I've been practicing Agile and leading a new team for a while in a new organization. Everything works perfectly fine. Task got pulled by the team. Process that is set by the team has been followed by the team without any problem.

Challenge i faced recently was, new task required to be done by different department normally their manager will issued a ticket to me before my team. but now it seems everyone is assigning to my team mate although keeping me in loop but it doesn't make any sense. Where they communicate straight to my team mate. It seems like the process has been broken.

I'm a little confuse , how can i re-align the team with a proper process and also across other department? Should i talk to the boss about the process once I've apply and follow?

2 Answers 2


[E]veryone is assigning to my team mate although keeping me in loop but it doesn't make any sense. Where they communicate straight to my team mate. It seems like the process has been broken. (sic)

All forms of agility require that work flows through defined channels. Your post is tagged so all new work should enter an agreed-upon input queue. Whether this queue is a ticketing system, a Product Backlog, or other artifact is unimportant. What is important is that there are formal agreements in place between the team and the organization about:

  1. How work enters the system.
  2. How work is prioritized, and by whom.
  3. How work will flow through the system.
  4. What work-in-progress (WIP) limits apply to the system.

While agile methodologies encourage customer collaboration, they expressly do not allow assigning tasks to team members outside the agreed-upon process flow. This sounds like a great teachable moment for you to provide education to both your team members and your stakeholders about how the process works, and to remind them that they all agreed to it.

If the process is being bypassed because it's not working, then a retrospective or kaizen meeting may be in order. In all likelihood, though, it's simply a lack of rigor in following the system, rather than a failure of the system itself. Your mileage may vary.

  • 2
    Hi CodeGnome , thanks for the input. I think i will revise my plan / flow . Set a time with the CEO and discuss about this again. Then i'll set another meeting with all the department heads and re-introduce this to them once again. Hopefully outcome turn out to be more than ok :)
    – LArcenCiel
    Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 2:09

There could be a few answers here, so I'll try to hit each:

First, does work have to go through you for your process to work? Especially with newer teams, having all work flow into the process through a team lead or manager can be helpful to make sure people aren't being distracted and the prioritization process isn't being side-stepped. As the team and the organization gets used to how they work together, that person's role may become less of a gate keeper. That can be uncomfortable at first, but ask if there is any pain being caused - is the team member getting distracted or are people slipping their request ahead of others that should be first?

Second, you said that people are assigning work to a teammate. This does seems problematic. Work should go to the team and then the appropriate person should take it. Again, the details are important. If they're placing an item in the queue and your team mate says "Oh, I'm about to be done with this task and it looks like you're next, let's chat." then that's pretty ok. If they're short-circuiting the process, you're right to raise the concern and your teammate should also be directing them to the proper process.

Which brings us to the final part: is it clear to people outside of the team how work gets brought to your team and prioritized. In the past, I've worked in teams where we thought this was clear - you entered a ticket, it went in a queue, we worked top-down. Turned out almost no one knew that. They just thought they entered a ticket and we'd get back to them when we got back to them. Ask the people going directly to your teammate why they are. There may just be a small visibility problem that'll clear everything up.

  • Good day Daniel , thanks for sharing. After reading all the comments here from my observation i do think my side here and departments outside of mine , lack of communication and 1 more problem for me is managing the process , many times i see panic from other department and they just want to get things done in an instant, it's bit frustration. Seems i need to educate them to prioritize their work so we can work smoothly
    – LArcenCiel
    Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 2:17

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