Add a Cross Stage Group definition
When a task covers multiple stages of the product, engineering teams can face some issues. While this kind of collaboration on short tasks can be self handled by engineers, when it comes to bigger ones I think we need proper organization. This was part of the feedback of multiple teams in the 11.4 retrospective and one of the solutions to mitigate this was to incentive people to create a
crew so that such collaboration can be correctly prepared and executed. With the removal of the
crew terminology, there is no known word left to describe cross stage collaboration.
We can setup what we call feature slack channel (for
feature group?) quite easily because it often only requires people from the same product area. A cross stage task on the other hand implies to coordinate prioritization and management from different stages, which means involving different Product Managers and Engineering Managers.
The current approach is mostly the following: the stage group that specified the need implements the feature and then ask for expertise of other(s) stage(s) at review time. While this approach has the benefit to avoid planing coordination and the "wait for other" issue, we also have seen that it has some serious drawbacks:
- risk of wrong design
- risk of wrong implementation
- unavailability of the experts because they have their own planned tasks
These issues leads to frustration and wasted time, and sometime also ends up with a missed deliverable.
That's why I think we need proper organization for such tasks and having a dedicated name - and even better: a defined process - might help team members to leverage this structure and avoid the above mentioned pitfalls.
Cross Stage Group definition in the handbook.
Links / references
This has been discussed in the last VPE office hour and in slack: https://gitlab.slack.com/archives/C9X79MNJ3/p1543407217049000