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Sharing of some people between various Scrum teams – certainly possible

This post is in response to a recent query that I got. There was a team that was recently changing towards the implementation of Scrum (moving away from their own version of an iterative development model, and wanting a change from the high pressure cooker and intense end games that they would repeatedly get), and went in for a Scrum training. Team members were identified, split into 2 Scrum teams of 8 and 9 members, and went in for training. This was for the development of a new version of a product, so there were additional roles that were required in the past, and would be required for their new development model as well. Some of these roles comprised of – The Product Manager, the User Designer Expert, and some usability researchers. In the past, there was a total of 1 each of these roles for the entire team (comprised of 17 dev and QE resources). The question came up – what happens when the team is now divided into 2 separate Scrum teams ? Do we need to get more people to help out with the Product Management, or with the User Design, or with the usability studies.
The answer was an over-whelming No. Just because in the Scrum way of development, there are more teams being formed, there is no need for each team to have a dedicated resource for these areas. The same Product Manager can work as the Product Owner for both teams (and in fact, this was seen as a bonus since the same person would continue to drive the product in totality), the same User Designer would continue to work with the Product Owner and the 2 Scrum teams, and the usability expert would continue to work for the features (user stories) that go into both Scrum teams.
So what changed ? Well, nothing much. There will be some amount of tweaking required to ensure that the timings of meeting where these folks are required or want to attend (such as the Daily Scrum, the Sprint Planning meeting, or the retrospective) for the 2 teams should be separate from each other. In addition, there needs to be some amount of measurement of whether the work load for any of these folks has increased; if there is an increase, it needs to be evaluated since Scrum by itself does not mandate work additions for the people involved. It could be that the team directly interacts with the Product Owner rather than through Dev and QE leads as in the past, and this could lead to seemingly more queries and more need to explain, but this would not be a very long process, and should not substantially contribute to an increased workload.

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