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Challenges & Recommendations To Be A Successful Agile Coach

In the real world, there are many versions of Agile implementation which are tailor-made to fit into existing organization’s AS IS hierarchy and operating patterns. Top leaders and managers understand that Agile coach’s role is pivotal to make Agile transformation feasible and possible in their organization. Let us consider different scenarios under which Agile coach is hired for transformation purpose on a project or in the organization:  When an Agile coach is hired as an external contractual consultant for a specific duration to make people aware of Agile principles/values for the first time and help in transitioning for one or two releases When an Agile coach is hired as full-time employee - after initial awareness is created by external consultant but practices were not followed, so now the organization wants to get implementation done through full time Agile coach When an Agile coach is either hired as full time employee or taken from a pool of Agile folks available to the organization - to generate  awareness from scratch and own the responsibility of Agile implementation on a specific project or account There are pros (which serve as strength to the coach) and cons (serve as a challenge) in each of the scenarios mentioned above for an Agile coach. Based on these pros and cons the recommended approach has to vary dynamically. Scenario 1:  Agile Coach is hired as an external consultant for a specific duration (3 to 6 months) – to create awareness & lead implementation by handholding for one or two releases. Pros:  Strong support from SPONSOR OR Top management (Be it hierarchical or flat hierarchy-based organization) Middle management for e.g. Project managers or Technical leaders agree and accept the change due to decision made by top management Cons or Challenges:  Project Managers or Technical leaders attend all awareness sessions due to top management’s pressure but do not completely accept or understand the benefits of agile implementation. This leads to GAPS leading to incorrect IMPLEMENTATION  Project Managers or Technical leaders send selected members for awareness of their preference. Rest of the team members are interested in understanding Agile too but they mostly woder “WHAT IS THIS AGILE STUFF really?” I would also like to know.. as I am going to do coding & testing in Agile way too”. This leads to a low awareness spread across the project or organization  Recommended Approach: Conduct stakeholder analysis: Identify stakeholders and prepare Stakeholder analysis graph – Power/influence vs Interest in implementing Agile transformation. Sponsor (High Interest, High Power), Project Managers (Interest variable, Medium Power), Product Owner (variable interest, Medium to high power). Make sure to enlist every individual role’s name with role in this quadrant at least for one or two major projects If this is organizational change. Set expectation to each role based on Agile Roles- Identify and set expectation for each Agile Role verbally and in written by agreeing in the expectation management meeting– Product Owner(who may be a current Business analyst), Scrum Master(who may be a current Tech Lead or Team Lead), Future Agile coach(within organization), Project Manager(though is not a role in SCRUM but is needed to oversee the entire transition and collect metrics and remove project level impediments and client management ensure success of a process and product delivery) Make batches of 15-30 participants & Conduct Coaching session for tailored different target Agile roles identified in point no. 2.  Ensure that Project Managers understand their role in terms of supporting transformation and how success factors need to be measured and monitored at specific intervals to ensure their engagement. Conduct tests or quiz at the end of each session and share the results of each role group with top management to show the awareness of knowledge transferred Call randomly one person from each role group to present their understanding to the top management. For e.g. Chief Product Owner must ensure whether Product Owners understand the importance of backlog grooming & refinement, whether they can write crisp user stories to support INVEST criteria. Similarly, Scrum Master & Project Managers should also be called upon to present their implementation approach and how they will successfully carry out transformation on ground Also, team members should be provided tests and called upon randomly to present their understanding about basic Agile overview, values and principles, roles and responsibilities. Coaches should guide all the roles with usage of Agile life cycle tools & managers to check metrics and reports from those tools.  Coach can be present for one or two releases, to see if the implementation by attending Agile ceremonies or meetings for each team randomly to see if everything is falling in place and help managers by guiding about how to measure and demonstrate metrics with transparency, inspection, and adaptation. Once all falls in place which takes around 3 to 6 months (based on acceptance from all leads) window for a project or organization of about 100 -150 people then external Agile consultant can move on to another assignment. Coach should share Agile learning reference manuals and templates on a shared repository so that everyone remains Agile aware even after he/she leaves at the end of a contract. Manager’s support is pivotal to keep Agile best practices going on after an external coach leaves the project or organization. Scenario 2:  Agile Coach is hired as full-time employee – lead implementation after external coach leaves Pros:  Strong support from Top management (in