Collocating or Co-locating them and performing the delivery using Scrum was a nightmare in our organization. We use to have re-organizations twice a year. The need was to be aligned with the function or with the business or within the business function.
Prior to this, our re-orgs were more towards technology like Java Unit, Microsoft Unit, which had sub units Front End , Back – end and then version wise split up Java 1.2 Sub unit Java 2.0 …. It was a mad rat race….
Delivering becomes even more cumbersome as the front end guys needs to collocate and need a separate infrastructure and when they were integrating their process they need the testers who needs to be borrowed for a period of time and then returned back. No dedicated testing, BA resources were provided for a development team. They need to collocate for a period of time. Infact this led to creating a pooling structure for BA’s, Testers and they formed a unit, sub unit and a department for them. The billing become more holy and the process became the cow. These departments gave birth to a sibling Technical writers and it race raped a new breed of Document Writers, Critics and User Manual creators, Automaters and on… At the end of the day, we had hybrid teams in a department collocated working on a technology where the technology breeds a dozen on the weekends with new versions zipping our lives.
It was a real mad rate race.
Aligning to business itself is a threat, as the vision for the business is strategic and anything strategic has a dynamic weather change. The rolling up was much easier in this end but when another re-org needs to happen it again became cumbersome.
Aligning with the function or a service was ideal, where we really found cross generations of ppl work in a team. Every organization that is on the way to become a matured hybrid should have undergone all these kind of alignments, vertical, horizontal, funnel down, up and undressed to show the value of joined up teams.
Yesterday, It was a dull client – customer – development team hybrid where the clients / customers were in the East or West, the development, testing centers were in India and China to work and deliver the content. Forming Scrum teams were a challenge, a huge impact on teams that were in US and India, where the Indian developers needs to work on the US time just to clarify doubts, prototype and present what has been done.
Today, A much energertic approach in handling clients have been found and practiced in organizations like mine. We have replaced the word Clients / customers with ‘In-Country colleagues’. They aren’t clients, but our team members who work in other locations. The idea is to help us help them. Some organizations called this joined up.
Tomorrow, As I blog, Our Team has picked up 2 or 4 members from our In-country colleagues to collocate to India and spend solid 2 years in helping us helping them, to shape up the product, to help us understand the big picture than just the scrum team or the sprint deliverable.
The advantages are…
- We don’t worry about Scrum of Scrums
- We aren’t delayed to get first hand information.
- We have the team collocated. (Clients, Stakeholders, BA’s, Testers, Development team and SME’s) all in one place to deliver what is required like a mission critical delivery.
- We save time and focus on results.
- We buy in. When your clients sits with you while you develop, while you prototype, while you present make a lot of transparency, confidence in delivering and a much positive attitude to deliver what is required.
- It helps both the members to learn from each culture / psychology and human network.
This is how a Scrum team should be… If you have your clients in the US and UK, Suggest to your management to bring the key resources for a period of 3 sprints to your developing arena and see the difference of how your team can perform. I have seen IBM, Microsoft and other companies who follow this.
I have learned this over the period of two years what Scrum meant by collocating.
The graphics in the blog are not self created but gathered from internet google search.