As an agilist I strive to build great teams and then keep them together as they set on their Agile journeys. However, when you are in an environment where teams change all the time, it makes me wonder if the idea of dynamic teaming can be used to inspire teams to grow in a different way. A couple of years ago, Heidi Helfand, did an experience report about dynamic re-teaming. I have used a lot of material from her research to implement dynamic re-teaming on my program.
The idea of dynamic re-teaming has been working for us for over 18 months now. We have seen several interesting outcomes from this implementation.
For one, the developers, testers and Scrum Masters are constantly on their toes – no one gets too comfortable with their team. But since we are all part of a large 16 team program, we still have managed to build camaraderie, owing in part to team members being reassigned across teams.
In supporting a large IT organizations, most of our teams work on small applications for a period of 3-6 sprints. At the end of each such application, the team starts work with a new product owner. This forces the team to do a “reset” and allows them to examine the good, the bad and the ugly from their previous experience. It almost gives the team a chance to wipe the slate clean and start over. This alone has been a great source of inspiration for the teams to continue to grow.
Another example of re-teaming is when someone from the development team rotates into a production support team. This idea was initially put in place to ensure that every developer has the experience of fielding user calls for the application that they put out. Being on the receiving end of these calls allows the developers to grow understanding the problems, first hand, from a users perspective. After their rotation, the developer goes back into a team with a renewed motivation to write better code.
Dynamic re-teaming is core to what we do and I would love to share some experiences in this lightning talk.