case of hierarchical organization) Middle management for e.g. Project managers or Technical leaders agree and accept the change due to decision made by top management( in case of hierarchical organization) Cons or Challenges:  Low to medium support from  Top management (in case of flat or less hierarchical organization) Middle management for e.g. Project managers or Technical leaders may not agree and challenge every decision and create hindrance at every step (in case of flat or less hierarchical) as they have rights to make decisions at their project level Recommendation:  Conduct Stakeholder analysis as described in pt. 1. In scenario 1 to keep handy the stakeholder map and create a strategy to handle each set of stakeholder differently based on their power and interest Be in observational mode for a couple of iterations :- Attend all Agile meetings to check if all meetings/ceremonies are followed as per the methodology suggested  Take a note of GAPS in Agile practices not being followed. After a couple of iterations, start recommending corrective actions formally during Agile meetings or ceremonies verbally.  If specific set of stakeholders do not follow recommendations despite verbal & written reminders then escalate it to the project manager. Project manager generally supports in hierarchical organizations to close the gaps formally in case there are is no ego problem. In case of non-hierarchical organizations support from managers is less or non-existent which leads to an approach wherein building personal rapport with non-collaborating stakeholders like Tech leads or Team Leads is the only way to get implementation through Also, refresh the Agile basics of team members and leaders by sharing good articles or videos on various Agile topics.  As per stakeholder analysis and gaps found in Agile implementation per role, group coaching should be targeted to fill the gaps.  For e.g. if  product owners do not break epic into stories and technical team enters technical tasks instead of user stories in every iteration, then there is a need for the Product Owner to be trained on backlog refinement or breaking epics into user stories OR breaking bigger stories into smaller ones then coach them by sharing examples of doing it by one-to-one coaching OR YouTube videos OR articles present on internet sources or publishing self-written white papers or videos or presentations to educate the product owner about writing user stories in Agile. Ensuring inter-team meetings (for e.g. scrum of scrum) to happen where team leads can highlight dependencies and find resolutions to mitigate risks related to schedule slippage. Such meetings also aid sharing lessons learnt  across teams to ensure consistency in implementing best practices. Conduct coaching presentations – One presentation topic to address entire project at least once in a week to ensure everyone is on the same page and also to ensure consistent application of Agile implementation. After essential coaching sessions are conducted as a refresher awareness sessions tests should be conducted in the form of quizzes to check if everyone is aware of Agile practices. Check at regular intervals - sprint or release - If Agile lifecycle management tool like JIRA or RALLY etc. reflect the progress of the project as it is on ground thereby maintaining transparency to ensure that metrics get collected to review if milestones are reached as per schedule and devise strategy to mitigate risks to close gaps or slippage well in advance. Ensure Project managers measure metrics suggested and monitor project health at specific intervals to ensure their engagement. Help Project managers to maintain a log of Agile practice gaps or impediments – backlog, open and closed along with start and end date and actions taken to monitor progress of all gaps closed in a particular duration and the actions taken can help other projects in future implementation Present a milestone chart to the SPONSOR or top management along with the project manager about how transition happened with the gaps found initially and actions taken to close them and how Agile transformation was successfully achieved. Once the project is established in Agile practices after a couple of releases, an Agile coach can move onto another project or account. Scenario 3:  Agile Coach is hired as a full-time employee – create awareness and lead implementation   Looking for a Full time position as an Agile Coach?! You've come to the right place... https://t.co/7RXWV1AMxp #Scrum #Jobs #AgileCoach — AgileCareers (@agilecareers) April 12, 2016 Pros:    Strong support from SPONSOR OR Top management (in case of hierarchical organization) Middle management for e.g. Project managers or Technical leaders agree and accept the change due to decision made by top management(in case of hierarchical organization) Cons or Challenges: Project Managers or Technical leaders attend all awareness sessions due to top management’s pressure but do not truly accept or understand the benefits of Agile implementation. This leads to GAPS leading to incorrect IMPLEMENTATION (in case of hierarchical organization) Low to medium support from  Top management (in case of flat or less hierarchical organization) Middle management for e.g. Project managers or Technical leaders may not agree and challenge every decision and provide hindrance at every step (in case of flat or less hierarchical) as they have rights to make decisions at their project level Recommended Approach: Combination of recommended approach for scenario 1 and 2  Note:  These approaches are subjected to how they are carried out by an individual coach. There might be many other successful approaches based on the challenges faced in a real world which is full of multiple diverse surprises.   

