Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Scaling Scrum

My first contact with Scrum was related to "normal" Scrum: one team, at one place works on one project of average size. As I continued to investigate Scrum I have noticed that number of people are asking how to scale Scrum to larger projects and multiple teams. Question sounded so normal. Can I apply it to large projects?

Even now when I am explaining the Scrum this question is rising very often. Scaling seems like one of the most important things regarding Scrum. If we are not able to scale it, it is not worth to try it. Once I was asked this question by manager although I new they do not have any big project.

But as longer I am with Scrum this question seems odder to me. How many of you had a chance to work on such big projects spread around the globe? How many of you had a chance to work on projects that cannot be implemented by one team? I have been in small but also in very big companies and I didn't see project larger than 50 team members. Maybe I was in wrong projects :)

For me question is it possible to scale Scrum is not important. If Scrum can be successfully used on mid-size projects but it is not possible to scale it I would use it anyway on those mid-size projects. It is easy framework, it gives excellent results and usually people like it. So why should I bother with scaling anyway. I will think about that when I will need to lead on such big project.

So what is conclusion? Yes, it is possible to scale Scrum.
There is number of articles and books around the Internet. Just go and read them. But if you have really big project, then get somebody who has experience using Scrum on scaled projects.

As long as you are working on "normal" projects, you don't need to scale Scrum.

If you are new to Scrum, try to use it on small or mid-size projects. Don't worry about scaling. It will take some time until you are able to use it correctly on small projects and it will take much longer till you will be able to scale it without experienced Scrum Master.

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