Home > scrum > Does SCRUM lend itself to multi-project environments?

Does SCRUM lend itself to multi-project environments?

July 29Hits:1
Advertisement

I will be moving workplace in the near future and I believe they will be very interested in my experience of Scrum and how it may relate to their business. I am trying to understand if it will work in their environment.

My current place of work we have a 2 products/2 backlogs/2 separate teams. These backlogs are obviously prioritised based on what the business thinks it most needs for a platform that we develop. The place I will be moving to however has many projects on the go all at the same time with (2/3 individuals working on each), small bits of work come in and are fixed on a daily basis and I imagine all the customer deliverables are roughly equally as important.

So I'm wondering if anyone has experience of Scrum in a similar environment, what real examples have you got of things that worked? What didn't work? What considerations need to there for Scrum to work in this situation?

There are a few aspects that I'm not sure how would work out well:

  1. I believe people in teams will work across projects, and therefore potentially across scrum teams if broken down.
  2. How do you go about handling priority on so many moving parts which are probably changing frequently and have their own timescales?
  3. If you have a scrum team that works on several projects (some many only require 1 Dev) then how do you understand the context of the stand-up?

Answers

I work as a Development Manager in exactly this environment, and have inplemented Scrum extremely successfully with a team of 4 over the past year, from what was a horrible mess. It took a bit of time to get to where we are now, but it works great. I will try to summarise the most important actions, but feel free to enquire further.

  1. I acted as both Product Owner and Scrum Master. I worked to create a backlog for each product, with the associated stakeholder.
  2. I then prioritised across ALL of the backlogs, so I efectively had my own backlog spanning projects. This was using Fogbugz, so I could filter to each one by project for that stakeholder to work with me and shuffle items.
  3. Plan sprints from this, encapsulating all projects and all team members, so some team members will be working on their own specific tasks, but encourage cross functional working and learning. All stand up discussions are useful, because if someone is talking about something no-one else knows, they had to elaborate enough for us to understand. This aided the learning.
    • At this point, the team was lacking cohesion, but we were at least getting things done on all projects, keeping the business happy, and improving quality by adding source control / automated tests. It was a HUGE improvement of the mess that was before, but it was also hard to maintain focus, with no goal other than completing the sprint. We also didn't have demo's as they would not be particularly relevant to any one stakeholder. Because I was both PO and SM, I was relatively gentle on comitting the team to too much. It's worth noting we were still delivering a LOT more than prior to my arrival.
  4. I then tried to slowly shift focus of sprints more to a single product, so we would have a sprint say 60% on one product, but still with other tasks. Eventually, sprints were 90% focussed on one task, and stakeholders learnt to 'wait their turn' - after all, we were still achieving a whole lot more than they ever got before. This made Demo's possible for one product at a time.
  5. Once the sprints were focussed, I began to train the stakeholders in Scrum, and turn some of them into Product Owners. This is the stage I am at now, I work with 3 product owners, and still have 2 products I effectively own. Sprints may have 1 or 2 tasks for 'other' projects, but we have a enough focus for a sprint demo with the main stakeholders of the sprint demonstrating only their products new features.

I hope this helps, this is the journey I have been on with my current employer, and so far the Dev team, business units, and (most importantly) my boss are very happy.

I'm currently working as part as a 4-person scrum team that is responsible, to one degree or another, for everyone of our company's products. Totaling at roughly 16 products, plus a mess of semi-connected one-off's, I can tell you from experience that scrum doesn't endear itself to a multi-project environment. As stated above, it is tough to build team synergy when you're constantly working individually on different things. Furthermore, it is tough to cross-relate to the working details of your teammates' assignments, since your focus is on a completely different assignment, in a completely different project.

Moreover, 'falling-in-love' or even unassigned analysis with a particular product is nearly impossible due to the rate of assignment turnover, which can lead to code rot, among other things.

If you find yourself in a position where you can't escape multiple projects assigned to your team, I wouldn't recommend SCRUM.

I'm not sure I understand, if you have "2/3 individuals working on each" then isn't that the same as having several teams, each working on a project.

They may change projects regularly, rather than having a 'product' they continually work on, but that's not much of a difference. Some places even expect teams to work on different parts of a product and change to work on something else after each project is complete - mainly to ensure a good spread of knowledge.

Tags:scrum

Related Articles

  • Does SCRUM lend itself to multi-project environments?July 29

    I will be moving workplace in the near future and I believe they will be very interested in my experience of Scrum and how it may relate to their business. I am trying to understand if it will work in their environment. My current place of work we ha

  • Should SCRUM be used for a project with only one person working on it?July 2

    At our company we have a team working on 3 different projects at the same time, where typically only one or two people are involved in each project. Project work often involves mastering new technologies and or solving bugs, both leading to tasks whi

  • Gradle Multi Project Builds with duplicate source filesJanuary 25

    We use Gradle for our project and I am trying to setup Gradle multi-projects to make our branching process easier. For some background, our project uses an existing reference platform and adds/modifies files as required to implement our new features.

