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Brendan Marsh Posts

Bootstrapping an Agile Team [Part 1 – People]

In this 3 part series, I will explain some of the exercises I’ve been using to build common ground in teams that are newly formed or newly modified. The inspiration comes from finishing the agenda / planning for an off-site for one of my teams, which I’ve conducted for a few teams now.

Part 1 – Intro / Shared Understanding of People [you are here!]
Part 2 – Shared Understanding of Product (Vision, Team Purpose)
Part 3 – Shared Understanding of Process (How We Work)

At Spotify, our teams change quite frequently. There are many reasons for this but the most common reason is to organise ourselves to solve an important business problem. We believe in self-organising teams and we expect our engineers to decide who & what they need to best solve the ever changing business problems that we face. Teams will hire new people, have people move between teams, be disbanded or be newly created.

When a team changes (or is newly formed), the team loses shared knowledge & understanding. It is my belief that an effective team is a group of individuals that have a common understanding of:

People – Each other
Product – Their purpose as a team and/or the vision for the product
Process – How they work


Why we dropped Scrum for Kanban – Part 2 (Switching back to Scrum)

On April 9th, I published an article “Why we dropped Scrum for Kanban in our lead up to launch“. The article will be published on the Scrum Alliance website over the coming days and I was just approached by a staffer at Scrum Alliance to provide an update on the article, now that we’ve launched our product. Here is the update that I provided, based on my experience switching to Kanban towards the launch of a product, launching it & then switching back to Scrum.