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What is Scrum at Scale?

What is Scrum at Scale?

In simple terms, Scrum at Scale is a framework to scale Scrum  across the organization's ecosystem of multiple teams and projects. The Scrum at Scale framework is one of the best options for companies that have followed Scrum for a while and have established Scrum teams.


Why Scrum at Scale?

For a start, Scrum at Scale was founded by Jeff Sutherland, also one of the creators of Scrum and one of the signatories of the Agile Manifesto.  The initial idea behind Scrum was to help teams deliver complex projects on time. However, as the number of Scrum teams began growing, the output of these teams started to slow down due to the cross-team dependencies. This is where Scrum at Scale comes in by providing companies with a framework that enables them to scale and grow at their own pace without additional complexities and by creating linear scalability using scale-free architecture.

Scrum at Scale is based on three concepts:

  1. Small Team

  2. The entire organization can be scaled

  3. With minimum bureaucratic requirements

What are the components of Scrum at Scale?

The Scrum at Scale framework has two cycles to assist teams in coordinating their work.

  1. Product Owner Cycle focuses on the “what.”

  2. Scrum Master Cycle focuses on the “how.”

Scalability can be achieved by utilizing a Scrum of Scrum  (also known as Meta Scrum or SoS), a meeting attended by one person or representative from each Scrum team to communicate progress, impediments, and roadblocks.

What are the Scrum at Scale roles?

Since Scrum at Scale is based on Scrum, the roles are the same as the Scrum Roles : Product Owner, Scrum Master, and development team.

However, there are new roles introduced:

  1. Chief Product Officer – their part is to coordinate and collaborate with the different product owners in the scrum teams to ensure a shared product vision and roadmap.

  2. Scrum of Scrum Master – their part is to ensure all Scrum Masters are aligned.

For Scrum at Scale to successfully handle the challenges, companies will start facing; organizational changes need to happen.

Two new teams should be created and given the autonomy to succeed:

  1. Executive Action Team (EAT) ensures the proper implementation of the Scrum values and roles and leads the transformation strategy and plans.

  2. Executive MetaScrum Team (EMT) is responsible for setting the strategic priorities for the company and owns the organizational vision. This team also decides on the future of products.


What are the Scrum at Scale events?

The events are the same as in Scrum:

  • Sprint

  • Sprint Planning

  • Daily Scrum (daily standup meeting)

  • Sprint Review

  • Retrospective

Only one new event is added, the Scaled Daily Scrum, where one representative from each team is required to attend to discuss dependencies and timelines and share knowledge from other groups. Like the daily Scrum, the Scaled Daily Scrum has a time-box of 15 minutes.

Scrum at Scale to deliver results efficiently

In conclusion, Scrum at Scale is a simple, easy-to-follow agile framework for companies and organizations that want to grow at their own pace without following strict and rigid scaled agile methodologies. This way, you easily manage and complete complex projects and deliver results quickly and efficiently. Even if you’re working on them at the same time.

One essential element for a successful Scrum at Scale implementation in any company is the ability to start by concentrating on Scrum first to ensure it is followed and implemented in all teams before scaling up to Scrum at Scale.


Dave Mathijs
Community Leader
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January 27, 2023

HI @Andreas Springer _Actonic_ , thank you for sharing this article, it is very helpful as I'm still learning about Agile.

Is Scrum at Scale also a part of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) or not?

Jimi Wikman
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January 27, 2023

@Dave MathijsSAFe is a standalone methodology, and it is very different from Scrum at scale.

So no, Scrum at Scale is not a part of SAFe.

Jimi Wikman
Rising Star
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January 27, 2023

@Andreas Springer _Actonic_This approach does no scale very well, unfortunately as you eventually will find the number of participants in the Scaled daily scrum no longer becomes efficient.  In organizations with dozens if not hundreds of teams, this will not work very well without adding additional levels. That will just make it the same as traditional organizations :)

For smaller organizations, or departments within organizations this works fairly well tough, assuming the Scrum of Scrum Master is any good.

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