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Scrum Team

Last post 06:41 am February 13, 2016 by Andrzej Zińczuk
5 replies
10:32 pm August 9, 2015

What is ideal scrum team size and how many teams a scrum master can manage effectively and efficiently?

11:06 am August 10, 2015

Hi Sushil,
you find the answer to the first question in the Scrum Guide (3-9 Developers + Scrum Master + Product Owner).
The second question is not that easy to answer for all organizations at once.
A good approach would be to start with one Scrum Master for all teams working on the same product.
As work emerges, inspect and adapt.
For example, if you add additional teams, you might find it necessary to add a Scrum Master, because one Scrum Master is not able to remove impediments for all Teams at once.
It might also happen that when adoption improves, the Scrum Master finds some time to help other teams.

11:35 am August 10, 2015

My rule of thumb for a SM is sort of as follows:
Orgs with less than 1 yr experience: 1 SM per team
Orgs with > 1 yr: 1 SM can handle about 2 teams
Very advanced/mature Agile orgs, where SM's and teams are very advanced (several years Agile experience) -- about 3 teams per SM.

But I also agree with Ludwig, there are things that might heavily weigh/influence that rule of thumb. Inspect and adapt!

11:36 am August 10, 2015

...and any more than 2-3 teams per SM is not ever going to work well. It's a complete disaster.

11:41 am August 10, 2015

Allow me to be a bit pedantic and picky on the use of words.....

A Scrum Master (SM) doesn't "manage" a Team -- rather, the SM *serves* a Team.

Yes -- being a SM is considered a position of "management" but that is for the process.

So, how many Team(s) one can serve, depends on a variety of factors. Agree with the essence of what has already been written above. Also keep in mind that the SM is there to serve other entities as well.

06:41 am February 13, 2016

I generally agree with Charles. And couple of things worth to remember:
- orgs are different, teams are different and general context is different between organisations
- teams are evolving and changing through months/years - so one scrum master can support effectively e.q. 2 teams but after some context change it might not be enough

I encourage not to find best medicine and apply without context consideration. And the best way to see how many teams scrum master can serve is to experiment and check according to value delivered, team happiness, quality perspectives.

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