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:
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.
‘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:
This pattern can also be applied in a different manner, which is based on
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’.
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.
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.
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.