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Creating the perfect business intelligence Scrum team

  • Posted on August 7, 2015

Scrum teamWith any project, the development team is the engine that drives the project – to success or failure. That’s why it is critical to make sure that the development team has the right components to be successful. In a previous post, I talked about how to improve business intelligence project quality with a scrum framework. However, this only works if you gather the right business intelligence development team within the Scrum framework.

At Avanade, we leverage our Agile @ Avanade framework to incorporate Scrum into our projects. Within this framework, every project starts with an original vision – used to determine whether it is an agile project. This baseline vision is the starting point in determining what the development team should look. For example, one project’s vision could show that the end product should consolidate data from 15 different sources into five different Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services reports that are integrated into the company’s Microsoft SharePoint 2013 environment. In this case, the team should include:

  • A SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) specialist to ensure the proper data integration between the source systems and data repository.
  • A Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) specialist to create the five reports based on the data.
  • A SharePoint specialist to ensure that the reports are available through the SharePoint portal.

By having a clear vision, the ideal scrum team members quickly become apparent and the company can ensure the right specialists are involved from the beginning. From there, the project owner can take a close look at the what other activities need to be covered before the project can be marked completely done – in other words, the “Definition of Done.”

This Definition of Done might include things like integration and regression testing or technical documentation. With these two examples, it would be wise to include a tester as part of the development team, as well as a designer to manage the technical writing. Or, the project owner can assign another member of the team to write the technical documentation as well, ensuring a true agile scrum approach.

At the end of the day, the ideal size of a scrum team is between three and nine people – with less people, the Scrum framework could lose its power; and, with more than nine, it becomes too cumbersome to be truly agile. With this approach to developing a team, the project owner can ensure the right experts are involved from the start and turn the focus to what matters most – the project at hand.

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