We are a fairly new team of 5 devs working on an existing code base to make MVP somewhere in Q2 2020. We do not deliver to production yet but we do demo to stakeholders on our progress. We try to work as agile as possible but because we are new (1 dev 8 months, 1 dev 4 months (myself), 2 devs 3 months and one dev 1 month) progress is not fast enough to out liking, and we find many things to refactor. But we do deliver stories for the demo.
We work using the Agile Scrum process but many stories were refined before my time. The issue now is that we do not finish all stories we commit to. But I myself can make progress now because I know more about the system.
Today one of the developers stated we could use swarm development to fix the issue that we do not deliver all stories. The idea is that we all work on one story to see if we can deliver faster.
But, I see a lot of practical problems.
- some developers start early and some developers start later (diff can be three hours)
- two of the five devs work only part time (2 or 3 days a week)
- Not every dev is at the same experience level
I think that we are solving a simple problem (not enough technical analysis when refining) with the wrong solution (swarm development). Also the velocity will go up once all devs are familiar with the codebase).
I read a lot of articles where Swarm Development is brought as the (next) Holy Grail for delivering software. But I have my doubts whether this is the solution here. We are not aiming for business value asap to Production. It is OK if some stories are brought over to the next sprint, as long as we make progress.
So the question here is. When to do swarm development? What are the preconditions to do this? What are the pitfalls? What are the recommendations?