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I work in an organization where we are moving towards feature teams. We have four squads and seven chapters such as web development, api development, back-office development... Prior to this we had a single team, where developments were assigned to component experts (account management, payment, front end...).

When presented to the team, the most frequent objection was: "I am now limited to a single chapter (e.g web development) when I rather work on the full stack (web, api, back-office)"

Do you think people should focus on a single technical item (front end, backend service, ...) or broaden their skills ? How do you handle this in your teams ?

  • What did your previous organisation look like? Was it really one big ball of mud with everybody doing everything in one flat hierarchy? Just asking because we will probably do the same, but the chapters are already existing departments. – nvoigt Jan 12 '16 at 7:12
  • Can you update the question to highlight how this relates to project management? – Mark C. Wallace Jan 12 '16 at 9:17
  • I edited my question. I hope this is enough information... – benjamin.d Jan 12 '16 at 11:32
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The broader the range of skills each team member has, the easier it is to maintain a consistent team output.

The reason for this is that if you have a lot of specialisation it becomes difficult to allocate work to the team that exactly matches the team's capability. For example, say you have a team with 2 web, 2 api and 2 back-office specialists. Will the work that the team needs to do always keep these three disciplines equally busy?

There is an argument that technical specialists do a better job, but this advantage if ofset by some specialists being overworked while others are underworked.

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