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Understanding the SAFe® Program Dependency Board Retrospective

The Program Increment (PI) Planning is a key differentiator event, unique to the SAFe® way of working. It is a 2-day (2.5 to 3 days in case of Distributed environments) planning event at the beginning of each PI where all the members of the Agile Release Train(ART), Leadership, Business and other stakeholders gather to plan for the next upcoming PI. The PI objectives and the Program Board are the two major outcomes of this large-scale Planning Event. This article delves into the Program Board creation, template, uses and the benefits it brings to the smooth planning and running of the upcoming PI. What is a SAFe® Program Board? The SAFe Program Board is created by teams at the time of PI Planning to visibly represent dependencies of their features with other teams in the Agile Release Train (ART). It also represents how the feature completion dates fare against any milestone events. This visual radiator helps to quickly sort out major dependency issues and fix the chronological order of execution to meet the major milestones at the time of PI Planning. It is recommended to be used after the PI Planning as well, so that emerging and evolving changes are updated, and teams respond accordingly.What Is Found on a SAFe® Program Board?  A typical SAFe Program Board is a row and column matrix that consists of the following: List of Teams: The list of teams that are part of the ART and the supporting teams which work with all the teams in the ART such as UX, Architecture etc. are listed as rows in a matrix. Iterations: All the Iterations that will be part of the PI appear as columns of the Matrix board. The Iterations can be 2 or 3 weeks long and so the number of Iterations depends on cadence set for the iterations in the ART. So, there can be 3 or 4 iterations with an IP(Innovation & Planning) iteration at the end. Milestones/Events: The first row in the Matrix lists any Milestone event that is about to happen during the course of the PI; for e.g Trade show, a compliance SLA with one of the Customers, or an Engineering Milestone like a technological upgrade. This ensures to give visibility on whether the features related to that event have been planned to be completed before the milestone or not. Features: Each of the teams places the Feature card at the Iteration at which it is planned to be completed. For e.g if Team X plans to work on a Feature A with 4 stories, 3 planned for Iteration 1 and 1 planned for Iteration 2 , the Feature A will appear only once as a blue card in the matrix at Iteration 2. This is because the Feature is complete only at the end of Iteration 2. Dependencies: If Team X is dependent on the Shared UX Team and Team Y to complete Feature A in Iteration 2, the dependencies are marked as a Red card in the Iterations at which the UX Team and Team Y work on the dependencies. There is a red coloured connector between the Feature A Card and all the dependency Red Cards. What are the uses of a SAFe® program board?  The Program Board makes it obvious if there is a risk of missing an important milestone or if the dependencies do not make sense chronologically.  It is a very important Visual Information Radiator that is created and used in PI Planning and also during the course of PI. For e.g, Team Y is delivering Feature B very close to the Milestone Event which is a risk. Team Z is delivering Feature C after the Milestone event which must be replanned. Team X is Planning to complete Feature A in Iteration 2. It has dependencies with the UX Team and Team Y. But Team Y is planning to work on the dependent story in the same Iteration 2. Team Y can replan to work on it in Iteration 1 because Feature A is high priority and cannot risk missing completion because of an important milestone. Deeper learning from the program dependency board  Other than the obvious benefits of the Program board, it also exposes certain other facets of planning at scale. It could quickly point out if any team(s) is completing too many features at the very end of the PI. From the Sample Program board, we can infer Team X is only completing features at the end of the PI. Teams that have dependencies with multiple teams might become a bottle neck for the progress of other teams. Team Z has dependency with almost all the teams in the ART. Ways must be devised during the PI Planning itself to reduce this sort of dependency. The board might expose that one Team is having a lot of features tied to different Milestones. The priority of work seems not equally distributed amongst the teams. The shared services teams like Architecture, UX, Infrastructure etc, will have a clear picture on how other teams are dependent on them and how to prioritize the request from these teams. If there is a milestone very close to the beginning of Iteration 1, the senior Management and Business teams can anticipate a risk of not meeting this milestone.   How to set up your SAFe® program board  The following are the basic inputs required for the Program Board: Milestone dates come from the Product Management or Business Teams. Any Engineering Milestone dates come from the Engineering Head. The list of the teams in the ART and the Shared Services teams are input by the RTE The names to be used for the teams in the board should be provided by Scrum Master in consultation with teams. Once the input information is available, the RTE creates the Board before the PI Planning starts. Scrum Masters start populating the board for their respective teams in consultation with their teams during the course of the PI Planning.When to use a SAFe® program board  The Program Board is created and very useful at the time of PI Planning. During PI Planning the board is reviewed at intervals and at draft reviews, and changes are incorporated. It is highly recommended to keep the board up to date throughout the PI to add and modify emerging dependencies and changing milestones. The Program Board can be reviewed and updated at the ART level meetings by the Scrum Masters and RTE, so that the latest information is available on the board. Create your own SAFe® program board  The program board can be created as a virtual board in the case of distributed teams. There are tools like Miro that can be used to create Virtual program boards.  In the case of co-located teams, a physical board can be displayed at a common area where all teams and shared teams can have access to it. Different coloured cards must be used such as– blue for Feature Cards, Red for Dependency and Red Strings for connecting the Feature card to their dependencies. It is better to have a soft board as the base so that board pins can be used to hold the connector strings in place.Good Practices and Tips for Program Board Efficiency  The Program Board used well serves as a very effective visual information radiator and planning aid for all stakeholders at PI Planning and during the PI execution.  Having all the necessary information like the Milestone events before the PI Planning can ensure that the most up to date information goes into the Program board at the time of PI. Awareness of the Milestone can help Business and Teams prioritize and plan the features. For features not tied to a Milestone, Business Teams get an indication of when Features are likely to be completed. This helps them to plan the release of these features.  The Shared Service teams (UX, Infrastructure, Architecture etc) can prioritize and plan their work according to the dependencies and milestones on the board. The RTE can take the responsibility of bringing the Program Board as a topic of conversation at ART synch meetings, so that the Scrum Masters and other stakeholders can keep it current and updated and the ART can benefit from it. Through the Program Board the RTEs can track and communicate the various dependencies and milestone targets to all the relevant stakeholders to constantly get their attention and support as required. The teams can check in to the board any point of time to get a view of the larger context of the release e.g features worked on by other teams and their target completion. There are likely to be changes to the plans drawn out during PI. In keeping with the Agile Principles of embracing and responding well to change, the Program board can be revisited every week and kept updated. All said, the Program Board should not replace the constant collaboration and interaction amongst the teams and stakeholders but a tool that provides context and serves as an aid to the communication. SAFe® Program Board Template  A SAFe Program Board Template can be created using a sample board described by SAFe. You can find out more about it here. Miro also has a free template that can be used. ConclusionThe Program Board is one of the most major outcomes from the PI Planning event and one of the most important tools that can be used by the RTE and Scrum Masters during the PI execution phase. It is an important Visual Radiator for running Agile in a Scaled environment and can be used effectively and efficiently for best results. 

