All agile teams have some level of knowledge transition happening in different levels.  It could start with one member coming in new or a specific module or feature within the product. Of course within the knowledge industry context is the crucial part and hence its important that every type of transition is conducted in a timely manner. This blog is to talk about various types of knowledge transition and the best practices

Three levels of knowledge transition continues to happen in a self organising team

(c) PM Power consulting

(c) PM Power consulting

A. Role Transition: Transitioning roles within teams such as developer to analyst, scrum master transition, analyst to developer, any new team member onboarding

B. Team Expansion: Transitioning knowledge inter teams such as bringing a new team upto speed, domain or technology

C. (Large) Team Expansion: Handing over Transition such as one vendor to the other, one geography to the other

Role Transition 

Following are the important practiced that I have see to make it effective

  • Team capacity ( & thus Velocity) is appropriately taken into account during the time of the transition.
  • Period of transition is agreed by creation of a plan, understood and agreed by team
  • Any new personnel change brings a shift in the team dynamics. Hence understanding of the roles & responsibilities should be rehashed
  • Based on the demonstration as well as review feedback should be given to new member(s) individually
  • Openly discuss in the retrospective on what went well and capture key learnings.

Self organizing teams will find ways to settle into a rhythm!

Team Transition

  • Recommendation is to follow a two phase transition with knowledge transition followed by a assisted phase for one or two stories
  • Stories written to carve out the scope and created, agreed by the two teams
  • Sprint review /Demo Focus on learning and width of knowledge rather actual story completion. Doneness criteria should be modified during this phase
  • Modules to be sliced small so that it includes KT, assisted phase across requirements, dev and implementation
  • Adaptive planning in the end of the sprint to be created with inputs from the feedback
  • Retrospective within team as well as inputs from the team providing transition

Large Transition

  • Three phased approach with Knowledge transfer, Assisted phase and Primary phases.
  • Knowledge phase with modules planned in a way to capture the ‘T’ based learning go width first and decide the depth
  • Assisted phase would be the period where teams take up actual stories to develop with inputs from the team providing the transition. This helps in getting hands on
  • Primary phase where new team(s) take responsibility of delivery with active feedback

Key areas that should be taken care are

  1. Travel planned for each sprint according to the module/phase. Face to face communication is the most effective, particularly for the transition
  2. Adaptive planning in the end of the sprint to be created with inputs from the feedback
  3. Retrospective within team as well as inputs from the team providing transition

Optionally having a role as a transition manager similar to a product owner to manage access, escalation, metrics, culture and motivational aspects

A detailed presentation is here for your reference

http://www.slideshare.net/GayatriDeviKalyanara/effective-knowledge-transition-using-agile