Disciplined Agile

Form Team

This Inception process goal describes how we will build our initial team. Although we expect the team to evolve over time, right now we need to get it started. To do this we need to consider team structure, membership, and organizational concerns. There are two reasons why this is important:

  • We need people to get started. Although we expect the team to evolve over time, right now we need at least enough people to do the work involved with Inception.
  • Key decisions are made early on. During Inception we make important decisions around scope, development strategy, and schedule amongst others. These are decisions that the team should make as they will be responsible for executing on them. 
2021 Project Management Institute Form Team v5.2 Source of Team Members Existing product team Existing team from another product Borrow team member New team Team Evolution Strategy Team evolves itself Team lead makes changes Management makes changes Size of Team Small team (2 to 15 people) Medium team (10 to 30 people) Medium team of teams (10 to 50 people) Large team of teams (30+ people) Structure of Team Component team Feature team Focused solution team Internal open source Program team Service team Single team Member Skills Generalizing specialists Specialists Generalists Team Completeness Whole team Core team Specialized team Ad hoc Team Longevity Stable (product) team Project team Ad hoc Geographic Distribution Colocated Partially dispersed members Distributed subteams - Whole Distributed subteams - By function Fully dispersed members Organization Distribution Single-division full time employees (FTEs) Multiple-division FTEs Consultants Contractors Outsourcers Time Zone Distribution Same time zone Multiple time zones - 5 or more hours overlap Multiple time zones - Less than 5 hours overlap Multiple time zones - No overlap Support the Team Coaching Mentoring Stakeholder access Training Availability of Team Members Dedicated Ongoing part-time As needed/available

Figure 1. The Form Team process goal diagram (click to enlarge)

To form the initial team we need to consider several important questions:

  • Where will team members come from?
  • How do we intend to evolve the team over time?
  • How large should the team be?
  • How will sub-teams be organized (if we need them)?
  • What type of team members do we need?
  • How complete will the team be?
  • How long will the team exist?
  • Where will team members be located?
  • What organization(s) do the team members work for?
  • What range of time zones are team members found in?
  • How will we support the team?
  • How available will team members be?

More Information

Choose Your WoW!

The strategies/practices referenced in the goal diagram above are described, including the trade-offs involved and considerations for when (not) to apply them, in the book Choose Your WoW! A Disciplined Agile Delivery Handbook for Optimizing Your Way of Working.

If you want to succeed at enterprise agile you need choices, not prescriptions.