Scrum of Scrums (SoS) is a scaled Agile technique that allows multiple Scrum teams to collaborate and coordinate their work seamlessly. It is particularly useful when a single Scrum team cannot deliver a large and complex project or when multiple teams are working on related projects.
What is the Scrum of Scrums?
The Scrum of Scrums approach builds upon the principles and practices of Scrum, extending them to address the challenges of larger projects. The key idea behind SoS is to create a hierarchical structure that facilitates communication, alignment, and synchronization between multiple Scrum teams.
With an understanding of the Scrum of Scrums, let’s dive into how this framework operates in practice.
How does Scrum of Scrums work?
Here’s how the Scrum of Scrums framework typically operates:
- Scrum Teams: These are small, cross-functional teams that work on individual project components. Each team follows Scrum practices, including daily stand-up meetings, sprint planning, and retrospectives.
- Scrum of Scrums Meetings: SoS meetings are regularly scheduled, time-boxed meetings that involve representatives from each Scrum team. These representatives are often called “ambassadors” or “liaisons.” During the meeting, ambassadors share updates on their team’s progress, impediments, and dependencies. This information helps identify potential bottlenecks and coordination challenges.
- Issue Resolution: When dependencies or issues arise between Scrum teams, the ambassadors collaborate to find solutions. They may need to adjust sprint plans, reprioritize work, or allocate resources differently to address these challenges.
- Scaling Agile Principles: Scrum of Scrums maintains Agile principles such as transparency, inspection, and adaptation. Teams continue to focus on delivering value incrementally, and regular feedback loops ensure continuous improvement.
Now that we’ve explored how SoS operates, let’s uncover its significant benefits to project management.
What are the benefits of Scrum of Scrums?
Implementing Scrum of Scrums in project management offers several benefits:
- Improved coordination: SoS helps align the efforts of multiple Scrum teams, reducing conflicts and improving overall project coordination. It enables teams to work together seamlessly.
- Faster problem resolution: By identifying and addressing dependencies and impediments early, Scrum of Scrums accelerates issue resolution, reducing delays and project risks.
- Enhanced visibility: Stakeholders and management gain better visibility into project progress and potential challenges, allowing for informed decision-making.
- Scalability: SoS is flexible and can be adapted to suit the specific needs and size of the organization. It supports the scaling of Agile practices across large, complex projects.
While Scrum of Scrums offers numerous advantages, it’s also important to be aware of its potential challenges and considerations.
What are the challenges and considerations?
While Scrum of Scrums offers many advantages, it’s essential to be aware of potential challenges and considerations:
- Communication: Effective communication between ambassadors and their teams is crucial. Miscommunication can lead to misunderstandings and delays.
- Ambassadors’ role: Selecting the right ambassadors with strong communication and problem-solving skills is critical for the success of the SoS framework.
- Scaling complexity: As projects grow larger, coordinating multiple Scrum teams can become more complex. Proper planning and regular refinement are essential.
Scrum of Scrums is a valuable technique for organizations seeking to scale Agile practices and improve project management in large and complex environments. By fostering collaboration, coordination, and transparency among Scrum teams, SoS enables organizations to deliver value faster and adapt to changing requirements more effectively.
When implemented thoughtfully and focused on Agile principles, SoS can become a powerful tool in your project management toolkit, helping you succeed in today’s dynamic business landscape.
Incorporate Scrum of Scrums into your project management practices, and watch your organization’s Agile capabilities thrive as you scale for success.