Challenges & Recommendations To Be A Successful Agile Coach

1K
  • by Mini Shah
  • 12th Mar, 2018
  • Last updated on 27th Aug, 2019
Challenges & Recommendations To Be A Successful Agile Coach

In the real world, there are many versions of Agile implementation which are tailor-made to fit into existing organization’s AS IS hierarchy and operating patterns. Top leaders and managers understand that Agile coach’s role is pivotal to make Agile transformation feasible and possible in their organization.

Let us consider different scenarios under which Agile coach is hired for transformation purpose on a project or in the organization: 

  1. When an Agile coach is hired as an external contractual consultant for a specific duration to make people aware of Agile principles/values for the first time and help in transitioning for one or two releases
  2. When an Agile coach is hired as full-time employee - after initial awareness is created by external consultant but practices were not followed, so now the organization wants to get implementation done through full time Agile coach
  3. When an Agile coach is either hired as full time employee or taken from a pool of Agile folks available to the organization - to generate  awareness from scratch and own the responsibility of Agile implementation on a specific project or account

There are pros (which serve as strength to the coach) and cons (serve as a challenge) in each of the scenarios mentioned above for an Agile coach. Based on these pros and cons the recommended approach has to vary dynamically.


Scenario 1:  Agile Coach is hired as an external consultant for a specific duration (3 to 6 months) – to create awareness & lead implementation by handholding for one or two releases.

Pros: 

  • Strong support from SPONSOR OR Top management (Be it hierarchical or flat hierarchy-based organization)
  • Middle management for e.g. Project managers or Technical leaders agree and accept the change due to decision made by top management

Cons or Challenges: 

  • Project Managers or Technical leaders attend all awareness sessions due to top management’s pressure but do not completely accept or understand the benefits of agile implementation. This leads to GAPS leading to incorrect IMPLEMENTATION 
  • Project Managers or Technical leaders send selected members for awareness of their preference. Rest of the team members are interested in understanding Agile too but they mostly woder “WHAT IS THIS AGILE STUFF really?” I would also like to know.. as I am going to do coding & testing in Agile way too”. This leads to a low awareness spread across the project or organization 

Recommended Approach:

