Scrum at Scale is an approach to scaling the Scrum framework to large and complex organizations. It provides a framework for multiple Scrum teams to collaborate and coordinate their efforts while maintaining the flexibility, adaptability, and focus on delivering value that Scrum is known for.
Scrum at Scale is based on the concept of a “Scrum of Scrums,” which is a way for multiple Scrum teams to work together on a shared product or project. In a Scrum of Scrums, each team has its own Scrum Master, Product Owner, and development team, and they work together to deliver a shared product increment.
The official Scrum at Scale guide can be downloaded from their website.
To support collaboration and coordination between teams, Scrum at Scale introduces several additional roles, events, and artifacts. These include:
- The Chief Product Owner, who is responsible for the overall product vision and backlog and works with the individual Product Owners to ensure alignment across teams.
- The Scrum of Scrums Master, who facilitates coordination and communication between teams and ensures that the overall product increment is on track.
- The Nexus Sprint Review, which is a review event for the entire Scrum of Scrums to inspect and adapt the overall product increment.
- The Nexus Sprint Retrospective, which is a retrospective event for the entire Scrum of Scrums to reflect on their collaboration and identify opportunities for improvement.
Scrum at Scale also emphasizes the importance of technical excellence, continuous improvement, and a focus on delivering value to the customer. It encourages teams to adopt practices such as continuous integration, automated testing, and DevOps to ensure that the product increment is always in a shippable state.
Overall, Scrum at Scale provides a framework for organizations to scale Scrum to large and complex projects while maintaining the agility, transparency, and focus on delivering value that Scrum is known for.
Implementing Scrum at Scale in a medium sized IT firm
- Assess the company’s current state: Before implementing Scrum at Scale, it’s important to assess the company’s current state, including its culture, processes, and technology. This will help you identify areas that need improvement and develop a roadmap for implementing Scrum at Scale.
- Train the team: Scrum at Scale requires a deep understanding of the Scrum framework and its principles. Therefore, it’s important to train the team on Scrum, including the roles, events, artifacts, and values.
- Identify the product or project: Identify the product or project that will be the focus of the Scrum of Scrums. This could be a new product or an existing product that requires a major update.
- Define the Product Backlog: The Product Backlog is a prioritized list of features, enhancements, and fixes that will be worked on by the Scrum of Scrums. Define the Product Backlog by collaborating with stakeholders and Product Owners from each team.
- Create the Scrum of Scrums: Create the Scrum of Scrums by identifying the teams that will be working on the product or project. Each team should have its own Scrum Master, Product Owner, and development team.
- Define the roles: Define the roles of the Chief Product Owner and the Scrum of Scrums Master. The Chief Product Owner is responsible for the overall product vision and backlog, while the Scrum of Scrums Master facilitates coordination and communication between teams.
- Define the events: Define the events that will be used by the Scrum of Scrums, including the Nexus Sprint Review and Nexus Sprint Retrospective.
- Define the artifacts: Define the artifacts that will be used by the Scrum of Scrums, including the Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, and Increment.
- Establish technical practices: Establish technical practices such as continuous integration, automated testing, and DevOps to ensure that the product increment is always in a shippable state.
- Start the first Sprint: Start the first Sprint by holding Sprint Planning for each team and then holding a Scrum of Scrums Sprint Planning to ensure alignment across teams.
- Hold Sprint events: Hold Sprint events for each team and hold Nexus Sprint Review and Nexus Sprint Retrospective events for the Scrum of Scrums.
- Continuously improve: Continuously improve the Scrum of Scrums by reflecting on the process and identifying opportunities for improvement in the Nexus Sprint Retrospective.
Pitfalls of Scrum at Scale that you need to watch out for
- Complexity: Implementing Scrum at Scale can introduce additional complexity, which can make it more difficult to manage and coordinate across multiple teams.
- Communication: Scrum at Scale requires effective communication and collaboration across teams, which can be challenging in large organizations with multiple stakeholders and silos.
- Integration: Integrating multiple teams and their work can be difficult, particularly if they are working on different technologies or platforms.
- Alignment: Ensuring alignment between teams and the overall product vision can be challenging, particularly if there are multiple Product Owners with competing priorities.
- Lack of experience: Scrum at Scale requires a deep understanding of Scrum and its principles. If teams or individuals are not experienced with Scrum, it can be challenging to implement it effectively.
- Overhead: Implementing Scrum at Scale can introduce additional overhead, including additional roles, events, and artifacts. This can make it more difficult to focus on delivering value to customers.
Scrum at Scale may not be advisable in certain situations, including:
- Small projects: Scrum at Scale is designed for larger and more complex projects. For smaller projects, traditional Scrum may be more appropriate.
- Low maturity: If the organization is not mature enough to adopt Scrum, it may not be advisable to implement Scrum at Scale. The organization should have a strong culture of collaboration, a willingness to embrace change, and a commitment to continuous improvement.
- Lack of buy-in: If the organization is not committed to Scrum or is resistant to change, it may not be advisable to implement Scrum at Scale. Scrum requires buy-in from all stakeholders, including management, team members, and customers.
- Lack of resources: Implementing Scrum at Scale requires resources, including time, money, and personnel. If the organization does not have the necessary resources, it may not be advisable to implement Scrum at Scale.
Video Tutorial for Scrum at Scale
Don’t forget to download the official Scrum@Scale guide.