Scaling Scrum with Scrum™, More Sound than SAFe

You’ve mastered using Scrum for your Development Teams; perhaps you are realizing you could use agile methods to regulate your organization’s priorities and products. Could there be a way to coordinate workflow at every level? Is Scaling Scrum with Scrum (SSwS) possible?

Yes, it is. And here’s why:ht

  1. Using Scrum, your organization has the ability to understand information-sharing patterns and workflow patterns by focusing on coordination and communication. You’re already doing this in Teams formed by priority or projects. You can scale this process so that Scrum can be used at every level.
  2. Scrum inherently focuses on visibility of the work across all levels – from Business Owners to Team Members. There is no vacuum. One of the Agile Tenets is transparency, and SSwS promotes transparency.
  3. By Scaling Scrum with Scrum, you’re using Scrum in a larger sense to organize your existing Scrum Teams and their goals. You are not changing what a Scrum Team is or how it functions. Through honest Retrospectives and the desire to reduce impediments, the Scrum Teams may change, but that’s just part of being agile. It’s OK to move Team Members around if it means that successful outcomes are achieved.

Scaling-ScrumThere’s more to consider when Scaling Scrum with Scrum. Why is this better than scaling with other frameworks, such as SAFe? It is all about SSwS being helpful. Scaling Scrum with Scrum can be used on it’s own, but if you’re already using SAFe, you can also use SSwS to keep improving.

How does SSwS differ from SAFe? SAFe tries to solve the hard problems with a couple of teams: the Program Team and the Project Team. However, these aren’t Scrum Teams, and the Program Team lacks a PO. SSwS not only uses Scrum Teams to fill these roles, it maintains the names and roles of Scrum, so there is no confusion. Whereas SAFe changes names and terms, deviating from Scrum and becoming another agile framework altogether. In addition, SAFe’s Agile Release Train (ART), a predetermined release schedule for a team, is similar to the fundamentals of SSwS. Since SSwS is focused on coordination and communication, while SAFe is focused on alignment, replacing the ART with SSwS will create significant enhancements.

Why is SSwS a superior framework? SSwS is not a framework in the same way that SAFe is. SAFe is a recipe, while SSwS is a collection of patterns that can be applied when scaling. These patterns can be used on their own, but can also be applied to SAFe in order to improve it.

  1. SSwS does not hijack the roles of a Scrum Master or Product Owner. There is always someone there to maintain the health of the Team and connect with the Stakeholders. Teams at the most basic level or the largest level don’t have to fear struggling because there will still be someone to say, “This is what’s next.”
  2. The fundamental patterns of Scrum are maintained so that principle roles can complete ‘pull’ behavior, in which motivated individuals will ‘pull’ or engage willingly for successful outcomes. SAFe, in contrast, uses a push behavior where tasks are assigned to individuals. Happy Team Members lead to great products. This is exactly what you want to happen.

It’s time to make Scrum work for you at every level.
It’s time to Scale Scrum with Scrum.

We can help. We’ve got training for that.