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Building Your Team

Few project teams, regardless of paradigm or process framework, start out fully staffed. Instead there is a building up process where people are “onboarded” (added) throughout the lifecycle, with the majority of onboarding occurring early in the lifecycle. An exception to this might be mature product companies that maintain team continuity between product releases. At the beginning of the project you may start with the team lead, product owner, and if you’re lucky a few key team members including the architecture owner (who is often the same person as the team lead). Depending on your level of funding, you may even onboard people during Inception, although more likely you’ll add the majority of team members during the first few construction iterations as they become available. Toward the end of the lifecycle you may begin to offboard (remove) people from the team, a topic covered in greater detail in Chapter 18, “The Transition Phase.”

Where you are in the overall product lifecycle will affect your team building strategy. If you are on release 1 of the solution you will often need to build your team from scratch, which is what the rest of this section deals with. When you’re on release N of the solution you should already have a team in place, perhaps needing to add some new team members if the project is growing or if you need to replace people who left at the end of the previous release. In this case the team has gelled already and understands the problem space, so growing the team (if required) will be reasonably straightforward and can be accomplished using heuristics described later. However, if there’s been a significant period of time between release N-1 and release N and you’ve disbanded the delivery team, you in effect find yourself in a situation similar to a release 1 team. One unusual exception occurs when you’re lucky enough to find an existing team finishing up with another effort that is looking for a new challenge. In this case the team has gelled but is potentially not familiar with the problem space, so it’s similar to the release N situation from a team building perspective.


  

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