Scrum of Scrums – Valuable Time Spent

Scrum it up!

Multiple teams, cross-team issues, dependencies, multiple-stakeholders, and multiple project timelines! Sounds complicated! Yes, it can be.

I’ve found that many times a scrum of scrums meeting can be a very valuable part of disseminating information across the enterprise as well as getting project leaders and product owners on the same page, especially if it’s a many-to-one relationship (multiple product owners and one development team).

For those who don’t know, a Scrum of Scrums is a scrum team made up of representatives from each of several other teams (usually the product owner). Just like a regular scrum team, the Scrum of Scrums works iteratively to deliver value in the form of removed organizational obstacles. Scrum of Scrum meetings usually are right after a regular scrum meetings in the morning. If we have a scrum meeting for development at 9:00 AM, then the scrum of scrums is at 9:15ish.

The purpose of such a scrum meeting are as follows:

  1. To remove escalated obstacles or resolve dependencies between teams
  2. Remind the team of mission/value statements for each project
  3. Quickly document any necessary follow ups with team members
  4. And… to remove dependencies between teams!

I’m a big proponent of not having meetings for the sake of meetings, nor am I big on process that bogs down productivity. Remember: Simplicity!

So, for your larger projects or our environment currently, would a Scrum of Scrums be useful or valuable?

6 Responses to “Scrum of Scrums – Valuable Time Spent”

  1. David Hawks
    October 5, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    Agile Scout,
    You describe a very valuable Scrum of Scrums, but there also can be other Scrum of Scrum needs. The one you describes handles many of the project management type issues: impediments, reqs. or implementation dependencies, etc.

    But there also may be a need for cross team technical folks to talk about code level dependencies, branches, interfaces, etc.

    I also have come across a need for a QA Scrum of Scrums for QA representatives to talk about integration test dependencies, regression ownership, etc.

    In a larger enterprise organization you may also come across the need for an Architecture Scrum of Scrums.

    All environments are unique and the teams need to determine what communication forums are needed and how they are structured.

    David Hawks
    @austinagile
    Agile Coach

    • ScoutMaster
      October 5, 2010 at 10:57 am #

      David,

      Thanks so much for your insite! This really helps the reader get a fuller picture of the Scrum of Scrums options.
      I totally agree. We’ve used Scrum of Scrums for some of the ways you depicted above.
      Good looking out!

      Best,
      @AgileScout

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