Do teams still have their own PO when using nexus.

Last post 07:35 pm May 19, 2020
by Brendan Jones
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07:38 am September 24, 2019

I've been reading the nexus guide, and it says that in the nexus integration team, there is one product owner, who maintains the product backlog.

It doesnt mention if each team should have their own PO, but it also doesnt say anything about changing the scrum teams (other than they reorganise to best deliver a product with multiple teams e.g. spread domain knowledge).

If each team doesn't have a PO, I'm assuming that the sprint goals are pretty much handed to them from the nexus team?... Also, what happens if the teams feel, at their own sprint planning, that they cant commit to the work the nexus team forecasted? Does the nexus PO sign off the work each team has produced?

Also, is a nexus sprint the same duration as the teams sprints?

09:07 am September 24, 2019

The Nexus Guide doesn't invalidate anything in the Scrum Guide, so each team will have their own PO. In any given Nexus, the teams will share the same PO because they are working on the same product. A Nexus Integration Team will not direct teams or set goals for them, but will facilitate their collaboration.

12:57 pm September 24, 2019

My interpretation is that the Nexus has a single Product Owner for all of the teams in the Nexus. Throughout the guide, the phrase "the Product Owner" is used. For example, it says that the "Nexus Integration Team consists of the Product Owner". There's also an entire section about Product Owner in the Nexus Integration Team that makes it clear that a Product Backlog has a single Product Owner and that a Nexus works off of a Single Product Backlog. However, the same section also says that, although "the Product Owner is accountable for managing the Product Backlog so that maximum value is derived from the Integrated Increment created by a Nexus", the methods by which this is done "vary widely across the organizations, Nexuses, Scrum Teams, and individuals".

There are goals at multiple levels. The Nexus has a Nexus Sprint Goal that helps drive and focus each team within the Nexus. However, each Scrum Team within the Nexus does Sprint Planning and also has their own Sprint Backlog with Sprint Goals. The team's goals help to support the Nexus's goals. The goals at all levels are a collaboration - the Nexus Goals are made as a collaborative effort. All of the team's should be onboard with the Nexus Sprint Goals.

Like with Scrum, there's no Product Owner "sign off" of work. There is alignment with the Definition of Done. The Nexus Sprint Goal and Scrum Team Sprint Goals also align. The end result is a potentially releasable Increment that is fully integrated. The Product Owner can decide to release or not based on the needs of users.

As far as Sprint duration, there have been a number of discussions here. Personally, I find that teams working on the same Sprint cadence are much easier to synchronize. The reduction in complexity here makes it easier to deal with complexity in areas that are harder to remove. However, the Nexus Guide isn't explicit on this - I've seen arguments where the Nexus Sprint cadence is the duration at which the team cadence's align, for example.

02:45 pm September 24, 2019

The Nexus has only one product owner and a single product backlog. Nexus framework is used when three to nine development teams are using a single product backlog working on a single product. The PO, the Scrum Master, and one or more Nexus Integration team members. As the guide states, the Nexus Integration Team consists of professionals who are skilled in the use of tools, various practices, and the general field of systems engineering. They may also work on development teams however their role in integration team must be given a priority. 

If each team doesn't have a PO, I'm assuming that the sprint goals are pretty much handed to them from the nexus team?... Also, what happens if the teams feel, at their own sprint planning, that they cant commit to the work the nexus team forecasted? Does the nexus PO sign off the work each team has produced?

When I read the guide for the first time, I thought that Nexus Integration team members and "appropriate representatives from Scrum teams" (attending Nexus Sprint planning) are the same. However, with the experience, I realized that they are in fact different. During the Nexus Sprint planning, PO provides domain knowledge and guides selection and priority decisions and discusses the Nexus goal.

The representatives from each team then pull adequately refined PBIs with dependencies identified and removed or minimized PRIOR to nexus sprint planning. The representatives from the scrum teams validate and make adjustments to the ordering of work as created during refinement events. 

The integration team members coach the individual Scrum Teams on the necessary development, infrastructural, or architectural standards required by the organization to ensure the development of quality Integrated Increments. My understanding is that they ensure that the focus remains on dependencies and interoperation between Scrum Teams and more involved in product backlog refinement (which is a non-negotiable part of Nexus). 

The scrum master in Nexus integration team ensures that the Nexus framework is understood and enacted. He/She can also act as a Scrum Master in one or more development teams. This also implies that there can be several SMs in Nexus framework who may serve one or more team, however, the Scrum Master in Nexus Integration team has the knowledge of Nexus and it is his/her overall responsibility that the Nexus is understood and enacted by all, including other scrum masters. 

07:41 am May 5, 2020

Hi all, 

Sorry for refloating this post but I am styding for SPS certification along with some folks and we were discussing yestertday about how many POs are in Nexus framework? The guide says there is only one PO for Nexus and also one product backlog, and that is correct for us but then it talks about scrum teams and for us a scrum team consist in a PO, a SM and a DEV Team. 

Is the same PO for all these Scrum team or they have another PO? in that case, are these Scrum teams working in different products?

My idea about the composition was the follwing:

dev team A, dev team B dev team C, PO A B C, SM A, SM B, SM C so the Nexus integration team consits on members from different A B C dev teams, the PO A B C and one SM of the SM from A B C scrum teams (or perhaps a dedicated SM for Nexus). 

Is the above composition correct?.

Thanks in advance.

09:16 am May 5, 2020

Is the same PO for all these Scrum team or they have another PO? in that case, are these Scrum teams working in different products?

Nexus is used in order to have a combined effort of several Scrum Teams building ONE product.

ONE Product => ONE Product Backlog => only ONE people responsible for maximizing value ie the sole Product Owner.

Imagine you have 20 "developpers" working on your sole product. What do you think on the number of PO if the developpers self-organize and use empiricism to try to split in 5 then 3 then 4 DevTeams ?

Does the number of Dev Team really matter for the PO ?

07:35 pm May 19, 2020

Does the number of Dev Team really matter for the PO ?

Absolutely, at a certain point your PO's interaction per team is going to pass a lower threshold that's going to negatively impact development.

Nexus is used in order to have a combined effort of several Scrum Teams building ONE product.

ONE Product => ONE Product Backlog => only ONE people responsible for maximizing value ie the sole Product Owner.

Okay, so there's only one PO per nexus. But in that case there's an error in the Nexus Guide, because nowhere does it say that the Scrum Teams do not include a PO, but it does say;

Nexus roles, events, and artifacts inherit the purpose and intent attributes of the corresponding Scrum roles, events, and artifacts, as documented in the Scrum Guide.

Which leads us to assume each Nexus scrum team also has a PO.