Mia Filisch & Hanif Jameel : Empowering Teams To Change: From Components To Features – Agile Teams 2016

Mia Filisch & Hanif Jameel : Empowering Teams To Change: From Components To Features

The organisation of work around siloed component based teams can lead to difficulties in maximising the value delivered by a development process, and introduce coordination overheads which are difficult to resolve. At the same time, managing changes to the structure of teams is often a challenging process, especially if they are directly imposed. In this session we will explore the key lessons and insights gleaned from a developer and product led iterative transition to feature based teams.

Introductory

This experience report will cover the reorganisation of our development department from teams structured around architectural components to cross-functional, project-based, and much more fluidly structured feature teams which pull work from a single backlog. This transition was developed iteratively and from the ground up, rather than being imposed by management, and adjusted as the team saw fit based on frequent reflection and implementation of any resulting tweaks that were seen as necessary for productivity and team health. This empowerment was arguably a key element for the success of this transition. We will outline the premises and issues prompting this transformation, the initial setup and process which the team started out with, as well as any challenges we had to overcome during the regrouping. In doing so we aim to provide a reflective perspective on the nature of cross-functional feature teams which are aligned with user stories rather than with platform components, and on what the team at 7digital have learned from trying to adopt this structure.

Mia started out at 7digital in the world of customer and client operations, where she enjoyed working with technologists and learning new things so much than in 2014, she finally decided to make a change and become a software developer.

Hanif is a senior software developer at 7digital, responsible for advancing our core platform technology. He has a passionate interest in process improvement and helping teams become as effective as they can be.

Both of them also coordinate 7digital’s internal knowledge sharing events, where different people hold talks, demos or workshops once every week, and have broadened its scope from being a tech team initiative to including sessions for all members of staff.