FEATURE TEAMS



A feature team is a cross-functional team that focuses on iteratively supporting, improving, and maintaining one or more feature areas of a product. A feature team is a stable and long-lived team that focuses on customer-centric features. They are an important part of an organization and ensure that the development cycle produces minimum wastes but ships maximum value. Feature teams often have the autonomy to release new features to a live environment, whilst respecting sensible separation of duty controls, through end to end deployment and test automation. Because feature teams tend to support the software they release, we find quality increases and live incidents decrease. Moving to feature teams can be a daunting prospect for organisations who operate as project teams that hand-over to support teams. The use of automation is critical to enabling feature team formation. The decision to move to feature teams comes under the umbrella of organisational design. When considering re-organising your teams you must consider Conway’s Law. Conway’s Law talks about the influence your communications channels have, i.e. team structures, on the architecture of the solution you create. The opposite is also true which we refer to as reverse Conway’s Law. There is no blueprint for the perfect org structure where software development is concerned. There are however many signals that you can look out for to tell you if your org structure is right for you. The first one is multiple teams blocking each other. If team A is constantly getting blocked by Team B then maybe you need to merge the teams or some of the capabilities? If you’re constantly splitting stories to be delivered by different teams then again maybe you need to look at the makeup of your teams. As your architecture evolves so must your team structures. This and many more subjects are covered in our one day Lean Agile Boot Camp.