Stability & Allocation
Stable Teams are long-lasting teams that are different from project teams that are assembled and disbanded as projects are launched and closed out. These teams have dedicated team members and a clear and consistent focus for their work. Work is allocated to these teams according to their capacity, which becomes predictable over time.
When teams are formed or new people are introduced into a team, the team naturally goes through a forming process. The process is captured in the Tuckman stages of group development: forming, storming, norming and performing. Each time a team is created or significantly changed, the team goes through the stages again. Stable Teams can get to the performing stage and remain in that stage long enough to become high-performing teams.
In allocating work to Agile Teams, a traditional approach asks the wrong questions:
“Which resources are available?” INSTEAD OF “Which team is ready to pull this project into their backlog?”
“How can I have an enterprise view of my resources?” INSTEAD OF “How can I have an enterprise view of my delivery teams?”
“Which manager do I need to negotiate with to get John?” INSTEAD OF “Which Product Owner has the team with the skills needed?”
Pushing projects beyond capacity actually causes an organization to slow down!
Problems We’re Trying to Solve
- People are over-allocated, supporting multiple assignments and responsibilities
- Teams never reach high performing because they are continually reformed
- Teams can’t finish what they have started
- Unpredictable velocity and delivery
- Teams work effectively together and optimize their processes, measured by predictable velocity and delivery
- Teams self-organize around the work, measured by confidence and value delivered
- Stable and dedicated teams move from one project to the next without having to re-establish themselves each time, measured by team performance