Aug 16, 2015

Scrum of scrums


"A technique to scale Scrum up to large groups (over a dozen people), consisting of dividing the groups into Agile teams of 5-10. Each daily scrum within a sub-team ends by designating one member as "ambassador" to participate in a daily meeting with ambassadors from other teams, called the Scrum of Scrums."
  - http://guide.agilealliance.org/guide/scrumofscrums.html

A little more investigation on finding coordination between several agile teams, "scrum of scrums" is the best solution. 




A typical Scrum team is five to nine people. Rather than scaling by having a large team, Scrum projects scale through having teams of teams. In this way, we have worked on projects with more than 500 people and have consulted on projects with more than 1,000. This also means several product owners and several scrum masters, along with chief product owner and chief scrum master.
Although it's not the only thing necessary to scale Scrum, one well-known technique is the use of a "Scrum of Scrums" meeting. With this approach, each Scrum team proceeds as normal, but each team identifies one person(a technical contributor on the team rather than product owner of scrum master) who attends the Scrum of Scrums meeting to coordinate the work of multiple Scrum teams; if 4 or fewer teams then 2 person – technical contributor and scrum master - can join from one team These meetings are analogous to the daily Scrum meeting, but do not necessarily happen every day.  It is recommended that this meeting be time boxed, like 15 minutes, and daily; but if meetings tend to be longer like 30 to 60 mins then 2 to 3 times a week should be sufficient.
Scrum of scrums generally suffice all requirements, but scrum of scrum of scrums is also possible though it sounds silly. A problem identified during meeting should be addressed, because it might be affecting work of 100 people. 
Agenda of “scrum of scrums” can be same as daily scrum, but Mike Cohn suggests below agenda, if meeting is not happening daily –
  1. What has your team done since we last met?
  2. What will your team do before we meet again?
  3. Is anything slowing your team down or getting in their way?
  4. Are you about to put something in another team’s way?
After every team member answers 4 questions, any problem identified are resolved. Backlog can be maintained of problems identified.

Scrum of Scrums are so effective that other meeting such as status meetings with managers should be discontinued. In many companies we start with one team, but as team size increases such as from 6 to 18, we need to split and create multiple teams and immediately start scrum of scrums with a board, as is a case study mentioned in
Representatives from all teams gather in a room with board with three columns: Issues to resolve, Resolving, and Resolved. Its not necessary that all teams send representatives in the first meetings, but with time more and more teams can join “scrum of scrums”; more important is right people join the meeting, either developer or tester, and a scrum master facilitates the meeting chosen on rotational basis. Its not a program level meeting attended by managers who are not doing work, instead its for people doing work to discuss and resolve issues across teams.
So, its not meeting scrum masters where they will discuss status. 

So we can understand what details about "scrum of scrums" is mentioned on Agile Alliance - Its normal daily meeting where ambassadors report completion, next step, and impediments on behalf of team they represent, and problems identified are maintained in backlog.

Jeff Sutherland also suggests that "scrum of scrums" is responsible for delivering the working software to the definition of done either on specified date or multiple times a day.



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