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Monday, August 6 • 10:45 - 11:15
Joining Forces: An Agile Experiment in Merging Teams (Kevin Normand) POPULAR

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When teams are working well and firing on all cylinders, you don’t want to mess with them. But what happens when two such teams are merged into one for the duration of a project? In this experiment we did just that, and what we stumbled upon was a bit surprising - and inspiring!
In this report we begin by exploring why mixing things up from time to time can be valuable opportunities for mentoring, improving work practices, rejuvenating spirits, and let’s not forget - meeting that aggressive deadline. We then dive into the recipe we found to make the experiment work (for example, that the teams should each bring unique value to the project while having at least some overlapping skill sets and work practices, that both teams should have similar Agile work practices and be ready to compromise, and that individual roles should be clearly defined from the start). Finally, we share retrospective feedback from team members highlighting the positive experience.
View the Experience Report

Lessons Learned from Your Experience:
  • Bringing two teams together for duration of a project: a) is a refreshing experience for the teams with high engagement and creativity - an opportunity to break away from the mundane; b) can be very effective for meeting an aggressive deadline; c) actually improves communication between individuals
  • Steep learning curves are quickly overcome by working with knowledgeable peers
  • People enjoy learning from new colleagues; but can be shy about mentoring new colleagues.
  • Kick off the project with a meet-your-neighbor retrospective
  • Leave time in the first planning meetings for consolidation of practices - be ready to compromise on story point metrics, definitions of constructs; and then move on. When the teams are already performing similar Agile practices, the combined process is easier for all.
  • "Role collisions” are a possibility. Good leadership and teamwork skills will come into play very quickly.


avatar for Kevin Normand

Kevin Normand

Deputy Manager, R&D, Fugro
Devotee in the arts of Agile, Machine Learning, C#, Git, JIRA, Confluence, AWS, C++, team spirit, transportation planning, cycling, team sports, teamwork, maps, old maps, new maps, and more. Proponent of retrospectives, continuous learning, roundabouts, and Joy in the workplace! Advocate... Read More →

Monday August 6, 2018 10:45 - 11:15 PDT
Torrey Pines Room 1, 2, & 3