Agile groups: A trick for evaluating your likely potential

Agile groups on game teams are formed from very different types of team members, many of whom are multi-talented.  Putting all the disciplines in a group at once is usually too much, unless you’re a very small team that’s used to working together.  To get a sense of how far you’ve extended, try this trick.

On a piece of paper, make a circle of Design, Animation, Character Art, and Environment Art.  Put Code in the middle, with lines out to the middle section of each discipline. Each person on the team is a dot somewhere on the chart, based on their skills and interests.  Most people seem to fit well in this continuum.

When the teams are formed, graph the team as a whole, and draw a circle around those points.  The smaller the circle the better.  The bigger the circle, the harder it is for people to work together.  People on different parts of the circle have very different interests, and so usually find it difficult to engage each other.

We dream of agile bringing disparate teams together.  In practice, particularly with newly formed teams, I’ve found it seems like ideal size is less then 25% of the whole.  That is unfortunately small!  So start with smaller teams and use economies of scale to get your agile groups off the ground.

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