Multi-disciplinary teams, not multi-disciplinary persons!

In the teams I am coaching at the moment, I noticed an interesting misunderstanding of the concept of multi-disciplinary (or cross-functional) teams. Or, maybe, it’s more of a caricature than a misunderstanding.

When I state that a good Agile or Scrum team should be multi-disciplinary, this is sometimes interpreted as “so every person in the team should be able to do anything”.

This is wrong! Completely, utterly wrong. It is nonsense!

People have their specialties. Some people are good coders, other good testers. And we really want our team members to be good craftsmen.

But, we need a team that is, as a whole, capable of completely turning a sprint backlog into completion. Into DONE completion.

Some people code, others design, others test.

But it is not the team members who are completely multi-disciplinary, it is the team!

Now, there is more to say about the capabilities of team members. We don’t want super-specialists who can only do one task. We really like to have people with T-profiles. But more on that in a later post.


About André Heijstek

Rijnlands / Agile verbeteren van software ontwikkeling
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