one department, 2 different scrum teams, 2 scrummaster, 2 different task detail systems.

Last post 06:19 am June 25, 2015
by Ian Lowson
5 replies
09:52 am June 23, 2015


Im having somewhat of a problem.

we have a department of 10 people. These 10 people are divided into two scrum teams, with one common product owner ( but two different but overlapping products ) the two scrum teams each have their own scrummaster.

Now our department manager have suggested (rather forcefully) that we combine the two daily scrum meetings into one meeting.

His idea and postulate is, this will create more team spirit throughout the department. And his general idea is to move the two teams closer together.

the idea is that even though we have a daily unison meeting, we will still have two different scrum teams, with two different scrum masters, and as we perform the scrum team, we will traverse through the team members, as one would ordinarily do.

So for instance we have 2 teams with members (1,3,5,7,9) and (2,4,6,8,10) as well as two scrummasters A & B working on different Projects ( x,y,z) Now some of the team members from both scrum meetings actually Work together on interfacing pieces of the product.

So the idea is that the daily scrum standup would be like this. ( On a common joint board )

1 Goes first, and talks about what he has done, and whats hindering him, he is from scrum team 1, so scrummaster A asks the questions about where he is, and how Things are proceeding.

2 Goes second, and talks about what he has done, and whats hindering him. He is from scrum team 2, so scrummaster B asks the question about where he is, and if he needs any help, or if the scrummaster can in any way help him.

3. Goes third, he Works on a project which is being worked upon in both teams, but it began in team 2, so therefore scrummaster B conducts the questions, but both scrummasters attempt to Work together to help the team in their efforts.

Is this a good idea? or is it a horrible idea? would it improve department culture? would it reduce scrum team efficiency? what are your thoughts?

Every meeting besides the daily scrum ( planning, retrospectives, demo) would be attended by the seperate scrum teams, and not both.

01:28 pm June 23, 2015

Where Scrum Teams are working on the same or related products then they must find the best way to scale. A very important consideration is being able to co-ordinate product releases. One way to do this might be to hold a "Scrum of Scrums" in addition to individual team Daily Scrums. That's certainly a common approach.

Scrum requires teams to self-organize and to inspect and adapt their practices, so what do your teams think about this? What do they think about a non-team member "forcefully" suggesting how they should work? What are the Scrum Masters doing to protect the teams interests and to coach the wider stakeholders?

03:53 am June 24, 2015

The teams think its a poor idea, in regards to the scrum team efficiency and self organization. They think that the idea is good for the department however.

The scrum masters have highlighted, that this wont help the scrum teams self organization, The stakeholders outside the team, do not have an opinion of this change to the daily scrum.

Im looking for pro's and cons to this approach, but my gut tells me there are more cons, than pros.

What do you Guys think?

09:57 am June 24, 2015


What about the idea to change one developer from the first team with one developer from the other team every sprint? And make some rules about this permutation (eg like a pool of developers, "first arrived, first permuted").

You will have 2 teams, 2 scrums masters, etc. and 2 separate daily scrum events (without any adaptation from the guide). And the benefits should be perceptibles when all developers will have permuted.

This is an other solution. I don't like yours because your daily scrum is an event with a developer talking about his work whereas the half of developers could not (/don't) care about.



05:29 am June 25, 2015

Your teams already said that they do not like the idea of making the Daily Scrum a common event. Self-organization in this case means that the Scrum Masters should support them in this and coach the manager in this direction.

You mention above that the teams think that the manager may have a point, right? You said "they think that the idea is good for the department." So maybe they share the impression that work has become too isolated. In my opinion, this is an opportunity for self-organization, too. So they should have the mandate to come up with actions to improve this. The Scrum Master can facilitate such a discussion.

The common Daily Scrum seems to be off the list. Scrum of Scrums is an option. Maybe they could simply join each other's Sprint Review meetings. There are surely many other options.

My point is that ideally, the teams should have the support and backing to come up with a solution. It does not have to be perfect right away - inspect and adapt. I think that a manager saying "I see a problem and now I dictate the solution" is the contrary to self-organization. "I see a problem and I ask you to come up with ways to improve it" seems fair, however, in my opinion.

06:19 am June 25, 2015

You have clever people in your organisation, ask them. What do they think? They are there and need to work in this situation. Ask them to solve this problem for you.

Having said that, I would propose a Scrum of Scrums!
Form a third Scrum team, the integration scrum. They should be working to the same definition of done as the other two Scrum teams. The Scrum should consist of the PO, 2x PSMs and the two Dev team members that perform the integrations.
There is no reason why all the Scrums can't happen sequentially, Scrum A, then B the SofS. All involved can attend. Takes a maximum of 45 minutes for the whole team. The whole team will know what's going on and what they have to do. Or a max of 30 minutes for the SofS members and max of 15 for none SofS members.