Scalability of Scrum & Scrum of Scrums

December 10, 2013

It’s a widely accepted fact that Scrum Teams should ideally have six to ten members. This could be the underlying fact that leads to the misconception that the Scrum framework can only be used for small projects. There are a lot of people who say “Scrum can be used to improve the team productivity but is not scalable”. In fact, it can easily be scaled for effective use in large projects. Multiple Scrum Teams can be formed to work on the project where the Scrum Team size exceeds ten people. The Convene Scrum of Scrums process facilitates coordination among the Scrum Teams, enabling effective implementation in larger projects.  Multiple Scrum Teams work in parallel in large projects, making it necessary to synchronize and facilitate the flow of information and enhance communication. The Convene Scrum of Scrums is the process ensuring this synchronization. The various Scrum Teams are represented in this meeting and the objectives are to provide updates about progress, discuss challenges faced during the project, and coordinate activities.

A Scrum of Scrums Meeting is an important element when scaling Scrum to large projects. Typically, there is one representative in the meeting from each Scrum Team—usually the Scrum Master—but it is also common for anyone from the Scrum Team to attend the meeting if required.

There are no set rules regarding the frequency of these meetings. This meeting is usually facilitated by the Chief Scrum Master and is intended to focus on areas of coordination and integration between the different Scrum Teams. The factors determining the frequency are the amount of inter-team dependency, size of the project, level of complexity, and recommendations from the Scrum Guidance Body.

In organizations that have several Scrum Teams working on portions of a project simultaneously, the SoS Meeting can be scaled up another level to what is referred to as a Scrum of Scrum of Scrums Meeting. In this situation, an SoS Meeting is held to coordinate each group of Scrum Teams working on portions of a related project and then a Scrum of Scrum of Scrums Meeting may be held to coordinate and integrate projects at a higher level. Teams have to carefully evaluate the benefits of having Scrum of Scrum of Scrum meetings, as the third layer adds a significant amount of logistical complexity. This meeting is conducted at predetermined intervals or when required by the Scrum Teams.



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