I am currently looking after three projects; A, B, and C, which solutions are being developed by three different teams as follows:
- Project A - Team Green
- Project B - Team Blue
- Project C - Team Yellow
Our sprints are 3/4 weeks long commencing at the same time for all projects.
Projects A and B have several dependencies of Project C. Likewise, Project C has dependencies of both Projects A and B.
At the beginning of the sprint I set up three sprint planning sessions, one per project/team. These sessions are shorter in time, never longer than a 1h, and are focused on what needs to be delivered in order to achieve the goals of the increment.
During the session, we identify and raise any dependencies that we have with the other projects which I collate in a Sprint RAID Log. In this document I highlight the dependency and team working in that area.
The same meeting process occurs for every other project/team.
At the end of that day, I have good visibility of the correlation and dependencies among these projects, so the following day I set up a 30 min RAID review session with the parties involved to run through these dependencies and agree a mitigation plan (some actions may be taken during the current sprint or may be considered for later phases of the project).
The key aspect here is that by the time we have the RAID review, the following day after individual sprint planning sessions, each team (solution developers, testers, Product Owners, and myself as PM) knows what they are working towards so we can discuss how to they are going to work to resolve these dependencies in a more efficient manner.
From my selfish point of view, running three separate sessions with the teams the same day is quite tiring however, from a practical perspective, shorter individual sessions (instead of 2-3 hour meeting) keeps the team focused preventing them from context switching which, at some point, exhausts them impacting their concentration and attention to the conversation. In the end this increases the risk of misunderstandings and the need for further meetings throughout the sprint (wasting more time).