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Scale hurts

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Scaling Scrum hurts. There are coordination challenges, technical challenges, and communication challenges. But there are some patterns you can use to overcome these pains. This is an experience report from a 30+ person 5 team scaled Scrum project. It gives you practical tips on what to try if you experience any of the pains we did when we scaled Scrum.

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Scale hurts

  1. 1. Growing Pains: Why Scaling Agile Hurts and What You Can Do About It.<br />By Ed Kraay<br />and VibhuSrinivasan<br />
  2. 2. Who is more agile?<br />
  3. 3. As number of people increases, so does the cost of communication…<br /><ul><li>Expensive communication delays feedback
  4. 4. Delayed feedback reduces your ability to respond to change</li></li></ul><li>My experience up to this project<br />Used XP successfully on various web and telcommunication projects with small teams (7-9 people) with one product owner for 3 years<br />Distributed and colocated teams<br />Brought on as a ScrumMaster for one team on a 5 team projects, all with Scrum/XP<br />
  5. 5. The project: develop an online game<br />5 Feature Teams<br />Game Team<br />Art Team<br />Identity Management Suite<br />Social Networking<br />Back-end game infrastructure<br />Professional Services Environment<br />
  6. 6. The service platform<br />Technologies in Play<br />Windows Communication Foundation , C# .NET 2.0, .NET 3.0, ASP.NET<br />PHP <br />A packaged product for content management<br />LDAP , Java <br />COTS Identity Management Suite<br />One product<br />
  7. 7. 5 teams, ~50 people<br />Multiple Team Gaming Program<br />
  8. 8. We scaled by adding teams<br />
  9. 9. How we organized<br />
  10. 10. Timeline<br />
  11. 11. Environment<br />The Practices: Scrum+ XP<br /><ul><li>Scrum Framework
  12. 12. XP Practices
  13. 13. Open Room Environment</li></li></ul><li>Scrum Scaling 101<br />Scrum Rule: Agile teams scale by adding teams not by growing teams<br />Scrum Recommendation: Add a scrum of scrums meeting, add a meta scrum<br />We experienced some pains when we scaled<br />Some things we tried helped<br />There may be other things we could have tried… <br />
  14. 14. Pain: Work inserted in the middle of an iteration by a second team<br />Would “break” the sprint, or cause delays<br />
  15. 15. Try: Synchronize iterations across teams<br /><ul><li>Create a Rhythm for product owners, team members, and facilitates planning
  16. 16. Allows for cross team release planning</li></li></ul><li>Pain: Undone work at the end of an iteration<br />Caused the next sprint to reduce velocity, reduced quality<br />Try: Tracking the Right Metrics: Committed vs actual points<br />“Slow down to speed up”<br />Committed vs Completed Points<br />
  17. 17. Pain: Managing Priorities across Multiple Backlogs<br />Team A<br />Priorities handled on the back end, mid sprint<br />Caused mid sprint injection of product backlog items from other teams, breaking the sprint “bubble”<br />Dependencies not clearly across teams<br />Story 1<br />Story 2<br />Story 3<br />Team B<br />Story 1<br />Story 2<br />Story 3<br />Team C<br />Story 1<br />Story 2<br />Story 3<br />
  18. 18. Try: One product backlog to reduce sub-optimization from feature teams<br />Team A<br />Story 1<br />Team B<br />Story 2<br />Story 3<br />Story 4<br />Team C<br />
  19. 19. Pain: Multiple product owners with competing business priorities<br />Caused shifting focus on team.<br />
  20. 20. Try: Chief Product Owner with clear responsibilities<br />RACI based on Establishing Top to Bottom Transparency Using the Meta-Scrum by Brent Barton<br />
  21. 21. Try: 5 Levels of Planning to set context for leadership<br />Daily Executive Meeting<br />Meta Scrum<br />Scrum of Scrums<br />Source: HenrikKniberg<br />Daily Scrum Meeting<br />
  22. 22. Try: product definition team<br />A team of product owners, UX, stakeholders, architects working on sprint ahead of the teams, clarifying priorities and defining and feeding the backlog so it is ready to go.<br />
  23. 23. Try: Moving from Push to Flow<br />Product Definition Team<br />Source: Jean Tabaka, Jeff Sutherland, Hubert Smits<br />
  24. 24. Try: X-Team Release Planning<br />
  25. 25. Pain: Teams Build Silos <br />Occurred even when teams were feet apart from each other in open space<br />Try: Cross Team Events: Retrospectives, Lunch, Release Planning, Celebrations, Open Space Meetings.<br />
  26. 26. Pain: It works on my machine<br />One teams code does not interface with the other team well<br />Code working on local build fails to integrate<br />Its not easy to deploy the code to customer<br />
  27. 27. Try: Integrated build and deploy<br /><ul><li>Coordinate at the code level rather than at the management level
  28. 28. Stop and fix for all teams when there is a failure, reduces local optimization</li></li></ul><li>Swarming<br />Cross Team Ownership for the build – increase feedback across teams <br />
  29. 29. Pain: Unresolved Impediments<br />Hardware Requisition Process<br />Network Issues<br />Team Issues<br />
  30. 30. Try: 24 hour removal of impediments to create a continual learning culture<br />
  31. 31.
  32. 32. Try: Agile Modeling and Design<br />Teams decided to white board designs one day after the sprint planning<br />More spikes were used to understand a design before it can be used<br />More emphasis on pairs to talk about what they are going to do, before changing code<br />
  33. 33. More Engineering Pains<br />Common Engineering Practices Missing<br />Code was growing too fast in too many ways across teams<br />Duplicated code<br />Customers had a core architecture group that had less and less visibility as the teams grew and this caused unease.<br />
  34. 34. Try: Embedding a cross team architect / agile coach <br />A servant leader<br />Mentor and available to pair program<br />Shields the teams from technical bombshells<br />Active listener<br />Help inject technical stories<br />
  35. 35. Pain: Engineering Smells<br />Some teams were reporting lower bugs than others<br />Unit testing was not consistent <br />Acceptance testing was missing<br />Team did not see value in TDD <br />More debates and arguments were leading to unhappy developers<br />Bad smells in code<br />
  36. 36. Try: focusing on testing at retrospectives<br />The teams agree to focus on testing in their retrospective<br />Try an agreement: there should be increasing tests with each check-in. Team members can implement the tests any way they want, but code should have unit tests<br />Test results on build system + Big visible charts<br />Category tags were used to group tests for quicker running.<br />Inject one or two senior developers who knew TDD well in every team - Peer pressure = great code<br />
  37. 37. TDD led to a marked decrease in defects<br />
  38. 38. Conclusion<br /><ul><li>Scaling hurts
  39. 39. Focus on Agile Values and Principles
  40. 40. Increase feedback
  41. 41. Be courageous, fail fast and learn from your mistakes</li></li></ul><li>Thank you<br />Special thanks to VibhuSrinivasan, Brent Barton, Chris Sterling, and the rest of the team that made this possible.<br />