Cross-skilling is where a team member decides (without being pushed) to learn a new skill area. This learning will, of course, take time and in the short term slow the team down. In the long run, the team benefits from the shared knowledge with increased quality, fewer bottlenecks, etc. All of this of course will eventually lead to greater speed.
Teams that do not encourage cross-skilling and who have only person who perform a certain activity (e.g. Analysis, Database work, Testing) will suffer a variety of problems:
- Bottlenecks – when there is more work for that skill area than the person can handle
- Quality – there will be no one else to crosscheck that person’s work
- Stuck – if a team member goes on vacation or, worse, leaves the team maybe unable to finish some work items
- Breaking Silos within Cross-Functional Teams
- Do Skills Matter? Understanding Key Person Dependencies…
- How to Cultivate T-Shaped Developers?
- Pairing for Learning
- Senior Software Developers as Mentors
- Stress Testing Skills Liquidity
- The Four Levels of the Skill Matrix
- Using a Skill Matrix for Growth and Learning
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