Scrum@Scale – A newbie’s guide
The scrum methodology allows teams to collaborate better to reach the same goal. What happens when an organization decides to expand scrum? While scrum is a method for delivering and maintaining complex products in one team, Scrum@Scale (S@S) concentrates on the entire team’s ecosystem to change the overall organizational culture.
What is Scrum@Scale?
Scrum@Scale was created as an agreement between Scrum Inc. and the Scrum Alliance under the care of Dr. Jeff Sutherland, one of Scrum’s co-creators and co-authors of the Agile Manifesto.
Scrum@Scale offers a method to scale scrum using the basic principles of scrum and the theory of complex adaptive systems. In Scrum@Scale, every person is part of an interoperable scrum team. The scrum teams are grouped to create an ecosystem depending on the objectives. Scrum@Scale has been designed to scale for large companies and includes the possibility of certification and training as an alternative.
Sutherland’s Scrum@Scale goal is to create linear scalability using a scale-free architecture. This is complemented by minimal feasible bureaucracy (MVB). This agile method has been embraced by Mozilla and Spotify, which uses minimal processes to keep efficiency and consistency on a large scale while not limiting the team’s creativity.
By doing this, Scrum@Scale prevents adding additional complexity when new teams are formed because the traditional hierarchical division of individuals is avoided. It is based on scaling up from a group to a group of teams, then creating a network of teams and then to a network of teams.
This is why the primary goal of Scrum@Scale assists in resolving the most pressing issues that organizations face:
- Prioritizing efficiently using the limited resources
- Software that works in a timebox and with top quality
- Software Refactoring possibilities
- The ability to adapt to changes both from a product or organizational viewpoint
What are the contents of Scrum@Scale?
What are the fundamental ideas behind Scrum@Scale?
Scrum@Scale is based upon three concepts that are fundamental to the process:
- Small teams
- The entire organization can be scaled
- Implementing the minimum bureaucratic requirements
Small teams are an integral idea of scrum and are essential for expanding to several teams. Teams are typically comprised of three and nine members as well as it is the “two-pizza principle” (based on the number of people that two pizzas can serve).
Scrum@Scale is built based on working scrum teams, as agile practices scale across the entire enterprise.
Minimal viable bureaucracy, in this case, is defined as the amount of time needed to make decisions and carry them out. This strategy helps overcome the organisation’s barriers for smaller teams.
The Scrum@Scale components assist companies in driving and personalising their backlogs of transformation and methods.
The framework is presented in two cycles: the Scrum Master Cycle and the Product Owner Cycle. These cycles clearly distinguish the “what” in the Product Owner cycle from the “how” in the Scrum Master cycle and highlight where they overlap.
A scaling structure can be achieved by utilizing a scrum of scrums, a scrum of scrums idea where several teams produce an entire set of potential deliverable products in increments after every sprint.
The boundaries of sprints and timeboxing are not loosened by scale. They are crucial to achieving organizational agility. If your teams are struggling to achieve their sprint goals, stop and address these issues before attempting to increase the size.
Because Scrum@Scale is built on scrum, the role of scrum players, the Product Owner, and Scrum Masters are employed and have the same skills as those defined within Scrum Guide. Scrum Guide based on the concept of a team of teams, there are new roles to be introduced:
- The Chief Product Officer (CPO): collaborates with the Product Owners and the teams to coordinate the prioritization of the backlog with the stakeholders in all parties and establish the strategic vision for the scrum of scrums. The CPO is accountable for developing one backlog to be used by everyone in this scrum.
- A Scrum of Scrums Master (SSM): is accountable for the team’s efforts to release and similar obligations as Scrum Master but on a bigger scale
The key to success in scrum is these easy yet powerful scrum activities:
If a scrum is scaled, teams continue to scrum in the same way, except for one event, Scaled Daily Scrum. Scaled Daily Scrum, where the team’s representative is required to attend.
The content is very similar to the daily scrum, in which 15 minutes should be spent each day on the team’s barriers to the sprint goal, the risks to other teams, team dependencies, strategies to improve, and knowledge that other teams may share.
Scrum Master of the agile organization – Executive Action Team (EAT)
As scrum is scaled up, the organizational challenges will grow, and Scrum@Scale will require the assistance of an Executive Action Team (EAT). The EAT is accountable for the transformation plan and is responsible for executing Scrum values and roles and helping make decisions and remove obstacles. One of the essential requirements of an EAT is the power of senior executives to make changes to the structure.
Here are some of the areas where the EAT is focused on:
- Make sure that you have a proper priority. Instead of marking everything as crucial
- Make certain teams have the capability and the environment for delivering each sprint
- Make sure that the organization is continuously improved and the organizational divisions are removed
Product Owner for the agile company — Executive MetaScrum Team (EMT)
The Executive MetaScrum Team (EMT) is the one who defines the vision of the organization and determines the strategic priorities for the entire organization. This team is accountable for changing the company’s direction and deciding what products or services should be revamped or discarded. It also helps align the business to a plan of action and can be scheduled regularly or ad-hoc.
The team is comprised of the CPO and the business owner, who is responsible for the ability to fund, staff and commitments to customers. They are EMTs and the CPOs and collaborate closely to tackle any changes required in strategy and funding or allocation of resources.
If your company has grown beyond the structure of teams, Scrum@Scale is the next step toward scaling up. Utilizing the same method to increase scrum size with Scrum of Scrums, you can expand Scrum of Scrums to Scrum of Scrum of Scrums (SoSoS).
Scrum@Scale lets an organization develop organically, at their own pace and manage an unlimited number of scrum teams with the help of a “scale-free” design. The framework’s basic concepts are well-documented and not as prescriptive as other frameworks. This makes Scrum@Scale suitable for all organizations when a scrum is implemented effectively at the team level.
When you implement Scrum@Scale, It is essential to concentrate on scrum methods prior to scaling and create the EAT with authority to change things and eliminate obstacles. Various assessments are available on the internet to assess how the scrum group performs. We suggest beginning by reading Jeff Sutherland’s advice on team performance and team satisfaction, and revenue points.
Frameworks such as Scrum@Scale offer a viable solution to help businesses become more agile within their companies and reach the desired business results. It is equally important to consider the tools you select to enhance existing practices and reap the full potential of these methods.