Scaling Scrum – Intro to Nexus

Zoran Kovačević, Technical director

Tech

07.07.2020.

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When searching for an Agile framework that will enable a single team to perform optimally, Scrum is currently the most popular choice. As soon as the product (or service) development needs outgrow the capacity of a single Scrum team, scaling Scrum becomes a necessity. When it comes to efficiently managing the interaction and coordination of multiple Scrum teams in an agile way, the traditional management approach falls short of its mark. Clearly, one needs an Agile framework for scaling Scrum effectively.

When choosing the appropriate option, one must take into account its capabilities and limitations, especially with respect to added bureaucracy, scalability, and agility.

One such framework which aims to significantly minimize the added bureaucracy and improve agility while at the same time imposing a scalability limit is Nexus. The very name implies a focus on the relationship or connection between people or things.

A higher-level Scrum

The Nexus framework uses Scrum as its building element and introduces its own minimal set of complementary rules, events, roles, and artifacts to perform a „higher-level Scrum“ with three to nine Scrum teams. These teams use a single Product Backlog (with a single Product Owner) to produce an integrated (product) increment in every sprint. The purpose of this framework's features is to facilitate the reduction of work-related dependencies between the participating Scrum teams to maximize their productivity. At the same time, the framework minimally augments Scrum itself.

Nexus Framework SchemeNexus Framework Poster (Source:Nexus.org)

The Nexus framework introduces a new role – the Nexus Integration Team. It consists of a Product Owner, a Scrum Master and its team members. The purpose of this role is to coordinate and supervise the proper application of the Nexus framework as well as to coach to that end. The Nexus Sprint Backlog is defined as a new artifact. It contains Product Backlog items from each team's Sprint Backlog with an emphasis on the flow of work during the Sprint along with related dependencies. It provides transparency between individual teams during the Sprint. Various Nexus framework events are placed around, appended to, or they replace (e.g. the Nexus Sprint Review) ordinary Scrum events in order to augment them and provide a context for efficient team interaction and coordination.

The Nexus framework was created by Scrum co-creator Ken Schwaber and released by Scrum.org in 2015 along with the Nexus Guide (which was updated in 2018). For more information, please visit web site Scrum.org

Agile practices for multiple teams

When applying Agile practices for multiple teams and especially in the context of distributed software development, it’s always beneficial to use a more knowledgeable and experienced external partner. This will enable you to further improve any existing internal practices. Software development nearshoring and consulting companies working with distributed teams on international projects have a lot of accumulated knowledge and experience in scaling Agile practices.

This puts them in a unique position in regard to offering valuable guidance.

When searching for the right external partner to consult with regarding your software R&D challenges, there are some key issues to consider. We have provided a checklist to help with your search.

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