Agile team organisation in Setchu

Setchu defines its teams as various “sets” depending on their responsibility. Let’s take a look at the team types provided by the framework (if you’re looking for information about the roles within these teams, please see this page instead):

Setchu's full scale Agile team organisation
Setchu’s full scale Agile team organisation

Full Set

A Full Set is very much the same as a typical Scrum team, except that the Product Owner is replaced with a Feature Owner as the voice of the business. The key difference being is that this team is concerned with one feature (vertical slice) of a larger overall product, involving several teams.

A Full Set has complete responsibility over the definition, delivery and acceptance of its feature, within the remit specified by the Control Set.

Control Set

This team is the central point of coordination for the multiple feature teams. Having the Product Owner and Product Architect grouped together in a “Control Set” is important. They will dictate the priorities of the features assigned to the teams. This allows any technical (or business) dependencies to be provided / completed in a logical order.
Whilst this appears somewhat contradictory to the usual distribution of responsibility, it is a pragmatic acceptance of the realities you’re likely to be faced with in a larger organisation: ultimately there will be a senior role dictating high-level features of your product, you will need someone responsible for the overall architecture of the solution.

With very large or complex products you’ll probably benefit from having a dedicated Product Integrator responsible for the builds and releases produced by each team, although this is an optional role that may not be necessary dependant on how you co-ordinate and release your product.

Full Control Set

A Full Control Set is a modified Full Set, where instead of a dedicated Feature Owner, the overall Product Owner takes on this responsibility part-time, instead of a nominated deputy.

This is not the recommended approach for most situations, but it exists to provide flexibility depending on the resource constraints of your organisation (where you may not be able to provide a full-time resource for this team role). This is primarily designed to allow key resources in smaller organisations to share their time between product features and any day-to-day responsibilities they may have outside of the product development.

The expectation is that the Product Owner would not usually have time to dedicate themselves to the feature on a full-time basis, but they are still expected to make enough time / be readily available for effective collaboration. Larger organisations should default to having a full-time feature owner (the Full Set approach) wherever possible.

Tech Set

A Tech Set works on a technical feature that indirectly adds value to the product. This will typically be something a product customer would not interact with directly (such as a build pipeline solution).

Therefore, the key difference between a Full Set and a Tech Set is that the Feature Owner is represented by a technical stakeholder, rather than a (purely) business focused owner.

This is desirable when the Feature Owner would need a level of technical understanding to add value to prioritisation and delivery review sessions.

To find out how these teams work together to deliver the overall product vision, please look at the Setchu scaled Agile delivery page.

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