Abstract/Description

Alex Brown and Jeff Sutherland will outline an object-oriented model for scaling Scrum across the entire business enterprise. A modular approach allows the system to function using different specific solutions for each module, which enables this approach to work successfully across a broad range of contexts unlike “tightly coupled” solutions.

There is tremendous interest today in how to scale Scrum across a complete enterprise. However, much of the thinking thus far on scaling Agile principles has focused on very proscriptive answers. They work well in one organizational context, but struggle in others. A universal enterprise framework must allow the organization to incrementally inspect and adapt it’s own structure without causing system-wide consequences.

Our answer to this dilemma borrows from the roots of Scrum and object-oriented architecture (OOA) to create loosely coupled functional modules. When Jeff and Ken originally developed Scrum, they deliberately based it on a minimalist OOA where each element functions independently and adapts to a variety of situations. The retrospective definition, for example, only includes: goals, timing, attendees and outputs, leaving teams to determine HOW to implement it. The Agile community needs a similar loosely coupled framework for scaling Scrum that can act as the “skeleton” of functions, connections, inputs and outputs to which the "muscle" of different successful practices can be connected.

This session will: 1) lay out the full case for a modular vs. deterministic model; 2) present an overall vision for modular scaled Scrum that spans the Team, Business Unit, and Enterprise levels, and; 3) give some specific examples of different successful practices used to satisfy the overall module function. Participants will not leave this session with a cookie-cutter answer for large-scale Scrum implementations. However, it will fundamentally change the way they think about the agile processes within their organization and will equip them to lead a thoughtful exploration of what the organization really needs from scaling Scrum.

Additional Resources

About the Speaker(s)

No bio currently available.

Jeff Sutherland, the inventor and Co-Creator of Scrum, started his career as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force where he achieved Top Gun status in 1967 and flew 100 combat missions over North Vietnam. After 11 years as a pilot, he joined the faculty of the University of Colorado Medical School where he received his Doctoral degree. As Asst. Prof.of Radiology, Biometrics, and Preventive Medicine he co-founded the Center for Vitamins and Cancer Research under the sponsorship of Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling and for eight years was the Principle Investigator of a National Cancer Center research grant that ran all IT programs and research for the Colorado Regional Cancer Center. In 1983 he joined a banking company that operated 150 banks throughout North America where he was VP of Advanced Systems and General Manager of their ATM Business Unit. Noticing that waterfall processes at the bank were not working, he implemented the first prototype of Scrum for organizational transformation of a business unit. He has been VP of Engineering and CTO or CEO of eleven software companies. In the first four companies he prototyped Scrum and in the fifth company created Scrum as we now see it used in 74% of Agile software companies in over 100 countries. In 2006, Sutherland established his own company, Scrum, Inc. now recognized as the premiere source of Scrum Training in the world. He is also chair of the Scrum Foundation and Senior Advisor and Agile Coach to Openview Venture Partners. His latest book, Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time," describes how he used his background and experience to create the most widely used Agile practice in industry today.