  • Gradle: multi project with different source & target compatibilityFebruary 9

    I have multi-project gradle configuration which is using java 7 for building. I am adding a new project that have to be built with Java 6. From this Q&A I have tried the different solutions proposed but none of them worked. Here is the top level buil

  • Multi-project multi-team ScrumMay 15

    2 teams (A and B) in different geo locations are developing Project P. Both of the teams are also developing few other smaller projects: A has projects PA1 and PA2. B has PB1 and PB2. P is the only one common to the 2 teams. The Scrum design today: E

  • Can the customer be a SCRUM Product Owner in a project?November 22

    I just had a discussion with a colleague about the Product Owner role: In a project where a customer organization has brought in a sofware developing organization (supplier), can the role of Product Owner be successfully held by the customer organiza

  • A template from multi projects

    A template from multi projectsJanuary 25

    I am trying to create a template from multi projets but during compile time, I've got error messages: The .vstemplate looks like: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <VSTemplate Version="3.0.0" Type="Project&

  • What are some common tagging strategies for EC2 in multi-team environments?June 3

    Given a company with multiple teams using EC2, what are some common or practical strategies for setting some TAG guidelines when instances or ami's are created so that resources can be more easily searched and filtered? --------------Solutions-------

  • Best practice for securing ASAs in multi tenant environments July 23

    I'm interested to know what best practices are for setting limits and policies on an ASA to protect the device to maintain service when used as a multi tenant firewall. For example following several recent incidents of compromised servers we now have

  • Team Git workflow working with a multi-project Sitecore solution using TDSDecember 23

    We are a team of 8-10 developers working on different parts of a Sitecore instance. In the past we've used SVN and more recently (and successfully) Hg, but are moving to using Git as our primary source control. We're working with Sitecore 7, and usin

  • What's the correct commit message in a multi-project repositoryMay 21

    Somewhere else there was a discussion on putting several projects in one large repository. My question is, how does a good commit message look in those type of repos? I usually prepend each commit message (via git hook) with a JIRA story ID [XYZ-123]

  • Refactor on multi project in Visual Studio with lots of "Linked Files"January 19

    I have several C# project in different solution of Visual Studio. There are many .cs file that are referenced from different project (NOT copy of same .cs file, but only 1 file and several reference in several project). Now I have created a general s

  • "Cannot be resolved to a type" after upgrading to GWT 2.7. and trying to compile a multi-project moduleJanuary 20

    I´ve been having trouble getting the Super-Dev-Mode to work with GWT 2.7. and GXT 3.1.x The classical Dev-Mode starts without trouble, but the Super-Dev-Mode and GWT-compile the project won`t work. I am currently working with Eclipse 4.4.2 with Java

  • .dll Linking error in multi project solution. Error LNK2019: unresolved external symbolJanuary 25

    I've been trying to work on separating my solution into .Dll's, i thought i was just starting to get the hang of it, then it all fell apart - I also can't figure out how to fix the warnings (They're to do with using the static GLEW lib, instead of th

  • SBT: Override sbt run task in multi project build.sbFebruary 8

    I want to override the default behaviour of the run task in order to preprocess the arguments passed to the sbt command and call the run task on a specific subproject with different arguments (depending on custom logic). That's a sample of build.sbt

  • Why is the multi-project build.sbt failing?February 18

    I have the below build.sbt. I am using sbt 0.13.9. name := "myproject" organization := "myproject" version := "0.1" lazy val myproject = project in file(".") aggregate(common, myservice) lazy val common = (project i

  • Can tmux be used in multi user environments safely?November 11

    I could not find docs on how tmux clients and servers commmunicate. I would like to use tmux but it cannot be deployed if it only uses sockets for this. fifo's or pipes would be ok as long as fifo's are created in dir specfied by me. Any ideas ? ----

  • Where do you turn for code base improvement on a multi-project scale? June 1

    Are there resources out there for a programmer with a large code base to have professional alalysis performed for the goal of finding the areas of most needed improvement? Logic/Reason tells me there's a limit to what a code review question can absor

  • how to ssh into a vagrant box when working with multi-vagrant environments?September 29

    I have two vagrant boxes (wordpress VVV and laravel homestead) running at the moment at the same time. I always ssh to the machine with putty 127.0.1.1:2222 if I run vagrant homestead first I can only ssh this one machine at once. If I halt this mach

  • How to add Multi-Project Throttle Category using scriptJanuary 18

    I am using Jenkins with Throttle Concurrent Builds plugin and trying to add Throttle Category in jenkins configuration(Jenkins=>manage Jenkins=> Configure System=>Throttle Concurrent Builds). Is it possible to configure it using groovy? Thanks. -

Copyright (C) 2017 ceus-now.com, All Rights Reserved. webmaster#ceus-now.com 14 q. 0.579 s.