Combined backlog for multiple projects

Our teams sometimes have multiple projects. I am wondering what is the best way and what is the SCRUM way of handling this. My feeling is that the best way is to have a single backlog per team (even if this means that in a sprint the team is working on backlog items belonging to multiple projects). I think the purists will recommend splitting the team and having multiple backlogs.

That’s what Gilad Gruber asked on the Scrumdevelopment list. This question reminded me of a client I once had. (Continued)

Agility and context switching

A Steering manager uses the Law of Diminishing Response as a guide to successful control interventions. When you consider adding some pressure, the key variable to monitor is not people’s performance, but their responsiveness. How are they responding to the existing pressures? When they hear of a new “challenge,” do they drop their head a quarter of an inch and mumble an acceptance under their breath? Do they become annoyed and give a hundred reasons why it can’t be done? Do they show external signs of panic? These are all signs that they’ve reached the point where responsiveness has gone negative, yet they are unable to control their own response.

On the other hand, are people alert and genuinely enthusiastic, able to ask penetrating questions that need answering before accepting the extra work? Can they consciously trade off less important work for high-priority assignments? These are signs that their responsiveness is still above zero, so it’s okay to pile a little more fuel on the fire; but don’t make any assumptions about next time.

Jerry Weinberg, Quality Software Management: Systems Thinking

Last month, Dmitri Zimine posted a small rant against context switching. (Continued)