In Scrum, it’s recommended that teams are small and cross-functional, typically consisting of 5-9 members. This is because a larger team can make communication and coordination more difficult, and may lead to a loss of efficiency, productivity, and effectiveness.
If a Scrum team becomes too large, some of the potential consequences are:
1. Communication breakdowns
Larger teams may have more difficulty communicating effectively, leading to misunderstandings, missed deadlines, and inefficiencies.
2. Coordination challenges
With more team members, it can be harder to coordinate efforts, plan sprints, and make sure everyone is aligned on the team’s goals and priorities.
3. Difficulty in maintaining focus
Large teams may struggle to stay focused on the most important tasks, leading to delays and lower quality work.
4. Increased overhead
A larger team can require more resources and time to manage, which can create additional administrative overhead.
5. Reduced ownership and accountability
With more team members, individuals may feel less ownership and accountability for their work, which can lead to decreased motivation and productivity.
What is the solution to this problem?
The solution is to split the team into smaller, cross-functional teams. This is known as “scaling Agile” or “Agile at scale”.
1. Scrum of Scrums (SoS)
In this approach, each team sends a representative to a higher-level meeting called the SoS meeting. This meeting focuses on discussing and resolving any cross-team dependencies, risks, and issues. The Scrum of Scrums representative is responsible for communicating the decisions made in the SoS meeting back to their team.
2. Large Scale Scrum (LeSS)
This approach is designed for larger organizations that require multiple Scrum teams to work together. LeSS is based on a set of principles and rules that help to coordinate and align the work of multiple Scrum teams. It includes practices like shared product backlog, joint sprint planning, and joint retrospectives.
3. Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)
This approach is a comprehensive framework that provides a set of roles, processes, and artifacts for scaling Agile. SAFe is designed to support the coordination and alignment of multiple teams across an enterprise. It includes practices like program increments, value streams, and release trains.
In summary, if a Scrum team becomes too large, the solution is to split the team into smaller, cross-functional teams, and adopt a scaling Agile approach that suits your organization’s needs.