Scrum is by far the most popular Agile framework. According to the 16th annual “State of Agile” report from Digital.ai, 87% of agile teams use Scrum.
I think that the reason Scrum is so popular is because it’s a Goldilocks framework: with just enough – but not too much – structure. It’s also a very simple framework: easy to understand, and easy to get started with.
As organizations grow in their adoption of Scrum, sometimes there are situations where 3 or more Scrum teams are working together to support a single product. For example, there may be 3 or more Scrum teams working together to support a particular software product, such as a Software as a Service product or a data processing product. When that happens, sometimes the team needs to adopt a scaling framework.
What is scaling? Scaling frameworks help manage dependencies, ensure alignment, and facilitate communication across teams. There are many available to choose from. The most popular is SAFe, but it is very complex and has a lot of overhead. Among the various options available, Nexus is the simplest, most lightweight framework available. Nexus can be considered an extension of Scrum because it preserves the simplicity that makes Scrum great.
Simplicity: The Essence of Scrum
At least part of the success of Scrum can be attributed to its simplicity. It provides a clear structure, accountabilities, and events that are easy to understand and implement. This simplicity fosters transparency, inspection, and adaptation, which are the underpinnings of Empiricism.
Nexus: Simplicity at Scale
Nexus, developed by Scrum.org, is designed with simplicity in mind. It retains the fundamental elements of Scrum while addressing the challenges associated with multiple teams working on the same product. Here’s why Nexus is a great framework for scaling Scrum:
Minimal Overhead: Nexus is minimalist in its approach, avoiding the introduction of unnecessary complexity. It builds upon the existing Scrum framework rather than reinventing the wheel. This means that teams can easily adopt Nexus, without changing Scrum.
Nexus Daily Scrum: In addition to the team-level Daily Scrum, Nexus introduces a Nexus Daily Scrum, where representatives from the Nexus Integration Team come together to identify any issues which may be preventing the team from creating an integrated increment. This fosters a higher level of transparency and collaboration while addressing impediments promptly.
Nexus Integration Team: Nexus introduces the concept of a Nexus Integration Team (NIT), which may consist of members from each Scrum team and/or those responsible for resolving integration issues. This team is not responsible for integration but rather is responsible for ensuring that the team is able to create a done, integrated increment each Sprint.
Scalable Transparency: Nexus provides transparency at scale by utilizing a single Product Backlog, Product Owner and Definition of Done across all teams. This simplifies the product development process and ensures that everyone is working towards a common goal.
Empowering Teams: Because of its simplicity and because Scrum team members are usually part of the Nexus Integration team, Nexus promotes the team’s ability to self-organize and make decisions collaboratively, much like Scrum. This autonomy encourages ownership, accountability, and innovation, which are essential for successful Agile practices.
Incremental Improvement: Just as Scrum promotes continuous improvement through inspecting and adapting, Nexus encourages the same at scale. It emphasizes empiricism and feedback loops to help organizations continuously enhance their processes. The purpose of the Nexus framework is to give the Scrum teams the best chance to deliver a done, incremented increment every Sprint by providing opportunities for cross-team collaboration which are not burdensome but which are just enough – but not too much.
Scaling Scrum can be a challenging endeavor if it is over-engineered. Organizations considering a scaled approach to Scrum should remember that part of the power of the Scrum framework is its simplicity. When Scaling Agile teams, it’s important that the simplicity is not lost to overly complex overhead.
Nexus is the simplest Scaling framework, and that’s what makes it great. By adding only what’s necessary to address the complexities of scaling, Nexus enables teams to collaborate effectively while minimizing overhead and bureaucracy.
To learn more about Nexus, Signup for Rebel Scrum’s upcoming Scaled Professional Scrum course.