“You can optimize quality of service, you can optimize customer satisfaction, you can optimize cost reduction. You can really optimize any variable that is important to you.”

When it comes to developers, there is a misperception that Scrum is only for them rather than “a change in the system that involves everybody in the group creating a product, from product managers to UI designers to users to senior managers to developers and testers,” said Craig Larman, co-creator of Large-Scaled Scrum (LeSS), a framework designed to handle large-scale Scrum adoption.

And then there is confusion about what the principles of Scrum mean in terms of roles, according to Lawdan Shojaee, CEO of Axosoft, an agile project-management company. “While Scrum adopts the agile principles of people over process, those people are free to determine different requirements for different projects and even put strict processes into place,” she said.

“The traditional roles of software developers, testers, product owners and Scrum masters are all important. What Scrum brings to the table on the team roles is that they all have a big say in the what, how and when.”

It is important to understand all these aspects before an organization can be truly successful in scaling Scrum, according to Jon Terry, COO of LeanKit.

“Good people do amazing things when they can work together in a healthy environment toward a well understood goal,” he said.

Succeeding with enterprise Scrum
Once there is a clear understanding of what scaling Scrum means, organizations can move onto how they can successfully transition to it.

“The challenge now is to take the benefits and extend them past pilot projects and integrate the teams into a coherent approach,” said Terry. “A company can’t really get the full benefits of Scrum—even if all of its technology teams are practicing Scrum—if they haven’t linked those teams together and integrated the team-level approach with broader portfolio and financial control processes of the company.”

The key is to start small and grow success, according to Enterprise Scrum’s Beedle. Organizations should be prepared to take time to work out kinks and really understand it before introducing it to the entire company.