The intersection of the four factors and the discussion of timing leave out probably the most important factor in the success of a pilot project—the individuals involved. I deliberately chose to leave people out of the discussion of selecting the right pilot project under the assumption that we can select the project and team independently. That is, we can select the best project as our Scrum pilot and can then look around and assemble the right team for that project. I understand this is an uncommon luxury in many organizations—the project and the team often come as a package, just like the ham and eggs in a Scrum team's favorite breakfast. If you cannot separate the decisions of the ideal pilot project and the ideal pilot team, simply consider all factors together in selecting the best available pilot.

Put initial teams together with an eye toward compatibility, constructive dissension among team members, willingness and ability to learn and adapt, technical skills, communication skills, and so on. Of these, the most important consideration in selecting a pilot team is the willingness of the individuals to try something different. Ideally, all will have moved through the awareness and desire steps of the ADAPT. When presented the opportunity to influence who will be on the pilot team, I look to create a combination of the following types of individuals:

• Scrum lobbyists. The project may not be big enough to include everyone who has been lobbying to adopt Scrum, but I want to be biased toward including as many of these individuals on the project as I can. It would be painful for them to have to be on the sidelines even though they'd still be hopeful for the project's success.

• Willing optimists. These individuals understand that a new development approach is needed but didn't go so far as to actively argue for a change to Scrum in the past. Knowing what they now do about Scrum, they believe it sounds promising and want to see it succeed.

• Fair skeptics. I don't want someone on the project who will work to sabotage the pilot or the teamwork necessary to become a Scrum team, but this does not mean I want to avoid all skeptics. It can be very beneficial to include a well-respected, vocal skeptic as long as the skeptic has demonstrated a past willingness to admit being wrong or change an opinion. These individuals can become some of the transition's strongest supporters when convinced of the benefits through hands-on experience.

Of course, all of this must be mixed with an eye toward combining the right set of skills for the project. If your pilot project's goal is to develop a video game, you had better put an animator on the team. I also look for individuals who have a track record of working together successfully. Sometimes you find an existing entire team that can become the pilot team. Other times, you can think back over the past few years and put together people who worked together well on past projects.

Source of Information : Pearson - Succeeding with Agile Software Development Using Scrum 2010


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