The power of job specialization

Agile teams are often described as cross-functional teams, and that term has taken on two distinct and contradictory meanings. One common interpretation is that cross-functional means cross-trained. The most extreme examples of this occur when teams attempt to train all team members to perform any and all work functions.

But there's a reason that we specialize. In a nutshell, job specialization has the effect of creating more time in which to get work done. (The reasons for this are analagous to those in economics, where job specialization, otherwise known as division of labor, is responsible for improving the standard of living for all participants.)

Therefore, we define a cross-functional team as a group of specialists working together for their mutual benefit.

A workshop covering job specialization will contain exercises and interactive discussions highlighting the following points: