinguish feature teams: they are long-lived, build many end-to-end features one-by-one, and are also cross-component. Not all cross-functional teams also have these characteristics.

06:50 am March 18, 2017

> is there a situation where a cross functional team is not a

> feature team? And does Scrum mandate feature teams?

Any team which is given work to do, with an expectation of their completing it, ought to be cross-functional. This means the team ought to have all of the skills and resources to do the work, and a self-organizing one will be able to do so without external direction. There ought to be few if any dependencies on the team completing the work by themselves.

Scrum does not mandate the use of feature teams, but recognizes their value in providing feature-complete increments of release quality. It is best left to skilled developers to self-organize into the most appropriate teams for incremental feature delivery.

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