Understanding the SAFe® Program Dependency Board Retrospective

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Understanding the SAFe® Program Dependency Board Retrospective

The Program Increment (PI) Planning is a key differentiator event, unique to the SAFe® way of working. It is a 2-day (2.5 to 3 days in case of Distributed environments) planning event at the beginning of each PI where all the members of the Agile Release Train(ART), Leadership, Business and other stakeholders gather to plan for the next upcoming PI. 

The PI objectives and the Program Board are the two major outcomes of this large-scale Planning Event. This article delves into the Program Board creation, template, uses and the benefits it brings to the smooth planning and running of the upcoming PI. 

What is a SAFe® Program Board? 

The SAFe Program Board is created by teams at the time of PI Planning to visibly represent dependencies of their features with other teams in the Agile Release Train (ART). It also represents how the feature completion dates fare against any milestone events. This visual radiator helps to quickly sort out major dependency issues and fix the chronological order of execution to meet the major milestones at the time of PI PlanningIt is recommended to be used after the PI Planning as well, so that emerging and evolving changes are updated, and teams respond accordingly.

What Is Found on a SAFe® Program Board? 

A typical SAFe Program Board is a row and column matrix that consists of the following: 

  1. List of Teams: The list of teams that are part of the ART and the supporting teams which work with all the teams in the ART such as UX, Architecture etc. are listed as rows in a matrix. 
  2. Iterations: All the Iterations that will be part of the PI appear as columns of the Matrix board. The Iterations can be 2 or 3 weeks long and so the number of Iterations depends on cadence set for the iterations in the ART. So, there can be 3 or 4 iterations with an IP(Innovation & Planning) iteration at the end. 
  3. Milestones/Events: The first row in the Matrix lists any Milestone event that is about to happen during the course of the PI; for e.g Trade show, a compliance SLA with one of the Customersor an Engineering Milestone like a technological upgrade. This ensures to give visibility on whether the features related to that event have been planned to be completed before the milestone or not. 
  4. Features: Each of the teams places the Feature card at the Iteration at which it is planned to be completed. For e.g if Team X plans to work on a Feature A with 4 stories, 3 planned for Iteration 1 and 1 planned for Iteration 2 , the Feature A will appear only once as a blue card in the matrix at Iteration 2. This is because the Feature is complete only at the end of Iteration 2. 
  5. Dependencies: If Team X is dependent on the Shared UX Team and Team Y to complete Feature A in Iteration 2, the dependencies are marked as Red card in the Iterations at which the UX Team and Team Y work on the dependencies. There is a red coloured connector between the Feature A Card and all the dependencRed Cards. 

What Is Found on a SAFe® Program Board

What are the uses of a SAFe® program board? 