  1. Conduct stakeholder analysis: Identify stakeholders and prepare Stakeholder analysis graph – Power/influence vs Interest in implementing Agile transformation. Sponsor (High Interest, High Power), Project Managers (Interest variable, Medium Power), Product Owner (variable interest, Medium to high power). Make sure to enlist every individual role’s name with role in this quadrant at least for one or two major projects If this is organizational change.
  2. Set expectation to each role based on Agile Roles- Identify and set expectation for each Agile Role verbally and in written by agreeing in the expectation management meeting– Product Owner(who may be a current Business analyst), Scrum Master(who may be a current Tech Lead or Team Lead), Future Agile coach(within organization), Project Manager(though is not a role in SCRUM but is needed to oversee the entire transition and collect metrics and remove project level impediments and client management ensure success of a process and product delivery)
  3. Make batches of 15-30 participants & Conduct Coaching session for tailored different target Agile roles identified in point no. 2. 
  4. Ensure that Project Managers understand their role in terms of supporting transformation and how success factors need to be measured and monitored at specific intervals to ensure their engagement.
  5. Conduct tests or quiz at the end of each session and share the results of each role group with top management to show the awareness of knowledge transferred
  6. Call randomly one person from each role group to present their understanding to the top management. For e.g. Chief Product Owner must ensure whether Product Owners understand the importance of backlog grooming & refinement, whether they can write crisp user stories to support INVEST criteria. Similarly, Scrum Master & Project Managers should also be called upon to present their implementation approach and how they will successfully carry out transformation on ground
  7. Also, team members should be provided tests and called upon randomly to present their understanding about basic Agile overview, values and principles, roles and responsibilities.
  8. Coaches should guide all the roles with usage of Agile life cycle tools & managers to check metrics and reports from those tools. 
  9. Coach can be present for one or two releases, to see if the implementation by attending Agile ceremonies or meetings for each team randomly to see if everything is falling in place and help managers by guiding about how to measure and demonstrate metrics with transparency, inspection, and adaptation.
  10. Once all falls in place which takes around 3 to 6 months (based on acceptance from all leads) window for a project or organization of about 100 -150 people then external Agile consultant can move on to another assignment.
  11. Coach should share Agile learning reference manuals and templates on a shared repository so that everyone remains Agile aware even after he/she leaves at the end of a contract.
  12. Manager’s support is pivotal to keep Agile best practices going on after an external coach leaves the project or organization.

Scenario 2:  Agile Coach is hired as full-time employee – lead implementation after external coach leaves

Pros: 

  • Strong support from Top management (in case of hierarchical organization)
  • Middle management for e.g. Project managers or Technical leaders agree and accept the change due to decision made by top management( in case of hierarchical organization)

Cons or Challenges: 

  • Low to medium support from  Top management (in case of flat or less hierarchical organization)
  • Middle management for e.g. Project managers or Technical leaders may not agree and challenge every decision and create hindrance at every step (in case of flat or less hierarchical) as they have rights to make decisions at their project level

Recommendation: 

  1. Conduct Stakeholder analysis as described in pt. 1. In scenario 1 to keep handy the stakeholder map and create a strategy to handle each set of stakeholder differently based on their power and interest
  2. Be in observational mode for a couple of iterations :- Attend all Agile meetings to check if all meetings/ceremonies are followed as per the methodology suggested 
  3. Take a note of GAPS in Agile practices not being followed.
  4. After a couple of iterations, start recommending corrective actions formally during Agile meetings or ceremonies verbally. 
  5. If specific set of stakeholders do not follow recommendations despite verbal & written reminders then escalate it to the project manager. Project manager generally supports in hierarchical organizations to close the gaps formally in case there are is no ego problem. In case of non-hierarchical organizations support from managers is less or non-existent which leads to an approach wherein building personal rapport with non-collaborating stakeholders like Tech leads or Team Leads is the only way to get implementation through
  6. Also, refresh the Agile basics of team members and leaders by sharing good articles or videos on various Agile topics. 
  7. As per stakeholder analysis and gaps found in Agile implementation per role, group coaching should be targeted to fill the gaps.  For e.g. if  product owners do not break epic into stories and technical team enters technical tasks instead of user stories in every iteration, then there is a need for the Product Owner to be trained on backlog refinement or breaking epics into user stories OR breaking bigger stories into smaller ones then coach them by sharing examples of doing it by one-to-one coaching OR YouTube videos OR articles present on internet sources or publishing self-written white papers or videos or presentations to educate the product owner about writing user stories in Agile.
  8. Ensuring inter-team meetings (for e.g. scrum of scrum) to happen where team leads can highlight dependencies and find resolutions to mitigate risks related to schedule slippage. Such meetings also aid sharing lessons learnt  across teams to ensure consistency in implementing best practices.
  9. Conduct coaching presentations – One presentation topic to address entire project at least once in a week to ensure everyone is on the same page and also to ensure consistent application of Agile implementation.
  10. After essential coaching sessions are conducted as a refresher awareness sessions tests should be conducted in the form of quizzes to check if everyone is aware of Agile practices.
  11. Check at regular intervals - sprint or release - If Agile lifecycle management tool like JIRA or RALLY etc. reflect the progress of the project as it is on ground thereby maintaining transparency to ensure that metrics get collected to review if milestones are reached as per schedule and devise strategy to mitigate risks to close gaps or slippage well in advance.
  12. Ensure Project managers measure metrics suggested and monitor project health at specific intervals to ensure their engagement.
  13. Help Project managers to maintain a log of Agile practice gaps or impediments – backlog, open and closed along with start and end date and actions taken to monitor progress of all gaps closed in a particular duration and the actions taken can help other projects in future implementation
  14. Present a milestone chart to the SPONSOR or top management along with the project manager about how transition happened with the gaps found initially and actions taken to close them and how Agile transformation was successfully achieved.
  15. Once the project is established in Agile practices after a couple of releases, an Agile coach can move onto another project or account.

