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XP works well when team members can let go of ownership of their own work and take on ownership for the whole project. XP encourages this, but some manipulation by a clever project manager never hurts.
We recommend a number of pairings among disciplines on the team. To pass information and new skills quickly to everyone on the project we want as many parings as possible.
As project manager you are going to let your team members volunteer for stories. Once you have assigned a few stories to each member you get everyone to volunteer to be helpers on stories. Make suggestions on who can help out on which stories based on a number of factors, which are described next .
Suggest a helper who has done a similar story or has experience in the particular language. These people will generally identify themselves .
Everyone brings a new pair of eyes to an application. Try to get as many members of the team working on a function as possible. This takes some forethought, and these pairing generally do not occur naturally. Still, the more people who touch a piece of work, the more you add to the quality of the end product.
Junior people should work with senior people, and designers should work with programmers. You may meet with some resistance here. Senior programmers usually don't want to work with less experienced staff ”only a few want to be mentors. This disinclination may disappear over time as senior staff see their own skills improve in the process of teaching newcomers. To begin with, however, many of these pairings will have to be dictated by the project manager.
The People Skills of the Project Manager
Project managers need to be good judges of character. Some team members will click with each other and you will get a lot out of these pairings. Others may erupt into World War III. Try out new couplings, but find a balance between mixing it up and tuning your team for peak efficiency.
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