Adding People to a Scrum Project

Over the course of the past year I’ve successfully added developers to a number of Scrum projects. The key things to remember are:

  • A new Sprint is a terrific opportunity to officially onboard someone on a project. Preferably at the Sprint Review meeting.
  • Have the developer commit to something small for there first Sprint and remind others in planning that they’ll be spending some time getting the new person up to speed.
  • Nearly self-contained items like CRUD functionality for some admin item make really good stories/features to sign up for.
  • Try to add only one person per Sprint.
  • Remember to make your case to the PM/Product Owner that you are trying to get the project done sooner not explode the budget. Don’t deny there isn’t a bit of a learning curve for the new person, but explain that impact is lessened by the iterative approach you’re taking.
  • Take into account whether adding a developer throws off the balance with QA or business analyst staff and have a plan to address it. Perhaps the new developer will take on some testing tasks at first or another developer will help with requirements.