Build team of T-Shaped Skill set
T shaped skill set member is a person who has deep expertise on a specialty and has enough breadth of knowledge on the General/cross- subject. The T-shaped members are required in distributed agile teams. A typical example, Tester ideally a T shaped member. A tester should have enough knowledge of different functions of the teams like Development, Deployment, Build process, Documentation, Release management etc. yet their specialty lies in Testing.
Distributed agile teams should have mix of I and T shaped members initially, more T shaped members are better. Over a period, members have to move from T shaped to Pi shaped – master of two expertise areas. Some members even try for comb shaped skills – master of more than two expertise areas, but comb shape will take time and hard to maintain.
However, in the spirit of Agile and Kaizen, organizations, teams and team members must strive to make incremental improvements in order to remain viable in a world of constant change.
A suggestive simple template shown in the figure helps in plotting team members on (main) tasks they can do independently; personal professional growth can be steered towards better performing teams and also helps to identify skills which are at risk or dependant on one single member. The management team need to review and take actions whenever skill mapping matrix shows only one independent skilled member and located remotely from rest of the team.