Organizations across the globe are embracing agility using different methodologies and frameworks to meet customer demands and improve time to market. Scrum is one of the most popular frameworks within which people can solve complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of highest possible value. Scrum was developed to work best within a team size of 5 to 10 members and has to be cross functional to be effective and efficient. It becomes easy for the Scrum team to achieve synergy and resonate with each other if the team is collocated further. The Product Owner, Scrum Master and Development team work in tandem with fewer problems to deal with however and can release most valuable features quickly. The challenges and impediments increases with the addition of every Scrum team. There is also a general myth that Scrum may not be suitable for large scale projects or programs.

Can Scrum be used for large programs (involving more than 5-6+ scrum teams) and still address top priorities like fulfilling customer needs, improving time to market and reducing cycle time? The answer is "YES"

Nevertheless, some of the questions that comes to our mind quickly when we think of scaling delivery using Scrum are below,

  • What challenges would arise when the team becomes distributed globally?
  • What happens when there is one product backlog that is shared by multiple teams and one product owner who is influencing all teams?
  • How does prioritization work for different teams?
  • How can Scrum Masters motivate and help the team to maintain the focus and deliver one product increment every sprint?
  • As there is One Product Backlog and One Product Increment, how do the Scrum Ceremonies like Sprint Planning, Backlog Grooming, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review & Sprint Retrospective happens with multiple teams and structure in place?

I plan to address the above questions (and few more) based on my experience with 2 large programs (using Scrum) I led in the past 5 years.


Outline/Structure of the Presentation

Presentation will be on the below agenda:

  • (5 mins) The Journey with Vision, Goals and Objectives
  • (8 mins) Challenges
  • (7 mins) Team and Product
  • (5 mins) Tools and Technical Practices
  • (5 mins) Continuous Improvement
  • (5 mins) Maturity Level
  • (5 mins) Key Learnings
  • (5 mins) Q&A

Learning Outcome

Understanding of scrum in large scale product development

Learn about how and when to scale product owner roles

Tips and Tricks on using SCRUM for large scale product development

Key challanges and mitigation while leading large programs

Learn about the technical best practices that can help accelerate development in large programs

Target Audience

Scrum Master, Agile Coaches, Product Owner, Project Managers, Program Managers

Prerequisites for Attendees

Exposure to Scrum Framework.

Exposure to Product Development using Scrum.

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • Peter Stevens
    By Peter Stevens  ~  10 months ago
    reply Reply

    I like these aspects of the submission, and they should be retained:

    • Concrete experience
    • whole picture perspective

    I think the submission could be improved by:

    • lot's of text. Will you be doing more than reading the text? A graphically attractive bullet point is still a bullet point
    • Some of the slides, especially 7, 8 and 10, are very detailed and will not be readable beyond the first row. Perhaps if you zoomed in on them as well, so people can see the detail and the big picture?
    • Ramkumar Arumugam
      By Ramkumar Arumugam  ~  10 months ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I will be sharing specific real time project examples for each of the critical line items for all the slides.

      For example,

      Slide 5

      Proxy POs - We were doing product rollout for International market for which BAs in US provided requirements that were challenged by International users during Sprint demo causing rework of 1 week of sprint activities. We had to then involve international markets during story boarding as a way forward.

      Manual Stage gates- Limited set of tools increasing the lead time to QA and demo. Manual code reviews, (replaced by SONARcube, Code colloboarator later), developers manually updating JIRA/Teamforge on story completion (automated during code checkin through a script).

      Slide 9:

      Left Shift: Reducing the build failures due to compilation issues by left shifting code standard violations during code checkin stage. This removed build failures due to code issues 100%. Also improved our technical practices to write efficient build scripts using maven there by reducing the overall build time from 1:40 mins to 30 mins.

      Standardinzed Estimation: How did we relook at estimation and improved as the team matured over period of time (after 6 months) where some of the large size stories became medium sized ,medium became small which improved the overall velocity. Team was able to deliver more value due to this.

      I will also update the remaining slides to be readable for audieance beyond 3rd and 4th row.

      Please do let me know if you need any other details.


  • Madhavi Ledalla
    By Madhavi Ledalla  ~  1 year ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Ramkumar,  Thank you for submitting this talk to RSGI 2019. Based on the slide deck and the outline, the talk seems to be focusing around scaling patterns in general. However since you have worked on 2 large programs (using Scrum)would it  be possible to present your thoughts around scaling in the format of a case study where you can talk about the journey, challenges, results? Thanks.. 

    • Ramkumar Arumugam
      By Ramkumar Arumugam  ~  1 year ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Madhavi, yes absolutely, I can share my expereicnes around those 2 programs. I will share the draft version of the presentation as well. I will alter the agenda and other items accordingly.

      • Madhavi Ledalla
        By Madhavi Ledalla  ~  1 year ago
        reply Reply

        Thank you

        • Ramkumar Arumugam
          By Ramkumar Arumugam  ~  11 months ago
          reply Reply

          Hi Madhavi,

          I've updated the presentation (draft) based on the my experience in leading 2 large scale programs using SCRUM. Please go through and let me know if you need any more details.