Challenges in transitioning Component Teams to Feature Teams
19th Mar, 2022
Being a Scrum Master, I am facilitating the team in various required aspects and the scrum team is performing with good moderate velocity. After some time, an unavoidable situation arises where the product needs to be delivered before the estimated timeline and there are new complex items that get added to the product backlog. After addressing the new timeline and forthcoming issues, I had forecasted below challenges that the team face in near future:
- Opt for a customer-centric feature
- Heading multiple specializations
- Implement Lean Thinking
- Increase productivity, flexibility, and learning
- Reduce dependencies between teams
- Maximizing user value and motivation
- Stabilize workload
- Speed up TTM (Time To Market)
We were working based on component team structure. Lately, after analyzing the team’s velocity and current performance, we decided to formulate a development team from component to feature team structure to surmount the roadblocks. Before going deep down, let’s quickly check what the component team and feature team is.
A component team is a cross-functional and single component team that focuses on delivering one or more components/subsets of a feature/story. The component team divides PBIs into parts to supply each part to be done by a separate team (which holds accountability of the component). Further, these components combine and a feature is created.
A feature team is a cross-functional and cross-component team that focuses on delivering end-to-end features/stories from the product backlog. Feature team takes as a whole PBI/story, works on it, and creates an increment. Here, accountability is visible and more focus can be given to each feature.
- Identity - Making individuals identify with a part of the product rather than just a narrow particular skill.
- Refusal to accept change - It is difficult to change the working style of developers who work the same way for years. At an early stage, they see more cons than pros of feature teams.
- Consensus - It is an environment of a feature team. Creating team self-organize in delegating work, reallocating resources, creating schedules, all without conflict.
- Struggling in acquiring new skills - It will always be difficult to acquire a new skill in a true sense.
- Large learning curve - After convincing the resource regarding a new skill, the very next impediment is a large learning curve. Sometimes it takes months to make resources ready for work in new skills.
- Balance - It would be difficult to create balance across teams and have the right candidate at the right place in feature teams. Balancing various skill sets, various exercises, and various viewpoints.
- Make team understand how Accountability works - If a balanced group of resources is accountable for all aspects of design, coding, development, testing, delivering, etc.., they will conceive ways to share censorious inspections.
As a Scrum Master, I did not want to throw my ideas and decisions on the team but wanted to let the team understand the benefits and to make them realize the overall growth of the team as well as the product. A safe but slow strategy would be to establish the feature team from the existing component teams, measure how the new team performs, and gradually establish the next feature team.