Out of all the Agile methodologies I have studied so far (XP, Scrum, AUP, and MSF), I really like the fact that MSF provides a Team Model that goes into details about how project teams should be structured. While it may be obvious to some, I know from experience that properly structuring teams is not something that that comes naturally to many organizations. In fact some organizations have less success with agile only because of their ineffective team structures.
MSF Team Model is based on the following basic principles:

  • A team of peers with clear accountability, shared responsibility and open communications. Each role is accountable for a specific share of the quality of the overall solution.
  • Advocacy for all key constituencies that must be represented on a successful software project. Every perspective is represented to provide the checks and balances that prevent errors of omission and lopsided decisions.
  • Stretch to fit to the scale necessary for the specific project. Constituencies may be combined in small teams or further refined as teams scale for larger projects.

There are 7 advocacies that are represented in the MSF Agile Team Model. In my opinion it’s imperitive that these advocacies have proper representation in order to ensure success of a given project. Since MSF offers a stretch-to-fit approach, it’s possible to map these 7 advocacies into fewer role clusters as determined by the phyical size of the team.

Following are the advocacies and their respective focus as presented by the MSF Team Model:

Product Management

Goals

  • Understand, communicate, and ensure success from the standpoint of the economic customer requesting the solution.

Functional Areas

  • Marketing
  • Business Value
  • Customer Advocacy
  • Product Planning

Responsibilities

  • Acts as customer advocate
  • Drives shared project vision/scope
  • Manages customer requirements definition
  • Develops and maintains business case
  • Manages customer expectations
  • Drives features vs. schedule vs. resources tradeoff decisions
  • Manages marketing, evangelizing and public relations
  • Develops, maintains, and executes the communications plan

Program Management

Goals

  • Right solution is delivered at the right time and all expectations are understood, managed and met.
  • Deployed solution will meet qualities of service & business objectives, and be viable in the long term.

Functional Areas

  • Project Management
  • Solution Architecture
  • Process Assurance
  • Administrative Services

Responsibilities

  • Drives development process to ship product on time
  • Manages product design and specifications
  • Facilitates communication and negotiation within the team
  • Implements and ensures standards
  • Maintains the project schedule and reports project status
  • Drives implementation of critical trade-off decisions
  • Develops, maintains, and executes the project master plan and schedule
  • Drives and manages risk assessment and risk management

Development

Goals

  • Implementation, estimates, high quality maintainable code and unit tests.

Functional Areas

  • Technology Consulting
  • Implementation of Architecture and Design
  • Application Development

Responsibilities

  • Specifies the features of physical design
  • Estimates time and effort to complete each feature
  • Builds and/or supervises building of features
  • Prepares product for deployment
  • Provides technology subject matter expertise to the team

Quality Assurance

Goals

  • Ensure solution quality.

Functional Areas

  • Test Planning
  • Test Engineering
  • Test Reporting

Responsibilities

  • Ensures all issues are known
  • Develops testing strategy and plans
  • Conducts testing
  • Reports test results

Release/Operations

Goals

  • Timely readiness and compatibility of infrastructure.

Functional Areas

  • Infrastructure
  • Support
  • Operations
  • Commercial Release Management

Responsibilities

  • Act as advocate for operations, support and delivery channels
  • Manage procurement
  • Manage product deployment
  • Drive manageability and supportability trade-off decisions
  • Manage operations, support, and delivery channel relationships
  • Provide logistical support to the project team

User Experience

Goals

  • Provide user documentation and training
  • Understand and communicate users’ context, and ensure usability from user perspective

Functional Areas

  • Technical Communications
  • Training
  • Usability
  • Graphic Design
  • Internationalization
  • Accessibility

Responsibilities

  • Acts as user advocate on team
  • Manages user requirements definition
  • Designs and develops performance support systems
  • Drives usability and user performance enhancement trade-off decisions
  • Provides specifications for help features and files
  • Develops and provides user training

Post a Comment

Be the First to Comment!

wpDiscuz