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Advanced Roadmaps - How to assign a Shared Team to a Subtask

At BKOM Studios we usually have groups of resources of a single DISCIPLINE (frontend, backend, UI Design...) but following Agile methodology we also have SCRUM teams, which are multi-disciplinary teams. Therefore, a single person can be part of a DISCIPLINE team (vertical, skill-based and shared among projects) and be part of a SCRUM team (horizontal, feature oriented, linked to a specific project). Way before starting sprints, we tend to assign Stories to SCRUM teams, and anticipated sub-tasks to DISCIPLINES, through JIRA's components, so that we can anticipate somehow the needs for each resources. But we would like to anticipate better the work to come in order to maximize the planning. Before starting sprints, we would like to assign sub-tasks to specific DISCIPLINE team, so that we can forecast better the workload on each of the DISCIPLINES over time. At the moment, it seems Advance Roadmaps doesn't permit sub-task assignment to Teams. Is that confirmed of did we miss something? If it's confirmed, do we know the reason of this limitation? Is there anyone having a workaround to this limitation? 

2 answers

1 vote
Kelly Arrey
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May 30, 2023

Hi @Pierre Leroux 

We needed to be able to assign work to teams long before Atlassian Teams were implemented, so we:

  1. defined a custom single-select field we called Agile Team
  2. defined Jira groups to associate members with each team

This has turned out to be superior to the various Atlassian Team implementations for our use cases. For example, we have the flexibility to assign sub-tasks to different teams if needed.

1 vote
Walter Buggenhout _ACA IT_
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May 26, 2023

Hi @Pierre Leroux,

I noticed you ran into this related thread and got involved in the methodology discussion there.

I understand your point and the classic example of a single feature being delivered by front-end and back-end people. I use that same example quite often when I try to explain why it does or does not make sense to use sub-tasks in Jira to define work. And I tend to consider this a valuable scenario.

However, as explained in the thread, the concept of a sprint and the way you define work in it is based very much on the idea of a single scrum team running a team sprint. Yes, the best team agile team is multi-disciplinary and that is what makes it a single team instead of 2 separate teams. It is perfectly fine to have folks from different disciplines on your team, but as your rightfully stated in the other thread (and in your question here too): people form different disciplines can and should form delivery teams that do not necessarily align with those disciplines.

And there is the pinnacle to this all: your scrum board (and the way it is intended to plan sprints) assumes your team is the multi-disciplinary one. As long as you get your scrum teams together instead of the disciplines, you should not run into difficulties here. You can still define the backend/frontend component on your sub-tasks to make the difference.

Hope this helps! 

Many thanks @Walter Buggenhout _ACA IT_ for this constructive answer.

TLTR: in that multi-disciplinary context, how can we optimize scrum team composition overtime with Advance Roadmaps?

And my full text below:
I surely don't want "to use sub-tasks in Jira to define work". Our Stories' description fields contain all we need to know about the User Story, including a list of conditions of satisfaction. The subtasks are all the pieces of work (fragments of a story) that are needed to be able to deliver this user story. I now understand better (with your help, thanks!!!) the goal of using teams in Advanced Roadmaps : being able to forecast the charge of specific scrum teams before the tasks are actually assigned to those members. Which is useful, especially if the team composition is stable, which is not always the case to be very honest. Due to the nature of our work (gaming industry), some disciplines are needed for some sprints only at some time of the project, and will reduce their time per week or leave the team at one point because there is no more need for them to stay in this scrum team. For instance, a UX Designer will leave the project before the UI integrator, or will stay in the scrum team but only to work for a couple of hours per week. This is what we are trying to forecast better in our planning. For instance, let's have a look at this use case of our UX designer Steve. There is a user story that is planned to be assigned to a scrum team he is part of. The leads of the project know in advance that this user story will require some time of UX for directions and adjustments. Therefore in pre-planning meetings, the product owner or scrum master created the sub-tasks accordingly (tentative ones, unassigned), way before the official sprint planning occurs. They used the component field to specify which discipline will be required for each of the sub-tasks (here, component "UX"). So for this very specific user story, there is one subtask named after "UX - explanation, supervision and adjustment" with the component "UX" and with a time estimate, based on our history of projects where stories relevant to this one were achieved. Estimates like this are very useful to forecast the project's staffing for each of our releases. Over time, there will be several other user stories in our backlog, aka Stories in JIRA, fragmented in multi-disciplinary subtasks, that will include other purely UX-related fragments aka sub-tasks.  When we plan in Advance Roadmaps, those UX-related fragments are placed in a schedule. Imagine now we have 6 other scrum teams in different projects, which Steve or another UX designer (Julia) are part of. We are looking for a way to foresee the charge of work, week after week, for those 2 UX designers, in order to anticipate when specific UX designer may have too much work, or too little work. And then forecast the assignation of them in scrum teams sprint after sprint (Let's say 50% of Steve's time for Team A's Sprint A , then100% the following sprint, etc.) in order to fit the needs expressed in the planned Story's sub-tasks.

And then my question is: is there a way Advanced Roadmaps can help us doing so? 

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