Scrum of Scrums: Its Agenda and Purpose

The term “scrum of scrums” may sound peculiar, but it is a real concept in the field of software development. It is a method that helps to coordinate and communicate between multiple scrum teams working on the same project.

The purpose of this approach is to ensure that all teams are aware of each other’s progress and can collaborate effectively to achieve the project’s goals.

The scrum of scrums involves representatives from each scrum team, who meet regularly to share information and resolve any issues that may arise.

The need for this approach arises from the fact that large projects often involve multiple teams working in parallel, and it is essential to have a system in place to manage the coordination and communication between them.

A Scrum of Scrums Definition

A Scrum of Scrums (SoS) is a scaling technique used in Agile development to manage coordination and communication among multiple Scrum teams working on a single project.

The SoS is a meeting where representatives from each Scrum team come together to share information and coordinate their efforts to ensure the project is progressing smoothly.

The representatives, known as “Scrum Masters,” discuss any issues or dependencies that have arisen within their respective teams and work together to resolve them.

The goal of the SoS is to ensure that all teams are aligned and working towards the same objectives, and to identify and resolve any potential roadblocks that could impede progress.

Why Do We Need A Scrum of Scrums?

The purpose of a scrum of scrums is to coordinate and communicate among multiple scrum teams within a larger organization. As scrum teams typically have a limit of ten members, larger companies with more developers may need to divide their teams.

A scrum of scrums meeting brings together representatives from each team to ensure that everyone stays informed and resources are allocated in an efficient and productive way.

Conventional wisdom suggests keeping the scrum of scrums team size to no more than ten attendees, though multiple scrum of scrums may be necessary for larger organizations.

Scrum of Scrums Meeting Agenda

The Scrum of Scrums, or SoS, is a meeting that brings together representatives from multiple agile teams in order to coordinate their efforts and avoid any issues such as redundancy or inefficiency.

The agenda for a SoS meeting is similar to that of a standard Scrum meeting, with a focus on what each team has accomplished, what they plan to do in the future, and any obstacles or issues that they may be facing.

1.   What did I do yesterday?

2.   What will I do today?

3.   Am I facing any obstacles or something is slowing me down?

Additionally, one unique aspect of the SoS agenda is the inclusion of a question about whether any team is about to impede the progress of another team.

Ken Schwaber, one of the creators of Scrum, suggests that the SoS meeting should be held daily, fast-paced, and short, lasting around 15 minutes.

However, it is not uncommon for the meeting to last between 30 to 60 minutes to allow for problem-solving and addressing any issues that may have surfaced.

Scrum of Scrums Features

Scrum of Scrums offers a range of benefits that make it an effective approach for managing large and complex projects. Some of the key advantages of Scrum of Scrums include:

1. Improved product quality

Scrum of Scrums provides a framework for continuous development of teams, tools, and products. This allows for better definition and elaboration of requirements in advance or as needed, so that all teams are updated on the most relevant product features.

2. Enhanced team morale

By allowing team members to have more control and input over decisions, Scrum of Scrums fosters a sense of self-management that leads to increased creativity, innovation, and motivation among team members.

3. Greater collaboration and ownership

When team members work closely together, they tend to take more ownership of the work they are doing. This often results in higher-quality work and better outcomes.

4. Enhanced visibility and exposure

Scrum of Scrums is built on transparency, so all team members and stakeholders can easily see the progress of the project at any given point in time. This allows for more effective problem-solving and identification of issues.

5. Reduced risk and increased control

The flexible framework of Scrums allows for greater control over the product and its development. Priorities can be adjusted at each sprint interval, which reduces the risk of product failure.

Who is Involved in a Scrum of Scrum?

When it comes to Scrum of Scrums teams, the size and composition of the team is crucial to its success. Typically, these teams should consist of between five and ten participants, with the ideal composition being representatives from each Scrum team.

Traditionally, the representatives are the Scrum Masters, but relying solely on this perspective may limit the input and insights that can be brought to the meeting.

To avoid this, it’s recommended to have two representatives per team, such as a Scrum Master and a technical team member, or a member of the development team.

In addition to the representatives, the product owner may also be included in the Scrum of Scrums meeting. However, their participation should only happen if it doesn’t detract from the meeting’s focus and objectives.

Finally, it’s important to note that someone should be designated as the Scrum Master for the Scrum of Scrums meeting, as a larger group may require a facilitator to keep the meeting on track and productive.

Ultimately, any team or group that is responsible for a deliverable as part of the release plan should have a representative attending the Scrum of Scrums.

Scrum of Scrums Practices

When it comes to Scrum of Scrums, there are certain best practices to follow in order to ensure effective product management.

1. Clearly define the information that needs to be shared. This is crucial to keep the meeting on track. Remind participants of the agenda questions and ask them to focus on answering those first.

2. Choose the appropriate team members to attend the Scrum of Scrums meeting. The best communicator or expert may not always be the best choice, so consider the situation and what is needed for the meeting.

3. Set a clear time limit for the meetings. The frequency and duration of Scrum of Scrums meetings can vary depending on the product, so establish a time box that works best for your team.

4. Prioritize transparency and communication. Make sure that all decisions and information shared in the Scrum of Scrums meeting are communicated back to the Scrum teams to avoid any gaps in communication.

5. Foster an atmosphere of trust and openness. Communication is key in Scrum of Scrums, so create a space where team members feel comfortable sharing their concerns and information.

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