Shape Up Forum

What do you do when some projects require quite a specialized team?

Take a small cross-functional team working on a mobile app-based service: one iOS developer, one Android developer, one backend developer and maybe somebody for the web interface. Management agrees to a bet for integrating something developers wanted for long time - logging interface to know what exactly happens in the apps when users tell about the problem.

Shipping the whole thing would need iOS, Android and backend developers to work together, but mobile side work is quite trivial (just call a logging API whenever you used to just log to console) while backend job is quite significant: choose the database (or not a database), implement an API, backup-restore and whatnot.

And then in the middle of the cycle or even earlier mobile developers will be done while backender is still not even the half way. What do you do then?

  • Do you ask mobile devs to contribute with whatever they can even though backend isn’t really their thing? E.g. maybe help with testing.
  • Do they have an extra cool down period or switch to another bet?
  • Do you never bet on so clearly imbalanced projects and instead e.g. first bet on something that involves just the backend engine work to be done by just a backender (even though without mobile app calling backend project doesn’t have much value)?
  • Do you never have this kind of situation because ShapeUp teams members have to be able to work in more than one technical area and mobile devs should be able to work at least okayish on the backend?
  • Or something else?