Can organizations with big project teams adopt scrum?

January 29, 2014

When an organisation is trying to adopt Scrum, this is the biggest question that comes in their mind. Since traditionally the Scrum suggests that the Scrum Teams should ideally be 6-8 Member team, how will this work for humongous projects which have huge team some time in 100’s. This leads to a misconception that Scrum is for small organisations and can only be used for small projects.

But Scrum is a very adaptable process and your larger team can be split into multiple small teams with an average size of 6-8 team members and convene scrum of scrums process to communicate between the scrum teams, enabling larger organisations to adopt scrum and reap the benefits of scrum. Even if teams are geographically divided, you can conduct the scrum meetings with the help of internet technology.

And the scrum of scrum meetings will help in communicating with the scrum teams and update progress, discuss challenges and coordinate the activities. These scrums of scrum meetings are comparable to the daily stand up meetings.

Whereas the daily stand up meeting, facilitated by Scrum Master is a short daily meeting time-boxed to 15 minutes, the scrum of scrum meetings are usually not time-boxed to facilitate more sharing of information between the teams.

The three daily questions in the daily stand-up meeting are:

1. What did I complete yesterday?

2. What will I do today?

3. What impediments or obstacles (if any) am I currently facing?

However Scrum of scrum meetings, facilitated by Chief Scrum Master, is not time boxed to fifteen minutes, also unlike daily stand up meetings there is no frequency. And in the scrum of scrum meeting here there are four questions to be answered by the designated team member representing each team:

1. What has my team been working on since the last meeting?

2. What will my team do until the next meeting?

3. What were our teams counting on our team to finish that remains undone?

4. What is our team planning on doing that might affect other teams?

This allows each team to clearly understand the work status of all other teams. The scrum of scrum meetings could be set at predefined intervals or could be ad-hoc when required. This way larger organisation with large project teams can quickly embrace scrum effectively.

(Abstracts from – Source: A Guide to the Scrum Body of Knowledge – SBok Guide)


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