I’ve been working with people who have actually made Scrum scale for large projects and product initiatives over the last twenty years. Our smallest project experience was 3 teams, average 25 teams, and largest was 80 teams.
We abstracted a framework for this scaling which we named Nexus, defined as a causal link between things, such as biological nervous systems. In our case, a Nexus is 3-9 Scrum Teams that are working on a single Product Backlog to build an integrated increment that meets a goal. A Nexus+ is more than one Nexus inter-operating to build a large product, usually integrated through a product family framework, api, or such.
We developed or reformulated new 30+ practices which cause the Nexus to operate predictably.
We call this Scaling Professional Scrum, because we agreed that you cannot Scale amateur Scrum, represented by such bad practices as lack of integration and excessive dependencies. The program consists of:
- Development workshop, for those who will actually scale the Scrum teams into an integrated, coordinated effort. The audience is systems engineers, lead developers, development managers …. the people who will make this happen and have strong familiarity with modern development and Scrum
- Management workshop, for those who will manage the scaled initiative.
- Organizational workshop, for those who will establish and manage the agile organization, consisting of multiple Scrum and agile projects, providing the infrastructure and supporting functions.
- Leadership workshop, for those who will lead the path to agility in their organization.
Scrum.org consultants and trainers are currently being trained in the Development workshop. I will co-teach the first public Scaled Professional Scrum Development workshop in Boston on March 12 and 13, with Steve Porter and Rich Hundhausen. You can register for this workshop at http://bit.ly/1DfEb1b. More will be offered starting in April, along with one day Management workshops.
BEFORE you sign up for the workshop (actually, as a test of the likelihood of your success in scaling), we have put up a free and open assessment at http://bit.ly/1BB12Ch. If you understand the questions and do reasonably well, the workshop is for you. If you are baffled by the questions and even why they were asked, the workshop is probably not appropriate.
Those of you who have invested and attempted commercial scaling methodologies such as SAFe will find this workshop may well fill the gap that you noticed when you got to actually setting up and running scaled software development.