“The term ‘scaling Scrum’ is indeed a great general term for the family of extensions and variations of Scrum for scaling,” said LeSS’ Larman. “LeSS is scaling Scrum applied to large-scale product development with many teams on one product. Enterprise Scrum includes the application of Scrum outside of software development in other areas of the enterprise such as a marketing group adopting Scrum for a marketing project.”
LeanKit’s Terry added that when talking about enterprise anything, it is important to clarify what you mean by “enterprise.” “For some people that just means scaling Scrum beyond a few teams. But there’s a very different situation when the company in question is 500 versus 5,000,” he said.
To help organizations facilitate large-scale Scrum, Larman, along with Bas Vodde, created the LeSS framework for scaling agile development. “Standard Scrum is defined for a one-team product group; it doesn’t define or explain how to make Scrum work effectively when there are four or 44 teams working together on one common product,” said Larman.
“LeSS is a proven system for scaling Scrum to these large multi-team cases, and LeSS looks at Scrum and for each element asks ‘Why is it there?’ followed by ‘If we have more than one team, how can we achieve the same purposes on a larger scale?’ And then LeSS answers those questions with the simplest solution possible.”
Similar to enterprise Scrum, LeSS is not a silver-bullet solution: It takes time to successfully transition, and it requires education and top-down and bottom-up support.
“The goal is to learn to create the right solution that will make the most impact with the least costs,” Larman said.
In addition to LeSS, Ken Schwaber, co-creator of Scrum, recently introduced the Nexus framework for large-scale Scrum.
Nexus is the exoskeleton of scale Scrum that extends the basic Scrum framework and promotes best industry practices while removing dependencies and complexities, according to Schwaber. It is designed to help teams maximize productivity, rapidly build software, detect anomalies in productivity, and provide best Scrum practices. And for organizations looking to use the Nexus framework to scale beyond three to 10 teams, there is the Nexus+ framework.
“We’ve structured an uber Scrum,” Schwaber said in a video. “It is Scrum…except it now has artifacts and roles and some events that support a larger number of Scrum teams interoperating; and it’s got some practices in it about those teams working their product backlog to reduce the dependencies, changing the team members so they have more cohesion and less coupling, and working the software so the technical debt doesn’t kill them as they trip over each other in the software itself.