User Tools

Site Tools


Alexander Brown - Free Yourself From The Myth Of One-size-fits-all Scaling



Proscriptive scaling approaches may work in one context yet fail spectacularly in another. Learn a versatile modular language for scaling.

Learning Objectives:

Context is everything in large and complex organizations, yet we somehow convince ourselves that a one-size-fits-all solution can work for us. This session will debunk that myth and prepare you to lead successful scaling within your unique organization.

  1. Learn a vocabulary, a logical framework and set of independent modules for delivering enterprise scrum in an agile and iterative fashion.
  2. See different approaches that companies have used successfully to satisfy the needs of the same module.
  3. Understand why a modular object-oriented approach is the right approach to scaling scrum.
  4. Identify the key contextual drivers in YOUR organization, and begin assembling your prioritized backlog of scaling next steps
  5. Be able to lead an informed discussion around the configuration of each module that best meets your organizations scaling needs


  • Content rating (0-no new ideas, 5 - a new ideas/approach, 9-new ideas): 4
  • Style rating (0-average presentstion, 5 - my level, 9-I learned something about presenting): 4

Action / Learning

  • Biggest action - reinforce notion that we must be getting closer to potentially shippable each and every sprint - and that if we are not, then we aren't really getting better. Psi's help and are a step in the right direction, but we must be more aggressive. Make a list of what is stopping you from getting there, prioritize and work.
  • Most of the content was at last Agile conference
  • Agree with basic premise
  • Perhaps should see what the latest content is and also start making use as framework to think about things for others. Use this to drive PO and sm thinking - what do I worry about?



3 dimensions

Scale - number of team, complexity - we will talk about this Distribution Saturation

Talk about the first of these, not the later

We need modularity

Need more general language to talk about scrum at scale At its roots, scrum is modular object oriented framework eg retrospective (lots of different practices) Modularity allows organization to establish and grow scrum at scale Can make a pattern library

Exercise Write down 3 key challenges of scaling in your organization.

Context is important Eg importance of speed of delivery vs innovation

Single greatest determinant of success of scaling approach

Idea: agenda as a task board - to do, in progress, done

2×2 matrix Predictable to adaptable process Convergent to emergent product design

Where are we - and where do we want to be May be different by portfolio or product

Scrum is modular 3 social objects 5 ceremonies

Modularity supports different paths And don't get all the module in place at once

A3 thinking for useful for framing pattern solution Capturing and documenting current patterns

Connect enterprise to team Where levels of activities need to reside Eg strategy should reside at enterprise level Plus feedback

Product ownership cycle: Backlog prioritization Backlog decomp and refinement Release planning Team level process Release management (almost completely waste) Product and release feedback (separate signal from noise)

Scrum master cycle Team level Continuous improvement, impediment removal Strategic vision Cross-team coordination (and organizational design)

All needs to take place in context of metrics and transparency

Don't put in place cross team co-ord until you have an impediment that reveals the need for it That way we keep the bureaurocry down

Shocking how few teams can really ship at the end of a sprint

Don't want to change everything at once Do one at a time What is MVP for release planning - limit WIP

Module Definition - Goal, Input, Output Can do anything you want as long as you conform to goal, input and output

Idea: have a discussion about each module with sm and PO

Exercise Take your answers to the context question Take you position in the strategic importance Prioritize strategic importance vs current state

Note: being able to ship at the end of every sprint is seen as a team level process. This is one of the fundamentals of scrum - how do we focus on this.

Strategy vision module See module goals

Say “meta-scrum” vs scrum of scrum

Product owner - most value for unit invested Scrum master - increase unit over time

Strategy cascade

Book: “playing to win” Allen Laffey - probably not

Low cost play Differentiation play

Now also have adaptive play Min cost of change

Idea Product box to show strategy Strategy statement

Lean startup Not just pivot Validated learning

Meta scrum Output is single aligned product backlog Backlog remains constant until next meta scrum Then meta-scrum again Do in conjunction with release planning

Action: look more into meta scrum approach

Try to keep to 8 people, just like scrum team Have to figure out how to break down

/home/hpsamios/ · Last modified: 2020/06/02 14:21 by