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"Scrum at Scale - The End of One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Scaling" -- Alex Brown

Scrum Alliance® invites you to join us on August 19 for a dynamic live webinar with Scrum expert Alex Brown, as he offers viewers practical approaches to growing and scaling the use of Scrum in their organization.

Host Steve Denning will lead a dynamic conversation with Mr. Brown, partner at Recon Strategy LLC, to explore the following topics:

  • Three dimensions of growing your Scrum
  • Three different examples of scaling issues
  • The modular framework for scaling Scrum
  • Team-level process
  • Strategic vision process


Steve Denning Alex Brown


What can I read about each of the modules? See

Notes -for materials

Three axis

Scale Distribution Saturation (maturity)

People feel like they are underachieving - 43% say “challenged” on scaling

Case for modular framework

  1. Need general language
  2. Scrum is object-oriented
  3. Allows for incremental approach - can update one module without doing all modules
  4. Supports pattern library of successful approaches

2×2 matrix business objectives to determine context

  1. Process predictability to adaptable
  2. Convergent product design to emergent product design

Modular framework for scaling

3 organization levels

  1. Enterprise
  2. Business unit
  3. Team

SAFe tends to talk about “who owns” each of these levels. Idea here is that anyone can interact here.

Strategic vision Needs to be connected to team level processes.


  1. Backlog prioritization
  2. Backlog decomposition and refinement
  3. Release planning

Do over and over in planning process

No have team developing potentially shippable

Release management → Customer Product and release feedback then informs strategic visions

Also direction connection from vision to team

  1. Cross team coordination
  2. Organization design

From team to vision

  1. Contunious improvement and impediment removal (the Scrum Master cycle)

Only put in place what you need to meet needs of what the teams need Impediment removal

All in context of metrics and transparency

Which components is most important for your organization right now

  1. Product ownership cycle (50% from poll)
  2. Scrum master cycle
  3. A context of metrics and transparency

Product ownership is key to scaling

Don't have to do everything at once. Focus on most important things first. Helps make scaled implementation manageable

Module has goal, input, and a series or outputs that interacts with other modules Practice must meet goal

See strategic vision module

Goals include align organization, articulate why company exists, what we will do and won't do, updatable Inputs include market and product information Outputs include things that can be used by downstream modules

Strategy leads to a consistent set of conscious choices:

  1. What is out aspiration
  2. Where will we focus
  3. What is our competitive advantage
  4. What capabilities do we need to have
  5. What management systems underpin these

Agile breaks traditional strategy model low-cost (high volume, low configurability) vs differentiated product (low volume, protect assets)

Agile breaks these - and this makes sense as customers would see this as a false tradeoff. Reduce cost to make change (but still high configurable) Keep configurable advantage by high speed learning (feedback)

When we have a practice, need to specify pros and cons off approach. For example we have “product owner team etc”, hierarchical etc because want a degree of consistency, but downside is that feedback is slower.

Strategy allows you to remember the future Hypothesis based strategy - see slide Links to activity on the ground

If there is tension between scrum team and rest of organization is run then perhaps organizational design issue or lack of common strategic vision

Create updated to vision strategy to drive.

Comparison to SAFe Alex approach is to develop an anti-methodolgy and methodologies like SAFe are applicable in a context

  1. Eg SAFe is designed to work in a particular contexts in that a came out of Rally (release train as part of the release module)
  2. Eg LeSS came out of general software development (feature teams as part of org design module)

Change thinking of strategy Common thinking across organization Change quickly - more learning More about validated learning Faster you update, faster you out-compete

Strategy is Product Owner issue CEO is PO in chief, for the organization

/home/hpsamios/ · Last modified: 2020/06/04 11:30 by hans