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There are various Scrum adoption ways. These include four patterns of adopting Scrum in the organization. These four patterns cast a pair of questions that need to be addressed at the beginning of Scrum adoption in any project or organization. These questions are as follows:Should we start with one or two teams or convert all teams at the same time?Should we announce our intent (perhaps just to others in the company but perhaps publicly as well), or keep the change quiet for now?Along with the answers to those questions, there are 4 more options that can be implemented when the initial efforts are in progress for spreading Scrum. Let’s see the four patterns for Scrum adoption below.1. Start Small or Go All In‘Start with a pilot-project’, is the long-term advice while transitioning to Scrum or any other Agile methodologies. This approach is also called Start-Small pattern. In this pattern, an organization chooses one to three teams consisting of five to nine members each, let them become successful, and then expand members in Scrum from there. The new teams can learn the lessons from the old teams (teams that have gone before), as the team moves ahead through the organization.There are many types of ‘Start-Small’ that depends on the two factors:How many individuals in the enterprise want to transition andHow fast they want to transit.This pattern can also be applied in a different manner, which is based onHow undetermined the organization is about the transitionE.g. in a few cases, the initial team or teams will complete their projects before a second group starts. While in some organizations, the second set of teams begins just one or two sprints after the first one.Actually, this pattern is not for everyone. E.g. Salesforce.com, once followed the opposite pattern. They tried to convert thirty-five teams to Scrum overnight and that created confusion among the team members due to such a sudden change. But at the same time, other things helped this organization in scaling Scrum successfully.Salesforce.com has followed the ‘All In’ pattern and has an aspiring and a target-driven culture, which is unfit for a ‘Start Small’ approach. When key executives were given a proposition to embrace Agile, they were persuaded. Later, they thought that if Agile was worth implementing for one team, it is worth doing for all (teams). So, they chose the approach called ‘All In’.Advantages of Start-SmallIt is cost-effective, as a huge number of people learn a new working path every time.By carefully choosing the team members and the first project, you can get guaranteed early success with the first Scrum project.The approach, Start-small, avoids the big risk instead of going all in.The stress can be reduced by commencing with small, as the adopters from early teams become the coaches and the ambassadors. These experienced people motivate other teams in making the transitions.  By starting small, the need to reorganize can be put off longer until the valuable Scrum experience is gained.  Advantages of Go All InGo All In reduces the resistance when a huge responsibility gives the impression that there is no turning back.This pattern neglects problems created by having Scrum and traditional teams working together.Go All In can reach the point (where they can say that the worst transition is over) very quickly.Choosing between the Start small and Go All InAs recommended by Mike Cohn, one should always commence with ‘Start Small’ approach! It involves less cost and guaranteed early success. It is recommended to use ‘Go all in’ approach in limited cases, only when there is an immediate need. Also, it involves more money as there needs to be a lot of changes in different departments if necessary.2. Public Display of Agility or Stealth ModeThe next choice of pattern is whether to publicize your transition or not. One option is to work in ‘Stealth Mode’. The Stealth mode means using the Agile processes secretly. In Stealth mode, the Agile method is used but this fact is kept private until the project is accomplished. This can be better understood by one example.One of the large scale project management companies with more than 200 developers once started implementing Agile secretly. So, the director of the company made one plan of implementing Agile in the company.The organization started with pilot teams, each team chosen for particular reasons. Out of eagerness, they selected one team to migrate to a shared team, which is totally different from the cubicle environment. Another team was picked as they would be the first one implementing new technology. The remaining two teams were chosen as a part of the pilot teams. This plan helped the organization yielding maximum benefits of learning.After some days, one secret came out that there were not just 4 teams working on the project, but there was one more team which was also implementing Agile in the organization. This fifth team was not an officially authorized part of that organization’s pilot project. This team was transitioning using the ‘Stealth Mode’ approach. They were implementing Agile, keeping their activities secret until the project is done.The next pattern in contrast with the Stealth mode is ‘Public Display of Agility’. This pattern includes announcing or publicizing that the organizations are adopting Scrum. The publicizing way may vary from announcing in a lunchroom comments to announcing it through the press release.  Advantages of Stealth Mode TransitionWhen working in Stealth Mode, you can modify your Agile procedure in case of project failure. You can attempt once and just tell the team members that they are implementing the Agile method after you have figured how to implement it effectively.If you start secretly having none but the team members know about the change, then there will be nobody to stop you.Advantages of Public Display of AgilityIn this mode, everyone knows that you are implementing Agile, so you can be more focused on it.Publicly announcing provides an opportunity to discuss and think about the project target. Also, team members will feel comfortable discussing with the members those are outside the team. This build support among some individuals.This approach demonstrates a high-level commitment to Agile and its transition process.In this mode, once the announcement is done, it shows a powerful statement that nobody can back out of the transition process.Choosing between the Stealth mode and Public Display of AgilityAs per Mike Cohn, if one is confident and committed to the transition to Scrum and in case one expects a large amount of resistance and want to control it in a fast manner, then one can choose the pattern called public display of Agility. On the other hand, one can choose a stealth mode in case one wants to experiment using Scrum.  
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Scrum Tutorial

Patterns For Adopting Scrum In Organizations

Scrum adoption dynamics


There are various Scrum adoption ways. These include four patterns of adopting Scrum in the organization. These four patterns cast a pair of questions that need to be addressed at the beginning of Scrum adoption in any project or organization. These questions are as follows:

  • Should we start with one or two teams or convert all teams at the same time?
  • Should we announce our intent (perhaps just to others in the company but perhaps publicly as well), or keep the change quiet for now?

