November 17, 2014

Do you know how to scale Scrum?

Find out with a short test?

A single instance of Scrum has one Scrum Team that works from one Product Backlog. The team sprints against the selected Product Backlog items and creates an increment of potentially shippable, or usable, functionality by the end of the Sprint

If you want to test your knowledge of scaling Scrum, I set up a little test for you.

From the outside, Scaling Scrum is exactly the same. One Product Backlog provides input to a Sprint. At the end of the Sprint, an increment of potentially shippable functionality has been developed and is ready for us. However, on one of more Sprints the Product Owner has chosen to employ more than one Scrum Team. The number of Scrum Teams can be constant and their composition can remain the same, or not.

Reasons for Scaling Scrum include:

Desire to complete functionality more rapidly by applying more Scrum Teams to the Product Backlog.
Need to apply more people to the Product Backlog for one or more Sprint than can be readily accommodated in one Scrum Team. A singularity of diverse skills applied at one time may generate this need, such as developing a user interface framework, secure architecture, and piece of functionality within one Sprint.
All of the basic values, principles, artifacts, roles, and meeting of Scrum apply, whether Scrum is singular or scaled. These remain inviolate for the purposes of controlling risk, generating creativity and productivity, and creating transparency.

As more Scrum Teams work together on a Product Backlog, the number of interactions, complexities, and non-linear events increase. The relationship between productivity/creativity and the number of Scrum Teams is not linear. Product Owners employing multiple Scrum teams need to carefully weigh the benefits and costs.

Scaling Scrum is a program from Scrum.org to manage and operate multi-Scrum Team initiatives. Techniques for organizing and selecting Product Backlog, resolving dependencies and integrating work, and creating “done” increments are evaluated. Since every development situation is different (domain, people, technology), every set of techniques if unique and often has to change with time.

Scaling Scrum is a hand-on, sleeves rolled up workshop where people figure out one instance and nuances of other instances of scaling Scrum that might work for their projects, releases, initiatives, or organizations. This is not a management overview. The people who will setup, run, coach, and optimize multi-Scrum team initiatives are the audience.

We want to help you determine if this workshop is for you. To that end, we have developed a ten-question test that you can use to assess your knowledge (or desired knowledge) of techniques for scaling Scrum. You can take it at no charge.

If the assessment addresses the issues you want to tackle, sign up for the workshop. We look forward to sharing our experience scaling Scrum with you.

The Scaling Scrum program also provides metrics to measure the value generated by the approach selected for a multi-team Scrum Team project. As management monitors the metrics, the techniques can be adjusted to increase the value of the results. You may find it useful to read how to measure how effectively you scale your scrum effort prior to attending the workshop. Learn more.