The Program Board makes it obvious if there is a risk of missing an important milestone or if the dependencies do not make sense chronologically It is a very important Visual Information Radiator that is created and used in PI Planning and also during the course of PI. 

For e.g, Team Y is delivering Feature B very close to the Milestone Event which is a risk. Team Z is delivering Feature C after the Milestone event which must be replanned. 

Team X is Planning to complete Feature A in Iteration 2. It has dependencies with the UX Team and Team Y. But Team Y is planning to work on the dependent story in the same Iteration 2. Team Y can replan to work on it in Iteration 1 because Feature A is high priority and cannot risk missing completion because of an important milestone. What are the uses of a SAFe® program board

Deeper learning from the program dependency board 

Other than the obvious benefits of the Program boardit also exposes certain other facets of planning at scale. It could quickly point out if any team(s) is completing too many features at the very end of the PI. From the Sample Program board, we can infer Team X is only completing features at the end of the PI. 

Teams that have dependencies with multiple teams might become bottle neck for the progress of other teams. Team Z has dependency with almost all the teams in the ART. Ways must be deviseduring the PI Planning itself to reduce this sort of dependency. Deeper learning from the program dependency board 

The board might expose that one Team is having a lot of features tied to different Milestones. The priority of work seems not equally distributed amongst the teams. 

The shared services teams like Architecture, UX, Infrastructure etc, will have a clear picture on how other teams are dependent on them and how to prioritize the request from these teams. 

If there is a milestone very close to the beginning of Iteration 1, the senior Management and Business teams can anticipate a risk of not meeting this milestone.   

How to set up your SAFe® program board 

The following are the basic inputs required for the Program Board: 

  1. Milestone dates come from the Product Management or Business Teams. Any Engineering Milestone dates come from the Engineering Head. 
  2. The list of the teams in the ART and the Shared Services teams are input by the RTE 
  3. The names to be used for the teams in the board should be provided by Scrum Master in consultation with teams. 

Once the input information is available, the RTE creates the Board before the PI Planning starts. Scrum Masters start populating the board for their respective teams in consultation with their teams during the course of the PI Planning.

When to use a SAFe® program board 

The Program Board is created and very useful at the time of PI Planning. During PI Planning the board is reviewed at intervals and at draft reviewsand changes are incorporated. 

It is highly recommended to keep the board up to date throughout the PI to add and modify emerging dependencies and changing milestones. The Program Board can be reviewed and updated at the ART level meetings by the Scrum Masters and RTEso that the latest information is available on the board. 

Create your own SAFe® program board 

The program board can be created as a virtual board in the case of distributed teams. There are tools like Miro that can be used to create Virtual program boards.  

In the case of co-located teams, a physical board can be displayed at a common area where all teams and shared teams can have access to itDifferent coloured cards must be used such as– blue for Feature Cards, Red for Dependency and Red Strings for connecting the Feature card to their dependencies. It is better to have a soft board as the base so that board pins can be used to hold the connector strings in place.

Good Practices and Tips for Program Board Efficiency 

The Program Board used well serves as a very effective visual information radiator and planning aid for all stakeholders at PI Planning and during the PI execution.  

  • Having all the necessary information like the Milestone events before the PI Planning can ensure that the most up to date information goes into the Program board at the time of PI. 
  • Awareness of the Milestone can help Business and Teams prioritize and plan the features. 
  • For features not tied to a Milestone, Business Teams get an indication of when Features are likely to be completed. This helps them to plan the release of these features.  
  • The Shared Service teams (UX, Infrastructure, Architecture etc) can prioritize and plan their work according to the dependencies and milestones on the board. 
  • The RTE can take the responsibility of bringing the Program Board as a topic of conversation at ART synch meetings, so that the Scrum Masters and other stakeholders can keep it current and updated and the ART can benefit from it. 
  • Through the Program Board the RTEs can track and communicate the various dependencies and milestone targets to all the relevant stakeholders to constantly get their attention and support as required. 
  • The teams can check in to the board any point of time to get a view of the larger context of the release e.g features worked on by other teams and their target completion. 
  • There are likely to be changes to the plans drawn out during PI. In keeping with the Agile Principles of embracing and responding well to change, the Program board can be revisited every week and kept updated. 

All said, the Program Board should not replace the constant collaboration and interaction amongst the teams and stakeholders but a tool that provides context and serves as an aid to the communication. 

SAFe® Program Board Template 

SAFe Program Board Template can be created using a sample board described by SAFe. You can find out more about it here. Miro also has free template that can be used. 

Conclusion

The Program Board is one of the most major outcomes from the PI Planning event and one of the most important tools that can be used by the RTE and Scrum Masters during the PI execution phase. It is an important Visual Radiator for running Agile in a Scaled environment and can be used effectively and efficiently for best results. 

Radhika

Radhika Subramoniam

author

The author is an Agile Consultant working in the areas of process consultation and Agile coaching and transformation. She has been part of the software product development industry spanning field service, fleet management, telecom billing and network management. 

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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