How to arrange ceremonies for multiple teams

Last post 06:51 pm January 15, 2020
by Curtis Slough
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01:09 pm January 15, 2020

Hello, I’m working as a scrum master with 3 teams , the problem is that the teams are almost the same and working with 3 product owners on their backlogs, any idea how can I arrange for the ceremonies like planning, retro, daily standup for the same team at the same time ?

02:41 pm January 15, 2020

You shouldn't be arranging the events for the teams. Since the teams are self-organizing, they should be able to arrange their own events at a time that works for the team. If you're operating in a scaled environment and teams need to coordinate, there may be some guidelines around cross-team or shared events, but otherwise, leave it open to the teams.

Depending on the maturity of the teams, one issue may occur if two (or all three) teams are holding an event at the same time and request you to facilitate it. Ideally, if you are working with three teams, the teams are fairly mature and you will be able to prioritize. If the teams are not mature with agile and Scrum practices, then it will be much harder to coordinate.

04:31 pm January 15, 2020

There is nothing in the Scrum Guide that says you, as Scrum Master, have to arrange/schedule/lead all of the events. In fact, I don't remember it saying that you even have to attend all of the events.  You are there to help them understand why those events are important and the benefits of having them.  You help them understand the purpose of each event. You facilitate if asked but your goal is to never be asked.  If 3 teams are able to operate by sharing 1 Scrum Master, I am also going to assume that they are somewhat mature.  In that case you shouldn't be needed to schedule or arrange their events.  

Now, if the teams are all asking you to arrange all of their events, you have a bigger challenge as a Scrum Master to help them realize that they are self-organizing and help them understand what that means. 

04:42 pm January 15, 2020

First off, have you asked your teams? The best tool Scrum Masters have is "take it to the team". 

the problem is that the teams are almost the same 

Why is this a problem? 

Regarding the events, you don't need to worry about the Daily Scrum; that's for the dev team after all. You don't have to attend, just need to make sure the dev team meets. Sprint Planning: have you considered Staggering the start times? You don't need to be fully present throughout if your teams are able to handle it as a self-organizing team. Maybe go in for the first half hour and ensure the teams understand the goal of the event and then move to the other team's planning. Retrospectives, however, I'd suggest finding a way to ensure that you're present for each one so staggering those would be my suggestion. 

Ultimately, I'd take it to your teams and see what they come up with.

06:06 pm January 15, 2020

If 3 teams have more or less the same membership, and are working on 3 different products, I’d have thought that the timing of events would be the least of their problems. How are they able to maintain focus in their day-to-day development work?

06:51 pm January 15, 2020

good call Ian, I read the comment about the teams being the same a different way. Curious if OP means that the team members are basically the same across the board or if they have a similar structure and product. 

If they are the same members, that is a pretty big issue