I am coaching a client who is reorganizing their Program and could use some advice.
Background: The client works for a large corporation with many different programs that all take their own approach to Agile or do not use it. Over the past two years, I have coached the Program towards the adoption of the methodology and the roll-out of multiple feature teams.
Teams in this organization consist of business analysts, developers, business operations, and engineers. The makeup of these teams depended upon the product the feature team was supporting. The configuration aimed to establish cross-functional teams that could deliver everything their respective product needed.
Scenario: Several months ago, programs began to align differently. Now the client is telling me that they will be moving their engineering and development team members to a Shared Services Engineering team.
They would like the engineering team members to continue to support the product teams from their original Program. The client would like to take the Scrum Masters from Program A and move them with Engineering to Program B. They would like to keep the Product Owners with Program A.
As part of this change, they want to separate the engineering work from Program A and maintain it on separate team boards under Program B.
I have a few concerns about this approach and would like to coach them in the right direction. I would like to get your thoughts on this situation to help them with this transition. As is often the case, I can't tell them what to do, I can only make recommendations.
Constraints: Deals about who was going where from a Program perspective have already been made, and I will have little ability to change things to majorly.
In my experience, the Feature Teams I have supported were built around a Product. The way they are going about this change would mean that the teams would be split from a logical perspective but would run together from a physical standpoint. The Product Owner from Program A would have a team of Engineers from Program B. Currently, all the work appears on one board. With this approach, the work would be split across two boards. This would mean that they are responsible for doing extra administrative work when managing the Product Backlog.
All of this seems slightly off to me. The leadership team wanted to remove engineering responsibilities from Program A. Engineering would then govern technical decisions separately under Program B.
It appears that they are taking the Product Owner (along with business analysts) out of the team and making them separate from the engineers. In this way, it would mean that the Product Owners supporting the Program would request work to be done by engineering and development. Where right now, they are prioritizing work with their immediate feature team. While they say this move is only logical, I feel it will evolve into a long term physical change.
How do I best advise in this situation and help coach the engineering program in establishing a strong foundation when all is said and done?