a specific iteration, you may have to change the order of the product backlog, which means you may not finish the most valuable work first.
Fungible Is Not the Answer
I'm not advocating that everyone obtains the same technical skills-that everyone becomes fungible. That's not possible and wouldn't be a good idea even if it were. People like doing certain kinds of work. The more they complete the work they enjoy, the better they become. But, if they loosen the boundaries around that work and learn a little more about related areas of a system, they become more valuable to the project and to the organization. And, the project is not subject to specialization bottlenecks.
Five Ways to Decrease Specialization
Here are five ways to learn more about areas of the system you don't yet comprehend:
- If you work alone on a component, work with other people on related components.
- Better yet, work with a team of people on a feature. Discuss what each of you needs to do to create the feature.
- Work with other people in pairing relationships. Make sure you pair with different people often.
- Explain to other people what your part of the product does.
- Conduct a code review of the code or a test review of the tests.
I bet you can think of even more ways that are applicable to your project.
Specialists hold the project hostage to their skills. If you can decrease the number of skills that are theirs alone, your project will progress more smoothly. And, you'll have a more valuable project team.