Do you want to know how to solve collaboration issues between Scrum teams? Studying collaboration issues at a numbe of large IT service providers revealed six blocking issues. Alleviating these issues will likely result in reduced time to market of new features.

Collaboration between Scrum teams
Everybody working with Agile/Scrum teams knows that collaboration between Scrum teams can be extremely challenging. Scrum teams focus on their single backlog with backlog items. Scrum teams therefore have a tendency to look inward and more or less ‘disconnect’ themselves from the outside world. Such disconnection is counterproductive in case a Scrum team cannot deliver added value without the delivery of interdependent Scrum teams. In that case Scrum teams need to collaborate with their interdependent ‘peers’.

Understanding the largest issues before fixing the problem
Since I’m so interested about networks in the IT service industry I have researched several chains of Scrum teams in large IT organizations in The Netherlands. I have studied the chains in a multinational bank, one of the largest telecom providers in The Netherlands and a multi-national Insurance company. During the research I identified six collaboration related issues in a chain of interdependent Scrum teams, being

  1. priority conflicts
  2. coordination challenges
  3. insufficient alignment
  4. limited automated software development processes (Continuous Delivery)
  5. no visibility over status, progress and results
  6. unpredictable software delivery by each team

Results published in and paper
The research has resulted in a scientific paper that was submitted last year to the Journal of Information and Software Technology. I’m proud to announce that our paper has been accepted and published in the journal of Information and Software Technology in 2014. The paper contains many insights in these blocking issues.

Next steps
As next step we plan to develop a governance framework to alleviate the issues and test whether deploying the framework helps a chain of Scrum teams to deliver features faster to its customer base.

Tags: scrum development teams IT teams


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