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The Scrum of Scrums was first coined by IDX Systems now GE Healthcare. Jeff Sutherland (svp development) and Ken Schwaber (consultant) both implemented it as a technique to scale individual scrum teams to the enterprise level. In an eight business units, each with multiple product lines. Each product line has its own Scrum of Scrums , some products had multiple Scrum of Scrums with a higher level of Scrum of Scrums , all product has to be delivered to the market, having a release cycle of three months or less and all products has to be integrated fully and upgraded and deployed every six months to support regional healthcare providers like the Stanford Health System.
The Scrum of Scrums was used further at the patient keeper, during the time Sutherland was CTO (2000-2008), in order to support the multiple enterprise releases to both hospital systems and partners (GE and Cerner) every sprint. The Scrum of Scrums meeting was about 15 minutes every day:
A Scrum of Scrums is a technique to scale scrum up to large groups over Twelve people, where the groups are divided into Agile teams of 5-10. Each daily Scrum includes a designated member as “ambassador” in order to participate in a daily meeting with ambassadors from other teams, called Scrum of Scrums.
According to Jeff Sutherland, the definition of Scrum of Scrums is:
An approach for coordinating among multiple teams in the Scrum is the Scrum of Scrums or also called SOS. This involves various teams to coordinate their inter-team work. The team engaged with SOS is composed of individual members of the various development teams. The development team decides which team member should be sent to the Scrum of Scrums based on who can be a better speaker in order to solve the inter-team dependency issues. The person who is representing a team during the SOS can change over time and can be replaced by another who is best able to represent the team and be able to solve the issue at that point in time.
In some case, teams send both the development team member and their Scrum Master to the SoS, not for allowing to increase the number of participants to become too large. It makes sense even if Scrum Master takes part at the level of Scrum of Scrums.
There are many approaches for conducting Scrum of Scrums but the team should decide on the approach which to be chosen, the right one and which works best for the better results. SoS doesn’t take place every day but sometimes in a week whenever is needed. Participants at the Scrum of Scrums answer similar questions to the ones answered at the daily scrum like:
A Team will have 15 minutes of time for Scrum of Scrums, just same as individual daily scrum meeting
An alternative approach helps to extend the SoS beyond the 15-minute timebox, the participants might begin each SOS with a 15-minute timebox for answering the three questions, the SOS continues past that 15-minute activity, which provides the better opportunity for the team to solve issues that came up.
Scrum of Scrums is a cross-team synchronization method used in case of the daily stand-up meeting when multiple teams are involved, the main motive behind the Scrum of Scrums is to support the agile teams in order to enhance the team productivity, and also helps in collaborating and coordinating their work with other teams.
Scrum of Scrums also plays its role in problem solving and decision-making. For example, suppose if any team has a problem with effective product ownership and work prioritization, then all the possible solutions would be discussed.
The general purpose is to keep the teams flowing and the overall deliverables on-track.
A Frequency of Scrum of Scrums is basically determined by the team. Ken schwaber suggests that the meetings should happen daily, just like the daily standup or daily scrum. As well he also suggests on timeboxing the meetings not more than 15 minutes. His preference is to hold potentially longer meetings less frequently. Ken Schwaber found that two or three times a week is often sufficient. This makes a Tuesday-Thursday or Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule appropriate.
Exactly in Scrum of Scrums who meets will not be set, it depends on the theme, teams can send experts. How many people the teams send to this meeting is also not set. But there can be more than nine people. Let us see who all falls in the meeting
Scrum of Scrums meetings is basically carried out to support agile teams, collaborating and coordinating their work with other teams.
Scrum of Scrum meeting gives the clear picture and the path the team is moving towards the end goal, the team can identify the clear plan for the day.
The team can identify the possible impediments that destruct in achieving sprint goal.
Once the meeting is done, the team can work on the impediments in more detail and find solutions and end results in better productivity and a healthy environment throughout the project.