Scenario 3:  Agile Coach is hired as a full-time employee – create awareness and lead implementation
 

Pros: 

 

  • Strong support from SPONSOR OR Top management (in case of hierarchical organization)
  • Middle management for e.g. Project managers or Technical leaders agree and accept the change due to decision made by top management(in case of hierarchical organization)

Cons or Challenges:

  • Project Managers or Technical leaders attend all awareness sessions due to top management’s pressure but do not truly accept or understand the benefits of Agile implementation. This leads to GAPS leading to incorrect IMPLEMENTATION (in case of hierarchical organization)
  • Low to medium support from  Top management (in case of flat or less hierarchical organization)
  • Middle management for e.g. Project managers or Technical leaders may not agree and challenge every decision and provide hindrance at every step (in case of flat or less hierarchical) as they have rights to make decisions at their project level

Recommended Approach:
Combination of recommended approach for scenario 1 and 2 

Note: 
These approaches are subjected to how they are carried out by an individual coach. There might be many other successful approaches based on the challenges faced in a real world which is full of multiple diverse surprises. 
 

Mini

Mini Shah

Blog Author

Mini Shah is a seasoned Agile practitioner who has transformed big and mid-size projects in organisations like Accenture and Datamatics. She has demonstrated her expertise by playing roles like Agile coach, Scrum Master, Product Owner and Business Analyst across multiple agile projects in past six years.

