34

Speaking from experience... I once attempted to bring Scrum into a situation where: We currently had little-to-no defined process for development - people just got assigned work, did it, then got more work. Our direct manager was indifferent/mildly hostile (think "I don't like this new-fangled way of doing things, but I'll let you work how you want. Just ...


21

Many traditional managers are accustomed to "knowing" Scope, Budget and Deadline upon committing to a project. Scrum takes all that away and promises to do its best. Now you get one of these outcomes: Management says: In that case you are not doing Scrum. Outcome: No Scrum. Management says: Sure you do Scrum, we do waterfall and what we do counts. Outcome: ...


13

There's a huge misconception (or difference of perception) of managers of programming teams. What they think: "We set the project, features and timeline, and it will be done in that time" What programmers think: "We have a certain pace that we can work at, work will not get done any faster regardless of what management is doing. In waterfall management sets ...


10

I tend to think that it can be better to have project team members report to their line manager rather than the project manager. Generally, as a PM I don't really care that John is working on or assigned to something, I care that his line unit has someone assigned to it and it is going to be done on time/budget. So when I plan projects work gets assigned to ...


9

Have you considered a Squad system? The always-excellent Henrik Kniberg has an article that you may find useful on how this system is used at Spotify. The basic principle is as follows: Vertical multi-skilled (product, development, design) teams work on a single product or area of product development (e.g. infrastructure, customer feedback) - these are ...


9

It depends pretty much on the Organizational Structure each company wants to follow. I believe that what you meant by a cross functional structure would follow a Matrix Management. As your question is related to the disvantages of it, follows the quote from Wikipedia: Key disadvantages of matrix organizations include: Mid-level management having ...


9

Scrum can deliver software faster, better, and cheaper. But to realize the potential time and cost savings, stakeholders have to understand the process and be committed to fulfilling their role in it. Understanding the process means letting go of the idea that everything can be planned up front. Business people are accustomed to having detailed plans and ...


8

In short: definitely not. For me a project manager needs to be in a more neutral position. From experience I would say that the moment the project manager is placed in a position of authority over the project team the relationship changes radically. I think the project manager should be creating an environment in which the project team are using their ...


8

Seeing as your question asks 'ideally' I would say 'Product Development', along with the rest of the development team and product owner. Realistically, this isn't a department that exists in most organisations and would probably only work on a smaller scale. This is very much dependent on the organisational structure, but I think a Scrum Master should sit ...


8

Barring a "process" organization then SpoonerNZ's reply is the one I would also go with. This is the same challenge project/ program management has faced for years. TO be able to be effective at your job, a scrum master needs to be able to talk truth to power, problems and roadblocks. They need to be able to look at the entire picture and see how it all ...


7

TL;DR TANSTAAFL. If you want to scale, you need to add more teams. However, if you add more teams, you have to manage the additional complexity and communications overhead that comes along with that. Direct communication channels scale poorly. The formula is generally expressed as N(N-1)/2. If you don't have a project management model that addresses this ...


7

Would you give the role of product owner to the senior lead developer? The Product Owner is your key stakeholder. They need to have the authority to prioritise the product backlog and enough domain knowledge to explain requirements to the development team. It seems unlikely that your senior lead developer would be a good fit for this role. Is the senior ...


6

Are project management offices the exception or the rule in most organisations? PMOs are becoming more frequent, and particularly as you look at large organizations, they are definitely no longer an exception (I'd say they are becoming more of a norm than a rule though). They still tend to exist mostly within IT departments (IT being heavily project-driven)...


6

A reference generally accepted in project Management is the "PMBOK" issued by PMI Which does cover the question about PMO and organizational structures. However, there seem to be a mountain of confusion regarding roles and responsibilities in your organisation. BA and PM for a start are very different roles. Although it can make sense for a BA to report to ...


