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Some advantages from Swarming (scrum) …

The previous post in this topic was about Swarming in the Scrum team and what it is about. This post looks at some of the advantages that Swarming brings to a Scrum team (alert: Unfortunately, the very nature of trying to describe advantages makes the use of some jargon type phrases as required, so please grin and bear them). What are some of the advantages of doing Swarming in a Scrum team ?
For a number of teams which do Swarming, the basic aim is to ensure that the most important and required tasks in terms of customer need and usefulness get completed during the Sprint cycle rather than getting partially done by the team member or team members who were working on it. This happens even during the Sprint cycle when it becomes clear that there are some issues in getting the task (planned for the Sprint cycle) completed during the complete cycle; that is when most of the team or the entire team gets together to work on this specific task / User Story in order to get it complete. If one were to summarize, the idea is to ensure that the more critical tasks are completed on schedule even if people are pulled from other tasks.
It gives people in the team some initiative. For example, there could be the case where team members wanted to work on a particular task or feature, but were not able to do so. During the cycle, there would be cases where it would be required to pull in more team members and people could be invited to volunteer (and obviously, this entire strategy is with the concurrence of team managers); if they were to do so and were not working on some mission critical tasks themselves, they would be allowed to drop their current work and move for some time on the task which is sought to be completed through Swarming. You might find that people who come in through this process might be more passionate, and might even turn out to be more innovative.
In many cases, it has been found that when the same (critical) task is provided to a couple or more team members working together rather than a single person working by themselves, the progress on this task actually increases more than expected. The concept of getting people to work together along with the exchange of views and ideas can have a tremendous positive impact on the schedule and progress (but this needs to be limited to the critical tasks). They learn teamwork, which is one problem when you have each team member going off and working on their own individual tasks (unless you have got a very mature team, in which case you are plain lucky).
Similar to the above point, there is another advantage of having multiple team members working on the same task rather than it being assigned to only one team members. Moving the task to multiple team members does ensure that team members get exposure of a particular function that they may not have been exposed to so much in the past, which is beneficial for the understanding of the function it imparts and this actually helps the team in the future.

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