The scrum of scrums meeting practice controversy. On her weekly podcast, Ryn Melberg airs her thoughts on the Agile practice of ‘scrum of scrums’. To hear the podcast go to iTunes, Soundcloud, or www.rynmelberg.com. According to Melberg, Scrum was born of the Agile movement, and the acknowledgement that work was more complicated than a single team could solve. At its heart, the ‘scrum of scrums’ is a team of teams that meets regularly to make sure that all work and programming is coordinated and aligned.
Ryn made the distinction that the scrum masters meet regularly to coordinate and align the work separate team are assigned. They meet to synchronize and insure progress on deliverables is matched and that there are no issues that cause one team to be out of phase with the others.
Controversy Among Purists
While the practice sounds reasonable enough, there is controversy on the subject as many in the Agile community favor Scrum but do not care for or have any interest in the ‘scrum of scrums’ practice. “A lot of people are purists and believe that a single scrum team can deliver everything needed for a project,” Ryn said. “If you do not need a scrum of scrums don’t do it. But I never had a client with a single team that could do everything. Very few places are left that can do this with but one team. Maybe some app makers can or gamers, but even those are on the way out.”
Don’t Call It A Meeting
Like other gatherings in the Agile world, the ‘scrum of scrums’ is not a meeting, but instead is referred to as a ceremony. “The designation of the ceremony helps to differentiate the ‘scrum of scrums’ from other meetings that people typically have during the work day,” Ryn said. “Scrum of scums is supposed to be managed like a regular stand up meeting. It is a stand up of scrum masters.”
During the ‘scums of scrums’, the topics are similar if not the same as they are at regular stand up meetings. “What value did the team add from the last time we met; what are we going to do before the next time and what or who are the blockers,” Ryn told her audience. “The scrum of scrums is conducted the way the daily stand up is.”
Do Scrum of Scrums If It Adds Value
Melberg comes down on the side of those who do scrum as part of Agile and conduct ‘scrum of scrums’ if needed. “We do this because it works,” Ryn said. “We do not do things just for fun. Sometimes we learn things because we have to pass a test in school or earn a license, but we never use any of the skills learned in real life because they are stupid and do not work. Those who are interested in the quick, easy, low cost, low investment way to synchronize teams should consider incorporating scrum of scrums.”
The Guardian Podcast with Ryn Melberg is the only weekly podcast anywhere dedicated to Agile, Scrum, SAFe, and related governance topics. To learn more, visit www.rynmelberg.com.