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java,agile,tips and tricks

Project Teams Without Developers

The #NoProjects meme is catching hold, mostly as a rejection of forming project teams. I’ll be posting more on the “No” meme’s in the coming days. Meanwhile I’m intrigued by the ideas put forth by Carmen DeArdo of Nationwide Insurance during a webcast on DevOps on Tuesday.

Carmen suggests that forming teams of developers for each project, and tearing them down afterwards was acting as a barrier to adopting agile practices. Much of the learning belonged to the team that had learned how to work together with agility. To support an Agile transformation, they wanted to keep their developers together. They stopped putting developers on project teams, and formed application development teams. Those sympathetic to #NoProjects will be pleased, including myself.

However, as Carmen explains in the Q&A, they still have “Projects” that are delivering capabilities that span many applications. A small project team is formed (mostly of project manager types) that works with the application development teams. It sounds like Developers live with their applications, and PMs translate business initiatives to changes in many applications. A promising matrix approach.

This was by no means the focus of the talk, and I may have some details wrong, but I find the approach very interesting. Ok, #NoProjects people, tell me what you think of this approach (which may or may not be what Nationwide is actually doing).

You should check out Carmen’s whole presentation here.

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