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Recently our team was informed that they will be joined to another team.

We work in a big system and there are several subsystems that demand specific competencies, currently we have:

  • Team-A --> competence-A
  • Team-B --> competence-B

Our project manager asked us to follow a rule at the beginning:

Tasks with competence-A will be handled by Team-B and vice-versa and then we will have:

  • Team-A --> competence-B
  • Team-B --> competence-A

The team will have to self-organize to give support to each other and help on competence build-up.

The only way I see this plan happening successfully is with a strong team-work, organization and internal communication.

The pain points are:

  • How to build-up this team-work to make things happen naturally?
  • What is the best approach/methodology to this issue? (currently we are working with a pragmatic Scrum (we call it "Scrumban", see little more here)

I was wondering whether some external activities with the people to make them work together would improve the team-work, communication and create a friendship between them.

Additional info:

  • 90%-80% of the people are seniors and everybody is engaged to the project.
  • We will keep metrics separated for a couple of months.
  • After a couple of months we want to have a completely joined team (Team-C with competence A and B).
  • Meetings between Team-A and Team-b already started to allying some process handling differences.
  • Both teams are co-located.
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There's one question I have at the beginning: are both teams co-located? Depending on that techniques you'd use may vary a bit. Anyway a few ideas:

  • To foster knowledge exchange I'd choose one person from team A to join team B and vice versa. They would work as local go-to-person to share knowledge whenever needed. At the beginning it would be like full-time job but with time they should be able to take some regular tasks on their chests.

  • I wouldn't isolate teams longer than needed. Actually I wouldn't even start with telling people from team A to work on competence B only. Anyway, I'd try to get as soon as possible to the point where you have both competences merged on one board/in one backlog and you pull them according to their priorities no matter what was the original competence of person taking the task. It would probably be a bit longer but it would be way more natural and also you'd have this attitude that no one is in better (or worse) situation. I take starting situation as given but I'd try to move toward this kind of organization ASAP.

  • I would invest time to have everyone form both teams on daily meetings. For some time old teams would know better when new teams would be visiting dead ends or discussing easy issues etc.

  • Team leaders should be first ones who show helpful attitude. Since there will be a lot of questions at the beginning everyone should feel they get support whenever needed.

  • Some effort on networking would be great: having a couple of beers jointly or whatever seems fine in your organization, team, culture, etc.

  • Yes, both teams are in the same boat. Team-A are next to Team-B. – Johnny Mar 18 '11 at 1:52

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