If Scrum teams become too large, they should consider splitting into smaller teams. The Scrum framework is designed to be most effective with small, cross-functional teams. When a Scrum team becomes too large, it can lead to various problems, such as decreased communication, coordination challenges, and a decrease in agility. To address this issue, the following steps can be taken:
- Split into Multiple Scrum Teams: Divide the large team into multiple smaller Scrum teams, each with its Product Owner and Scrum Master. This allows for more effective communication, collaboration, and specialization.
- Maintain Cross-Functionality: Ensure that each newly formed team remains cross-functional, meaning it has all the skills and roles necessary to deliver a potentially shippable product increment.
- Align with Product Backlog: Align the work of each new team with the Product Backlog. This may involve reprioritizing, redefining, or splitting Product Backlog items to accommodate multiple teams.
- Coordinated Sprint Planning: Coordinate Sprint planning sessions to ensure that teams work together when dependencies exist between their work.
- Regular Scrum of Scrums: Conduct regular Scrum of Scrums meetings where representatives from each team discuss progress, impediments, and dependencies. This helps maintain overall alignment.
- Focus on Collaboration: Emphasize collaboration between teams and shared goals. Promote a culture of transparency and open communication to manage dependencies effectively.
- Monitor and Adapt: Continuously monitor the performance and effectiveness of the new team structure and make adjustments as necessary. This might involve redistributing work or refining team boundaries.
- Scaling Frameworks: Consider implementing a scaling framework like LeSS (Large-Scale Scrum) or SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) if the organization has multiple Scrum teams. These frameworks provide guidelines for coordinating and aligning multiple Scrum teams in larger projects.
The goal is to maintain the benefits of Scrum, such as improved product quality, faster delivery, and increased customer satisfaction, while adapting to the organization’s growing needs. Smaller Scrum teams are generally more efficient and effective, but they require proper coordination to ensure they work cohesively toward the same product goals.