Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Evolution of Scrum Teams

In adopting Scrum, we've gone through a number of evolutions of the makeup and backlog of Scrum teams:

- Functional Teams
Teams that are mostly programmers, artists or designers. This rose due to the early adoption of Scrum by the programmers. Art and design participated, but still worked from a schedule (especially in the last year of Darkwatch).

- Feature Teams
Teams that focused on a feature (such as AI, animation, levels, etc). These teams didn't change much, but started to look like mini-teams that were more self-contained. The problem with them is that you get uneven production of features and delayed integration (e.g. AI in levels with good animation).

- Subgame Teams
I'm tempted to call these "demo teams", but many times "demo" implies shortcuts that you wouldn't ship. These teams produce completed portions of the game in releases that you could use for magazine demos. Usually each subgame has 2-4 teams working on it. The goal is to have a version of the subgame every 1-3 sprints (with separate teams showing their work at reviews otherwise).

This evolution leads to teams that show true product value more frequently.

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