Scrum of scrums

Posted on Posted in Agile

Im in a unique context where are release train doesn’t meet essential SAFe standards i.e. Program Increment planning, system demo’s, PI objectives, vision, Inspect and Adoption at the release train level, and backlog of epics sorted by WSJF (weighted shorted job first). See diagram below of essential SAFe 4.0

Essential SAFe

This client has a large project that is driving the need of coordination across teams i.e. large project that impacts multiple assets in and outside of the release train.  The train is also not set to deliver value to customer, its a grouping of projects organised into asset based teams. There is no leadership buy in change the train bringing it up to Essential SAFe standard so the scrum masters are put in a situation where running a scrum of scrums to compensate for the coordination needed.

The purpose of scrum of scrums is create help the teams deliver towards our common goal, its not just another meeting or status meeting. The agenda is to follow.

  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?

Its an important technique for scaling scrum across multiple teams and a mechanism for managing dependencies e.g. overlap and integration. The team choose its representative based on who will be in the best position to understand and comment on the issues most likely to arise at that time during a project (can change each iterations, initially it could be UX, next the front end dev). This can change from time to time, a PO or scrum master is not the best candidate and we have also limited the meeting to eight or less.

The scrum of scrum can be scaled indefinitely, however I have never seen a implementation of it in practice.

Frequency is currently set to twice weekly for half an hour, 15 minutes for updates, 15 minutes for tracking issues.

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