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The Scrum Master plays a key role in the development of the product, the team and the organization. The Scrum Guide defines the servant leadership a Scrum Master’s role has to perform in context to the roles mentioned above. The Scrum Values that a Scrum Master practices have a ripple effect throughout the organization. The Scrum Master is seen as an evangelist for practicing and promoting Scrum in the enterprise.The Agile Manifesto and servant-leadershipThe Agile Manifesto states that one must value: Individuals and interactions over Process and tools Working software over Comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over Contract negotiation Responding to change over Following a plan These again align with the values of servant leadership, which is all about putting people or employees first. The Agile Manifesto describes focusing on building projects around motivated individuals and giving them an environment of support, trust and collaboration—all characteristics of servant leadership.Who Are These Servant Leaders?The Scrum Guide defines the service provided by the Scrum Master as servant leadership. The Scrum Master selflessly provides servant leadership to the development team, product owner and the whole organization. By serving these entities, the Scrum Master can create a high performing team, a valuable product and an efficient organization that is able to meet business objectives and keep customers happy.  Though the term Scrum Master may be deceptive, the Scrum Master is not a master of the team but in fact serves the team in order to ensure smooth functioning and productivity.Servant Leadership and Scrum Master Roles of Servant LeadershipServant leadership:The day-to-day activity of a Scrum Master involves servant leadership. Servant leadership in a scrum team involves performance planning, coaching, helping the team self- organize, resolving conflicts through conflict management, removing obstacles that hinder progress and serving the team. The Scrum Master, while practicing servant leadership, helps the team grow and mature and become independent enough to make their own decisions. Servant leadership in Scrum is all about making the team self-reliant, so they can cope with the pressures of the role. As a servant leader the Scrum Master creates a high performing team, helps them become collaborative and high performing in order to achieve goals and meet the requirements of the customer.  Service to the Scrum Team: As a servant leader, the primary responsibility of the Scrum Master is to help the development team perform. They help the team perform to the best of their abilities by giving them an environment that is conducive to work in, encouraging them, guiding them and removing obstacles that may hinder progress. As a coach, the Scrum Master will guide the team on scrum processes and help them adhere to Agile values during the development of the product. The Scrum Master is responsible for the scrum team’s effectiveness, and they work tirelessly to ensure that the team is motivated, encouraged, creative and innovative. The Scrum Master through servant leadership helps the team improve Scrum practices which helps them become more productive and generate value. The Scrum Team’s role in motivating and helping the team comes through in the daily stand-up meetings that are arranged as part of the sprint. The Scrum Master encourages team members to share their grievances and progress made through the sprint. Team members can talk about obstacles that may be hindering their work and due cognizance will be taken up by the Scrum master to ensure that these obstacles are removed.  According to the Scrum Guide, the Scrum Master helps the Development Team by: Coaching the team in becoming self-organized and cross-functional Helping the Scrum Team focus on creating high-value increments by removing impediments Helping the team deliver within the timeframe of the sprint Service to the Product Owner: The Scrum Master is a servant leader not just for the development team but also the Product Owner. While the Product Owner is primarily responsible for the product backlog, they cannot do this alone. The Scrum Master aids the development team and the Product Owner with effective product backlog management.The Scrum Master is involved at every stage of the product backlog grooming, helping the product owner with Scrum events, product planning and to identify backlog items along with the development team. The Scrum Master helps the Product Owner define the product vision to the team.   According to the Scrum Guide, the Scrum Master helps the Product Owner by: Helping in Product Goal definition and Product Backlog management Helping the Scrum Team understand manage the Product Backlog items Setting up empirical product planning in complex environments and, Managing and facilitating stakeholder collaboration.Service to the Organization: The Scrum Master is a coach and motivator not just for the development team but goes beyond the team to spread the awareness of Scrum in the entire organization. Scrum Masters coach and help teams and departments understand Scrum and develop an Agile mind-set. Besides servant leadership to the team a Scrum Master is also involved in promoting the ideas and values of Scrum. An organization can get an agile mind-set only if the entire organization adopts Scrum and not just a few teams. This is where the Scrum Master comes in, helping other teams not involved with Scum to gain the Agile mind-set, through training and coaching. The Scrum Master is an Agile evangelist and promotes Scrum enterprise-wide.According to Scrum.org the Scrum Master serves the organization by: Leading, training, and coaching the organization in adopting Scrum Planning and advising Scrum implementations within the organization Coaching employees and stakeholders in the way Scrum works Helping stakeholders work with Scrum TeamsSome Servant-Leader Behaviours for every Scrum MasterBeing empathetic: This is the foremost personality trait required for anyone wanting to become a Scrum Master. Your empathy will shine through in your interactions with the team members and your dealings with the stakeholders. You should be able to see problems from the point of view of each party and work towards solving these problems. Caring: As a caring and empathetic Scrum Master, your team will feel free to approach you and share their concerns. Providing a listening ear will make you more approachable. You will be able to more clearly understand the impediments that are stopping project progress and work towards providing a solution.  Managing Conflicts: Not all team members will get along with each other and this can cause disruptions and problems within the team, lowering their productivity. As a Scrum Master you need to be great at conflict management, help others solve their problems, work with each other and create a high performing and harmonious team. Building relationships: You need to build a rapport with your team, the product owner and the stakeholders. This will help you communicate freely and help others approach you with their problems and issues. You need to build that relationship of trust and take everyone along on the journey of success.  Being ethical: Ethics play an important role in software development, especially since software now controls every aspect of our lives. The product created should be free of malice and fraud. The Scrum Master should guide the team in delivering the product at a value and standard that is expected and agreed upon with the stakeholder. There should not be any shortcuts or concessions made on the quality of the product delivered as this will affect not just the Scrum Master and the team’s reputation but will cause a dent in the reputation of the organization.   Conclusion  Servant leadership and the Scrum Master’s role is the backbone of Scrum. The Scrum Master as a servant leader re-emphasizes the values of Scrum and helps to enhance teamwork, collaboration, motivation and value. Under the able servant leadership of the Scrum Master, individual members and the team will grow, become more confident and help in delivering value.  
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Scrum Master – The Scrum Team’s Servan...

