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Over the past 10 years, I have had the privilege to guide Scrum adoption for organizations from 10 people to 10,000 people and have made some glorious, cringe-worthy mistakes that often wake me up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.

As I look back at my journey, I am reminded of a quote my life coach – Joy Perkins often share in our coaching sessions –

“The quality of life is determined by the quality of questions we ask.”

-Dr. James DeMartini

The quote makes me wonder – what questions do I wish I had explored with my teams as they embarked on the path of Scaling Professional Scrum. With the wisdom of many years of failure behind me, here are 10 that I hope you will consider in your journey…

  1. WHY SCALE: What is our hypothesis about the measurable business outcomes we we will achieve as a result of scaling Professional Scrum?
  2. SCALE PRODUCT DEFINITION: How might we scale product definition? What is the appropriate granularity of a product definition that enables our target outcomes?
  3. SCALE PRODUCT OWNERSHIP: How might we scale Product Ownership? What fundamentals stay the same and what habits might need adjustments?
  4. SCALE TEAM FORMATION: How might we scale the team formation? What anti-patterns and temptations should we guard against?
  5. SCALE QUALITY: How might we scale quality? What stays the same and what changes compared to single team Scrum?
  6. SCALE FLOW: How might we scale the flow of value? What kills flow at scale?
  7. SCALE SELF-ORGANIZATION: How might we scale self-organization and guard against the temptation to resort to command and control behavior?
  8. SCALE EMPIRICISM: How might we scale empirical management of value, waste and risk?
  9. SCALE MEASUREMENT: How might we scale our approach to measuring whether we are meeting our desired outcomes?
  10. SCALE FUNDAMENTALS: How might we stay true to the fundamental intent, principles, values and rules of Scrum at scale?

How would you go about answering these questions? What has worked for you and what are you currently exploring?

Would love to hear more about your journey. And if you are interested in exploring these questions together, I would love to see you in my next Scaled Professional Scrum workshop, which has been my single biggest source insights. Let’s spend 2 days experiencing what it feels like to scale the delivery of a very realistic product in a very realistic company so we walk away with realistic insights!

Ravi Verma
Post by Ravi Verma
October 17, 2019
Ravi Verma is a Public Speaker, Agile Coach, Professional Scrum Trainer, Evidence-Based Management Consultant, and Blogger passionate about helping teams recapture the magic of making IT. As the Founder and CEO at Org Whisperer, Ravi blends ideas from the world of Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Organizational Development to develop strong teams and inspiring leaders at all levels of an organization. He recently co-founded his second startup - Al Dente, a platform that helps Agile coaches and organizations empirically improve business outcomes with Agile delivery frameworks like Scrum. 

Ravi has around 25 years of Software Delivery and Consulting Experience, including Agile Enablement for companies ranging from 10 people to 10,000 people. He is able to earn the trust and respect of C-Level executives and help them understand how the application of Agile Principles, Values, and Practices can become a powerful means to achieving sustainable competitive advantage.

Ravi has a Bachelors Degree in Computer Engineering from R.V.C.E., Bangalore, and a Masters in Entrepreneurship from SMU, Dallas. Ravi received a Certificate in Organizational Development from DePaul University and Linkage Inc. and is an MBTI Certified Practitioner, with a Certificate in Advanced Conflict Resolution from Kilmann Diagnostics. He has also been trained in facilitating workshops for leading organizational change based on the book “Leading Bold Change” by Dr. John Kotter workshops.