Yesterday’s Digital Project Managers London meetup looked at the Scrum @ Scale framework.
The event was mostly questions and answers, so what follows is a blend of that material, bolstered with content from the Scrum @ Scale website.
The goal of Scrum @ Scale is to allow organisations to scale effectively, rather than finding diminishing returns as growth leads to complexity and confusion. So it’s solving a higher level problem than the Scrum framework, which is focused on individual teams.
The Scrum @ Scale framework is deliberately minimalist. It’s a “minimum viable bureaucracy”. So you can build what you need on top of it to fit your culture or existing practices.
The key point is that you have scaled daily scrums going up the organisational hierarchy. Issues that can’t be resolved at one level are taken up a level.
You have scrums, scrums of scrums and (if you need it) scrums of scrums of scrums. The scrums above the normal scrum are delivery focused – so made up of Scrum Masters or Delivery Managers. Focused on the ‘How’.
The highest scrum is at executive level. This Executive Action Team has the political and financial power to unblock impediments. So if a team needs a policy change it can get senior attention on it that same day. (Of course, that senior level chooses what it wants to do with that escalated issue.)
This Executive Action Team has a transparent backlog and ideally daily standups. It’s responsible for the transformation backlog and for the quality implementation of Scrum in the organisation.
There’s an equivalent Product Owner / Product Manager framework, focused on the ‘What’ and the ‘Why’. It includes key stakeholders, not just Product people. On a sprint by sprint basis you have coordination of backlog prioritization at each of these levels.
The MetaScrum exists to:
- Create and express an overarching product vision.
- Build buy-in to the prioritised backlog.
- Measure value and metrics
- Create a shared definition of done that applies across scrums of scrums.
The Chief Product Officer sets strategy and vision for the product.
MetaScrums can scale up like Scrums of Scrums can.
You get up to the executive meta scrum level. At this level, organizational vision and strategy is set, aligning all teams around common goals.