6

A Scrum development team is self-organising and avoids the traditional hierarchical roles such as lead developer. The idea is for team members to lead by setting an example and by gaining the respect of the other members of the team. For example, in the case where you have a very experienced develeper on the team they may often take technical leadership ...


6

That project needs to be released in 2 months, but we estimated around 6 months of work on it. So we need to get more people working, so that we can fit in that time period. Adding more developers will not solve your problems. Study of The Mythical Man-Month by Fred Brooks is recommended. Also Testing & Verification should happen alongside of the ...


6

One suggestion is that you shouldn't have a long requirements phase, followed by a long design phase and then a long development phase. Pick the most valuable part of the project and build this first. That will reduce the length of time your team is waiting on the initial requirements. After this, requirements gathering for the next iteration can proceed in ...


6

It sounds like there are three challenges you are encountering, and they are possibly all separate solutions. 1) The manager as part of the team is disruptive to the success of the team. A lot of leaders simply don't understand the impact their hierarchical difference has on others. It is unfortunate that your scrum master hasn't noticed, but if you're in ...


5

Traditionally, the team members report to their line manager unless an issue is related to the project. Additionally, the project manager is very rarely the same person as the line manager, because of the different kind of demand coming from the organization. Personally, I don't like this approach, because a team member has two supervisors and for example, ...


5

TL; DR Agile frameworks like Scrum generally refer to developers as "team members." The specific nomenclature can vary from framework to framework, though, and is not prescriptive. Project Management is About Resource Constraints Project management is a field built around managing constraints. Those constraints may be time, money, skill, or available ...


5

There are three independent questions in your question and so let’s attempt to answer each one of them one at a time. Your first question – "Are there reasons why companies prefer this type of structure?" - has two Reasons depending on the kind of organization you are dealing with. Reason 1 – Organizations / Managers who believe in the idea of focus and ...


5

In the PMBoK Guide (Fifth edition) it is written following: Matrix organizations can be classified as weak, balanced, or strong depending on the relative level of power and influence between functional and project managers. Weak matrix organizations maintain many of the characteristics of a functional organization, and the role of the project ...


5

Scrum recommends that teams consist of people with every skillset necessary to create a working product increment or potentially releasable software at the end of every sprint. This means that every scrum team should consist of backend developers, frontend developers, as well as testing engineers specializing in the different platforms. The way you're ...


5

Oooooh boy... Where to start.... If you're almost finished but you're "stuck" on testing and debugging you are definitely doing something wrong in the first place. Waterfall much? If you, or your salespeople, have sold a 6 month project to be done in 2 months you're in the hole already. None of these problems are actually related to your project management ...


5

I thought a feature team is a team that can fully complete features to production without dependencies on other teams. What you describe sounds like area teams. Here the LeSS (Large Scale Scrum) perspective on feature teams and requirement areas: A feature team, is a long-lived, cross-functional, cross-component team that completes many end-to-end ...


4

My answers below are based on the assumption that you are all located in the same office space. I think that using a software solution for your project management may be overkill, and may actually be getting in your way as you start out. I'd suggest sitting down with your CEO and PM for an hour and decide on what exactly makes sense for you to be tracking ...


4

Rule of thumb: methodologies and tools fits to your needs, not the other way round. Having said that, you need to assess: The problems you are facing now The procedures you have in place you believe could be improved What you believe is working fine and you want to keep This information can be discussed informally with everyone (and eventually, someone ...


4

US federal funding agencies such as the NSF, NIH, NEH, and NEH-ODH (these are the ones with which I have personal familiarity) with all at least have the following publicly available on their web site: abstracts of funded projects (taken directly from their project proposals; see the NSF's, for example) a sample proposal for each award program (in several ...


4

Creating silos in your organization along non-value delivery lines is almost always a bad thing. You're essentially informing your employees that optimizing their piece of the value-delivery stream is where they should focus their efforts, rather than focusing on delivering value to your customer. Should you be your own reporting tree? No. Should you fall ...


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