What is scrum@scale?
Definition of Scrum at Scale
Scrum@Scale is a framework to deliver results across any organization. It is a lightweight, adaptable framework that can be customized per the organization’s context. It is a component-based architecture that allows companies to build their organization like they build their products.
As per the Scrum@Scale guide, Scrum@Scale is a lightweight organizational framework in which a network of teams operating consistently with the Scrum Guide can address complex adaptive problems, while creatively delivering products of the highest possible value. These “products” may be physical, digital, complex integrated systems, processes, services, etc.
Scrum@Scale helps an organization to focus multiple networks of Scrum Teams on prioritized goals. It aims to achieve this by setting up a structure that naturally extends the way a single Scrum Team functions across a network and whose managerial function exists within a minimum viable bureaucracy (MVB).
Why Scrum at Scale
Scrum, as originally outlined in the Scrum Guide, is a framework for developing, delivering, and sustaining complex products by a single team. Since its inception, its usage has extended to the creation of products, processes, services, and systems that require the efforts of multiple teams. Scrum@Scale was created to efficiently coordinate this new ecosystem of teams. It achieves this goal through setting up a “minimum viable bureaucracy” via a “scale-free” architecture. Dr. Jeff Sutherland developed Scrum@Scale based on the fundamental principles of Scrum, Complex Adaptive Systems theory, game theory, and object-oriented technology.
Scrum@Scale – How does it work?
- Scrum at Scale – Team Level (Follows Scrum guide and have a Scrum Master, Product Owner and Development Team). This is for a single team.
- Scrum of Scrums – A dynamic group that includes representatives from Scrum Teams. The recommended optimal number of teams for Scrum of Scrums is 4 or 5.
- Scrum of Scrum of Scrums – More than one Scrum of Scrums may be needed to deliver a complex product; a Scrum of Scrum of Scrums is formed out of multiple Scrum of Scrums. To facilitate the daily scrum and retrospective, Scrum at Scale recommends a role called Scrum of Scrums Master (SOSM), similarly a Chief Product Owner is required to facilitate the Sprint Review and Backlog Refinement.
- Executive Action Team – This team is formed for Scrum of Scrum of Scrums. It comprises of individuals who are empowered, politically and financially to remove impediments. This team coordinates multiple Scrums of Scrums and interfaces with any non-agile parts of the organization.
- Executive MetaScrum – This team is formed for Scrum of Scrum of Scrums. A forum for leadership and other stakeholders to express their preferences to the PO Team, negotiate priorities, alter budgets, or realign teams to maximize the delivery of value. At no other time during the Sprint should these decisions be made.
Components of Scrum@Scale
Scrum at Scale framework is divided into the Scrum Master Cycle and the Product Owner Cycle. The “how” falls under the Scrum Master cycle and “what” falls under the Product Owner cycle. For effectiveness, the Scrum Master Cycle is supported by an Executive Action Team (EAT) which focuses on how they can get it done faster and the Product Owner Cycle is supported by an Executive MetaScrum (EMS) forum which focuses on what is produced by the Scrum of Scrums.
Roles at Scrum@Scale
The two roles that are specific for scaled agile in Scrum at Scale are as follows –
- Chief Product Owner – Sprint Review and Backlog Refinement are facilitated by a Product Owner Team guided by a Chief Product Owner (CPO).
- Scrum of Scrums Master (SOSM) – Daily Scrum and Retrospective are facilitated by a Scrum Master for the group, called the Scrum of Scrums Master (SoSM).
- The remaining accountabilities (Scrum Master, Product Owner) are part of the Scrum team. A Scrum Master along with facilitating the daily scrum and sprint retrospective for a team can also facilitate a Scrum of Scrums.
In order to begin implementing Scrum@Scale, it is essential to be familiar with the Agile Manifesto and the 2020 Scrum Guide. A failure to understand the nature of agility will prevent it from being achieved. If an organization cannot Scrum, it cannot scale. Scrum@Scale is a delivery method agnostic. It provides structure through a minimum viable bureaucracy (MVB) in the form of an Executive Action Team and Executive MetaScrum forum.
Source – Scrum at Scale guide
Tip – Read the Scrum@scale guide for more information – Scrum@Scale Guide