I may possibly inherit a new team which had toyed with Scrum but not found it the correct approach (largely due to the parallel not sequential nature of business projects).
They are working to a fairly effective Kanban system but the development team are unhappy. In previous roles they worked closely with customers and now they are just developers (their words) who report to a Product Owner of Project Manager who articulates the customer requirements.
Unfortunately this has led to a number of project delays as technical information or warnings from the developers are ignored until the Project Manager must return with their tail between their legs to the business customer and explain the timelines were unrealistic.
I have been asked to explore the feasibility of a development team where each developer could theoretically be assigned to a number of projects and be heavily embedded in the requirements gathering and backlog generation alongside the Project Manager or Product Owner. The management want to know if such an approach is still "Agile" which seems to be a fixation.
The senior Product Owner would still decide the priority of the projects coming into the environment but the developers would be responsible for the priority of tasks within each project in conjunction with a PM/Deputy PO.
What practices would lead to the potential success of such a system?
- Cross Functional 10 Man Development Team
- Full Stack Developers
- 3 Tier Environment
- Multiple ongoing high priority projects
- Current system is Kanban
- Toyed with Scrum
- Developers have no contact with business customers apart from occasional Sprint Review
- Customers hail from all business functions
- Project Managers are non-technical often ignoring development wisdom
- Management wish to explore Agile solution whereby;
- Developers can approach customers directly in conjunction with Product Owner
- Each User Story card is owned by a single developer
I know the temptation for some may be to fixate on the "Scrum did not work part" or the "developer is unhappy part" of the question but I gave that information for context. I feel confident in turning around the morale of the team and improving each individual's self worth. I am keen to explore whether a former Scrum team can survive when each developer is allowed to gather / re-prioritise requirements alongside a Product Owner.
Edit to Add
I know this question is somewhat theoretical and a bit more heavy than the normal fare at SE.PM but I felt if anyone could crowd source the cost-benefit of such an approach it would be here. :-)