This week we moved into a new phase in our first project on TUI Nordic in which we use kanban. We are kind of working with the same stuff as another project which uses scrum values like sprints and estimates. So, what do we do?
1. Tight communication between product owners
I start every day by a chat with the other product owner. We’ve decided that the best way to do this is mutual success. That is; if both projects are successful; the individual projects are successful. And we both know that communication is the basis for this. So, I plan for my stuff so that it helps the other project, and vice versa.
2. Guest players at daily standup
Both teams have daily standups and first we discussed scrum of scrums but since we have so tight discussions anyway, we realized that what was really important was when someone from my project (which is the smaller one) is working with code which directly affects the other project, he participates in that daily scrum as well. Since he’s a pig he can talk and this has worked surprisingly well. We all know that we have all to gain by helping each other and there’s a lot of sharing work and ideas.
3. Shared code
We work on the same project and work with integration as often as we can. We want to know as soon as possible if the shared code does not work.
4. Consider the scrum team’s sprint delivery
Checking in non working code is never OK but oft course this becomes a worse problem the nearer delivery a sprint is. Since we don’t have sprints on our kanban project, we must not forget to take this into consideration so we’re not half finished with something they need for their sprint delivery.
5. Nice and professional people
This would never have worked with the wrong people. I’m really proud to work with guys who realize that we’re all to gain here and there is no “that’s not my problem since that does not affect my project” mentality.
To summarize, I actually think it’s easier to integrate one scrum project and a kanban project than two scrum projects. But the story continues. It’s not over until the fat lady sings!
On Monday I’m starting a new project. This project has three objectives, you could say user stories, to be covered. But in our organization there is another project who are also touching the same story. In their case, it’s just a small part (1/6 of the project). And this is perhaps a common scenario in an enterprise environment with a project culture. Most systems and processes are connected and here we cross paths.
The first challenge is understanding where there is a connection. Here we need communication. You need to know which projects are going on and what they really mean. To meet this requirement, our company is currently mapping processes, concepts but still; there is nothing like verbal communication. So, scrum of scrums will be a necessity in the future. Right now, the scrum of scrums is more me unable to keep my nose away from other projects, so I keep myself posted. But yes, we need scrum of scrums. The whispering game is not a good and lean solution.
But now, to our challenge. The two teams are more than a one-pizza-group, so we’ll need two scrum teams, but the interaction need to be constant. We cannot afford doing stuff which does not take the other team into consideration. And we must work smart so that testing and deploying works smoothly. It’s a bit nervous but what makes it feel really good is the people on both teams. Really professional people, and that is the second most important challenge, find the right people for the challenge. It will be extra fun to finally work with one of our external project managers, Mats Wendelius from Alenio. He’s got experience from web projects from another leisure travel company and his experience is very welcome for a newbie like myself. Also, we’ve already had so many interesting discussions about how to cooperate between projects and it will be really interesting to see this in reality.