With business partners demanding fast results, the ability to continuously deliver customer value is paramount to agile software development teams.
The present model of agile teams comprises dedicated developers, testers, and business analysts, each responsible for discrete phases of the development process. However, this model leads to phases and gates in the development process, with handover and signoff between team members. The overspecialization of team members creates artificial barriers between people, bottlenecks in the development process, and single points of failure in teams.
In a team of T-shaped people, signoff and handover can be replaced by a continuous flow through collaboration and shared activities between team members. T-shaped people have a strong specialist body that they use to complete tasks and coach teammates in their main area of expertise. They have open arms, embracing new skills and are better able to support their teammates in areas outside their specialization. T-shaped testers are extremely valuable: they can help product owners and business analysts define user stories, they can support developers in writing code, and they can coach teammates on how best to test the application they are delivering.
Cross-functional teams are not enough in today's environment; agile software development teams need to go further and foster T-shaped skills and shared activities. If you want to discover how to get in T-shape, this is the place to be.