The term servant leader is synonymous with a Scrum... Read More

A Guide to Scaling Scrum

Scrum has been proven to work well for small teams. But the true benefits of Agile can only be reaped if Agile and Scrum are scaled at the enterprise level. However, this is easier said than done. According to statistics, 47% of Agile transformations are not successful. While this is a worrying trend, there are still hundreds of organizations who have got it right and are able to survive the competition by innovating faster, delivering value and adapting to changing markets. How are they doing it? By using scaled Scrum.There are several tools and frameworks available for scaling Scrum at the enterprise level. In this blog, we attempt to look at a few of these.  Scaling Scrum with NexusNexus is among the most popular frameworks for scaling Scrum. According to the Nexus Guide, “Nexus is a framework for developing and sustaining scaled product delivery initiatives. It builds upon Scrum, extending it only where absolutely necessary to minimize and manage dependencies between multiple Scrum Teams while promoting empiricism and the Scrum Values.” How is Nexus different from Scrum? Scrum defines three primary roles: The Product Owner, the Scrum Master and the development team. These three roles work together in one team.The Nexus framework consists of several Scrum teams that work together toward a common product goal and defines the Nexus Integration Team as an additional accountability.  Nexus helps to build on the values of Scrum and also solves the collaboration and dependency challenges that tend to occur between teams in Scrum.Benefits of using Nexus Nexus extends Scrum in the following ways:  Accountabilities: Nexus introduces the Nexus Integration Team, which consists of the Scrum Master, Product Owner, and members. This team is accountable for delivering a workable product at the end of each sprint.  Events: Nexus events aim to add to or supplement Scrum events and serve not just individual teams but also the Nexus Integration Team. The objective of a sprint is to achieve the Nexus sprint goal. Artifacts: Although the teams are different, within the Nexus framework they all work towards a single goal and follow a single product backlog. There’s a high amount of transparency and work is allocated to each team. The Nexus Integration TeamAccording to the Nexus Guide, “the Nexus Integration Team exists to coordinate, coach, and supervise the application of Nexus and the operation of Scrum so the best outcomes are derived.” The Nexus Integration Team or NIT comprises of the Scrum Master, the Product Owner and Nexus integration team members. There are generally three to nine Scrum teams working together in Nexus. All of them follow a single product backlog and work towards delivering a single product. The Nexus Integration Team forms an essential role within Nexus and is tasked with providing transparent accountability among the teams in Nexus.Product OwnerThe Product Owner is accountable for maximizing the product value and the work carried out in Nexus. Their primary task is to order and refine the product backlog. Being a member of the Nexus Integration Team, the product owner will work with all the Scrum teams in the Nexus Integration team. The product owner and the teams work towards better defining and refining the product backlog.Scrum MasterJust like in regular Scrum, the Scrum Master in the Nexus Integration Team is also responsible for ensuring that the Nexus framework is understood by everyone on the team as prescribed by the Nexus Guide.   MembersThe members of the Nexus Integration Team are the Scrum team members who aid the Scrum teams in adoption of tools and practices that will help the team and members deliver value at the end of each sprint that meets the definition of done. Nexus Integration Team membership should be considered more important than the individual Scrum Team membership and members should work towards first fulfilling their Nexus team responsibilities.What are the Events in Nexus?Nexus adds or augments the events as defined by Scrum. The Nexus event durations are like Scrum event durations and are guided by the Scrum Guide.  Nexus events consist of: Sprint- A Nexus sprint is the same as in Scrum, at the end of which a single increment is delivered.  Cross team refinement- The aim of Nexus is to enhance collaboration and reduce cross team dependencies. Cross team refinement helps to make dependencies and responsibilities more transparent. This makes it easier for Scrum teams within the Nexus to clearly identify and deliver their allocated tasks.  Nexus Sprint Planning- Nexus sprint planning will involve the participation of the Product Owner and concerned teams' members from each team. The purpose of the Nexus Sprint Planning is to assign and co-ordinate activities for a single sprint.  