How to manage multiple teams and products

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We have 4 scrum teams, one products backlog (but 2-3 products in the same backlog).
When we’re doing what we call the pre-planning meeting we’re going through the product backlog (with the product owner and responsible of the team) and decide if the user story can be taken or not. When this part is done we form the teams according to what we selected in the PB. Then each teams do the sprint planning meeting.

What’s bad with this :
– team members are shifting from one team to another, really bad for team spirit.
– team members are not really involved in the product backlog

I would say that we should fix the team, but sometimes there is not enough user story for each team to fill the sprint. And some developers cannot work on some products.

Does anyone have any advices for managing multiple teams (with different skills), with multiple products (really linked to each other, but not the same techno) ?

Thanks a lot for you feedback and your help.

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Step 0: Understand and be able to articulate “What is the problem you are trying to solve?”

Start there. The rest are other steps to potentially avoid *future* problems.

Step 1: Divide the backlog into 3 different products (value streams).

This will make it easier to understand the flow of value to the customer.

Step 2: If the total number of team members is < 30, combine your teams into 3 different cross functional teams (1 for each product).

This will make it easier for your teams to concentrate on their product (for now).

Step 3: Start involving the teams in the planning and backlog selection.

This will make it easier for the teams to understand the context and the value of what they are building (the why)

Step 4: If a given team doesnt have enough new features to work on,

They can:

  • Join one or two of the other teams for a given sprint,
  • Work on architecture, technical debt, and bug fixes,
  • Do some deep dives on the backlog with the product owner on forward looking features,
  • Have some hack time where they spend a week creating POCs for new ideas which they will show to the other teams and product owner(s),
  • Some combination of all of the above.

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