Along with the answers to those questions, there are 4 more options that can be implemented when the initial efforts are in progress for spreading Scrum. Let’s see the four patterns for Scrum adoption below.

1. Start Small or Go All In

‘Start with a pilot-project’, is the long-term advice while transitioning to Scrum or any other Agile methodologies. This approach is also called Start-Small pattern. In this pattern, an organization chooses one to three teams consisting of five to nine members each, let them become successful, and then expand members in Scrum from there. The new teams can learn the lessons from the old teams (teams that have gone before), as the team moves ahead through the organization.

There are many types of ‘Start-Small’ that depends on the two factors:

  • How many individuals in the enterprise want to transition and
  • How fast they want to transit.

This pattern can also be applied in a different manner, which is based on

  • How undetermined the organization is about the transition

E.g. in a few cases, the initial team or teams will complete their projects before a second group starts. While in some organizations, the second set of teams begins just one or two sprints after the first one.

Actually, this pattern is not for everyone. E.g. Salesforce.com, once followed the opposite pattern. They tried to convert thirty-five teams to Scrum overnight and that created confusion among the team members due to such a sudden change. But at the same time, other things helped this organization in scaling Scrum successfully.

Salesforce.com has followed the ‘All In’ pattern and has an aspiring and a target-driven culture, which is unfit for a ‘Start Small’ approach. When key executives were given a proposition to embrace Agile, they were persuaded. Later, they thought that if Agile was worth implementing for one team, it is worth doing for all (teams). So, they chose the approach called ‘All In’.

Advantages of Start-Small

  • It is cost-effective, as a huge number of people learn a new working path every time.
  • By carefully choosing the team members and the first project, you can get guaranteed early success with the first Scrum project.
  • The approach, Start-small, avoids the big risk instead of going all in.
  • The stress can be reduced by commencing with small, as the adopters from early teams become the coaches and the ambassadors. These experienced people motivate other teams in making the transitions.  
  • By starting small, the need to reorganize can be put off longer until the valuable Scrum experience is gained.  

Advantages of Go All In

  • Go All In reduces the resistance when a huge responsibility gives the impression that there is no turning back.
  • This pattern neglects problems created by having Scrum and traditional teams working together.
  • Go All In can reach the point (where they can say that the worst transition is over) very quickly.

Choosing between the Start small and Go All In

As recommended by Mike Cohn, one should always commence with ‘Start Small’ approach! It involves less cost and guaranteed early success. It is recommended to use ‘Go all in’ approach in limited cases, only when there is an immediate need. Also, it involves more money as there needs to be a lot of changes in different departments if necessary.

2. Public Display of Agility or Stealth Mode

The next choice of pattern is whether to publicize your transition or not. One option is to work in ‘Stealth Mode’. The Stealth mode means using the Agile processes secretly. In Stealth mode, the Agile method is used but this fact is kept private until the project is accomplished. This can be better understood by one example.

One of the large scale project management companies with more than 200 developers once started implementing Agile secretly. So, the director of the company made one plan of implementing Agile in the company.

The organization started with pilot teams, each team chosen for particular reasons. Out of eagerness, they selected one team to migrate to a shared team, which is totally different from the cubicle environment. Another team was picked as they would be the first one implementing new technology. The remaining two teams were chosen as a part of the pilot teams. This plan helped the organization yielding maximum benefits of learning.

After some days, one secret came out that there were not just 4 teams working on the project, but there was one more team which was also implementing Agile in the organization. This fifth team was not an officially authorized part of that organization’s pilot project. This team was transitioning using the ‘Stealth Mode’ approach. They were implementing Agile, keeping their activities secret until the project is done.

The next pattern in contrast with the Stealth mode is ‘Public Display of Agility’. This pattern includes announcing or publicizing that the organizations are adopting Scrum. The publicizing way may vary from announcing in a lunchroom comments to announcing it through the press release.  

Advantages of Stealth Mode Transition

  • When working in Stealth Mode, you can modify your Agile procedure in case of project failure. You can attempt once and just tell the team members that they are implementing the Agile method after you have figured how to implement it effectively.
  • If you start secretly having none but the team members know about the change, then there will be nobody to stop you.

Advantages of Public Display of Agility

  • In this mode, everyone knows that you are implementing Agile, so you can be more focused on it.
  • Publicly announcing provides an opportunity to discuss and think about the project target. Also, team members will feel comfortable discussing with the members those are outside the team. This build support among some individuals.
  • This approach demonstrates a high-level commitment to Agile and its transition process.
  • In this mode, once the announcement is done, it shows a powerful statement that nobody can back out of the transition process.

Choosing between the Stealth mode and Public Display of Agility

As per Mike Cohn, if one is confident and committed to the transition to Scrum and in case one expects a large amount of resistance and want to control it in a fast manner, then one can choose the pattern called public display of Agility. On the other hand, one can choose a stealth mode in case one wants to experiment using Scrum.  

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