The development team ticks off all features and their acceptance criteria, and meets the definition of done (DoD). The project is done!

The team enters the sunset phase. 

In some organisations the project is handed off to a long-term innovation / maintenance team, and development team resources are re-allocated (pushed) to other teams and projects.

yellow sticky note exercise

In other organisations the team members participate in a yellow-sticky exercise, using different colored stickies for first, second, and third choice. They allow their engineers and ops people to select where they work. Quite a scary right? See self forming teams at scale by Brian Harry, for details.

We encourage self-organised, self-managed, and autonomous teams, who are passionate about and take responsibility for their features in production - from ideation to deprecation. We encourage for teams to pull work, rather than organisations to push (reorg) resources to project teams.

Yet, when a project is done and budgets depleted, organisations re-organise their resources, or worse, terminate contracts completely loosing the "brain on the stick".

We often wonder why organisations do not build and nurture engineering teams the same way as professional sports teams - it's unusual to see a professional sports team that wins their league, pack up and re-group with a new team in the new season.

Thoughts? Tell us how you deal with sunsetting projects and teams.