Mini SWAT Team

This content is syndicated from On Agile Leadership by Manfred Lange. To view the original post in full, click here.

Similar to the build master role - I posted about that a few weeks ago - you may find occasionally that there are other topics that you want to overemphasize for a certain period. The build master is specifically taking care of continuously improving the engineering and build environment.

But you may have items that are either to beyond the available build master capacity or don't even fall under the build master's duties. Or you want to speed things up. Let me give you two examples.

Let's say you want to introduce a new testing tool that you haven't used in the past. The tool arrives. While rolling it out you find that there are challenges and issues that need to be addressed. Not that you are surprised but the amount of work is way beyond of what your build master (or build master team) can do within their time. So what do you do?

Or you want to migrate your build environment towards a substantially improved environment, more powerful, more flexible, maybe involving virtual machines, new technologies, and so fourth. A steep learning curve is guaranteed. What do you do?

In both cases you can create a "Mini SWAT Team". This can even be as small as one person. The mini SWAT team would be dedicate to one particular subject for a period of time and then wrapped up. In the first example the introduction of the testing tool could be sped up by working with the QA team and by working with the developers. In the second example the mini SWAT team could work with IT on the environment improvements.

Who would you put on your Mini SWAT Team? Certainly you'd look for someone who can work independently but also in a team. People who can work with different functions are certainly advantaged. But then, you also have a quite different option as well: Give it to a more junior member of your team. Provide a lot of support and you'll find that the person steps up and grows with the job, enjoys the responsibility and the opportunity to pull something through that is of value to the whole team.

Food for thought? I hope so. It's all about trying something new and then adapting as you go!

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