Nexus Daily Scrum- This is like the daily stand up in Scrum. Nexus daily scrum is used to identify any issues and track progress. Any issues are immediately prioritized and solved so that they do not hinder the work of the developers.  Nexus Sprint Review- This event is held at the end of sprints to provide feedback on the increment that has been built and on any future updates that have to be made. Nexus Sprint Retrospective- Like in Scrum, Nexus retrospectives are an important part of the project and are used to reflect on how quality and consistency can be improved.  Some Nexus ArtifactsNexus artifacts are the same as Scrum artifacts and when implemented correctly ensure transparency and value maximization. Every artifact is designed to give a commitment. For example, the product backlog is the artifact and its commitment is the product goal. Other artifacts and their commitments include: Nexus Sprint Backlog-Nexus Sprint Goal Integrated Increment-Definition of Done Along with Nexus, LeSS is another popular framework for scaling agile.  Scaling Scrum with LeSS The Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) framework is an offering from Atlassian and is a framework for scaling Scrum to multiple teams that are working on the same product. The idea behind LeSS is to start with a single Scrum team as defined in the Scrum Guide and then replicate it to multiple teams who are working on a single product. LeSS has earned the label of being “barely sufficient” as it is a simple framework to apply and uses the basic concepts of Scrum to scale.  How do Sprint Planning meetings in LeSS work?  LeSS generally carries out sprint planning in two stages. Sprint Planning One focuses on selecting items that are of topmost priority, solving unanswered issues and defining the sprint goal. The Sprint Planning Two is like the sprint plan of regular Scrum and focuses on creating a plan of action for getting things done.  Daily meeting  The daily Scrum meeting in LeSS is similar to how it is done in normal single Scrum teams and involves team members discussing the work accomplished and the work to be done during the day. It is a time-boxed meeting and helps teams address any issues that may be hindering work.   Sprint Delivery Meeting (Review) The sprint review meeting is an essential part of LeSS and helps teams and stakeholders review the product built during the sprint and suggest changes and new ideas.   Retrospective The retrospective for LeSS is similar to one team Scrum. These retrospectives held at the end of the sprint will help teams to reflect on the progress of tasks, and identify the obstacles that may hinder or impede the overall project.  Let’s take a look at some of the other frameworks that are used for scaling agile. Scaling Scrum with SAFe®The Scaled Agile Framework, SAFe in short, follows the principles of lean and agile and helps in scaling Scrum to the enterprise. It helps to manage alignment, collaboration, and delivery from multiple agile teams to ensure enterprise success. It systematically focuses on applying Scrum at each level of the enterprise, to maximize value and ensure a successful agile transformation.A successful SAFe adoption ensures end-to-end business agility with significant improvements in strategy, delivery, execution and business competencies. It helps organizations overcome competition and ensure innovative business solutions to gain customer trust and partnership. The SAFe framework is continuously improvised in order to help organizations cope with the digital age and ensure that business outcomes are delivered.Scaling Scrum with the Scrum@Scale frameworkAnother framework that allows organizations to implement Scrum at scale is the Scrum@Scale framework. This framework expands on the core principles of Scrum and helps to scale Scrum over a wide range of industries and sectors, ensuring customer satisfaction and creation of successful products. It promotes communication across all teams and departments, and optimizes resources, removes roadblocks and ensures creation of innovative products.A Final Word By driving Agile at the organizational level, companies can gain all the benefits of team-level Scrum at scale. More often than not the principles of team level Scrum are not sustainable at the enterprise level and the transformation fails. Tested and proven Agile scaling frameworks are now able to turn this around, and help organizations scale up the principles and practices of Scrum to become more adaptable, flexible and responsive. Professionals can master these frameworks and help their organization adopt the culture, mind-set and principles of Scrum and agile.  
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A Guide to Scaling Scrum

Scrum has been proven to work well for small tea... Read More

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