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How Scrum of Scrums Enhances Cross-Team Collaborations 7 min read
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To remain competitive in today’s growing market, companies must be able to adapt at the enterprise level. Approaches to this include changing attitudes to view technology as a strategic facilitator and responding to the changing demands of consumers while pleasing them in the process. After all, as Publilius Syrus once put it, “it’s a bad plan that admits of no modification.”

But even with the desire to remain agile and adaptable, without a defined strategy or framework, it becomes more difficult for growing businesses to do so. Companies need to be able to estimate delivery, manage teams working cross-departmentally, and concentrate on appropriate business goals. That’s where Scrum of Scrums can step in to help.

So what exactly is Scrum of Scrums, and how does it related to managing agile teams? Let’s take a walk through the Scrum framework and the Scrum of Scrums method of scaling scrum.

What is Scrum of Scrums?

Scrum of Scrums is a scaling agile technique for coordinating multiple scrum teams working on the same product or product line. It’s intended to help large organizations with multiple teams working on common products or initiatives coordinate efforts and avoid conflicts.

The term scrum comes from rugby, where it refers to a method of restarting play after the ball goes out of bounds. In rugby, the two teams line up opposite each other. The team that didn’t cause the ball to go out of bounds can “scrum” the ball back into play. The team that has the ball forms a human wall, while the other tries to push them back as they try to move the ball forward. This process continues until one team either scores or the ball goes out of bounds again.

In project management, Scrum is a method to help teams effectively work together on complex projects. Like in rugby, teams consist of smaller groups that work on specific tasks. These groups periodically meet to review progress and plan for the next sprint. This iterative approach helps teams make better progress on complex projects by allowing them to continuously adapt.

Scrum of Scrums is a method of scaling scrum so that even large corporations with a large number of teams can work on a common project, often referred to as a sprint goal.

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Who invented the Scrum of Scrums concept?

The term “Scrum of Scrums” was first used in 2002 by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber while they worked on the Agile software development method. To describe the process of daily stand-up meetings, they borrowed the rugby term “scrum” and applied it to software development.

The purpose of the scrum of scrums is for each team member to report their progress to the rest of their team each day. This allows for transparency and accountability within each team. It also supports well-integrated cross-team collaboration. The Scrum of Scrums concept has been integral to the success of Agile software development and is now used in many other industries.

How does Scrum of Scrums work?

In a Scrum of Scrums framework, individual teams appoint one member to participate in a regular, time-boxed Scrum meeting. These cross-functional meetings include representatives from all other teams and are usually held daily or weekly, lasting about 15 minutes. These short daily Scrum meetings provide an opportunity for multiple scrum teams to share information and identify dependencies or conflicts. Scrum of Scrums can also be used to identify and track progress on larger initiatives that span multiple teams.

What is the purpose behind Scrum of Scrums?

While Scrum of Scrums is often used in larger organizations, it can be adapted for use in smaller ones as well. For example, if two teams are working on a common project, they can use the Scrum of Scrums technique to coordinate their work and ensure that each team is aware of the other’s progress. By scaling scrum in this way, organizations can improve communication and collaboration across multiple teams.

Scrum of Scrums agenda example

Team members attending the Scrum of Scrums meeting typically go through a set of agenda points. Here are some examples of common agenda items:

  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What problems did your team encounter?
  • What could other teams do to mitigate these problems?
  • What changes are we making to yesterday’s plan?
  • What will each team do today?

While this is the general layout of a Scrum of Scrum agenda, scrum teams can tailor this to fit their specific project needs.

Outcomes of Scrum of Scrums

After a Scrum of Scrum meeting, teams can define a clear strategy and can envision a clear picture of their progress toward the ultimate objective or sprint goal. Obstacles that might prevent them from attaining their sprint goal are identified and resolved. Following the discussion, teams can focus on the challenges in greater depth, come up with solutions, and ultimately improve project output.

Scrum of Scrums in project management

Complex projects have multiple layers and often require expertise from several departments. Despite the project consisting of different parts dealt with by separate teams, the ultimate objective is consistent for each team. Scrum of Scrums allows teams to align their separate work so that they can more effectively strive toward the end goal of a project.

Moreover, a Stanford University study found that even mere cues of working together sparked intrinsic motivation. So, not only does Scrum of Scrums help teams reach goals more effectively, it also inspires productivity motivation.

When you should use Scrum of Scrums in project management

When developing software or working on a highly complex project that requires many teams to collaborate, using Scrum of Scrums could be a good way to ensure effective communication. If projects allow teams to work on their separate parts of the machine independently, and changes in other departments don’t affect them, then using Scrum of Scrums would be redundant. But for highly interconnected projects, it’s extremely useful for keeping everyone on the same page.

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Scrum of Scrums and’s Work OS is a one-stop shop for team collaboration and workflow. Our Work OS is highly flexible, adaptable, and allows teams to customize and build workflows to accommodate their collaboration needs. While Scrum of Scrum teams meet daily to discuss updates, the reality for most teams is that things are changing on an hourly basis.

Frequently asked questions

Who attends Scrum of Scrums?

According to the Agile Scrum of Scrum guide, all individual teams have a Scrum Master who attends the Scrum of Scrum meetings as a representative. In short, one person from each team should attend the meetings.

Does Scrum stand for anything? 

The word “Scrum” is not an acronym for anything. Rather, the term is taken from rugby where it refers to the method of restarting a play with all team members huddled together and planning.

What is the goal of the Scrum of Scrums event? 

The purpose of Scrum meetings is to allow for more effective cross-departmental collaboration. During a meeting, teams can update each other on progress and problems. As such, they can work together to resolve issues and update strategies according to the new requirements.

Enhancing cross-team collaboration with Scrum of Scrums

Large corporations often have complex projects that require collaboration between multiple departments. For businesses seeking ways to enhance communication between departments, offers just that. You can build upon and customize the platform to meet your team’s specific needs. We recommend using it alongside your Scrum of Scrums strategy, so your teams can keep up with each other between meetings.

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