Steps: Prepare to Scale


  1. Get Buy-In for Scaling Scrum
  2. Begin Release Implementation
  3. Prepare to Fill Cross-Team Roles
  4. Fill ARM and Architect Roles
  5. Identify Agile Liaisons
  6. Set Up Tracker for Releases
  7. Train Cross-Team Roles
  8. Set Release Cycle
  9. Prepare for Release Planning

Get Buy-In for Scaling Scrum

Program Sponsor (or designee):

  • If few or no teams are already using Scrum, consider using the Process for Agile Transformation.
  • If you did not get buy-in earlier to use Full Scale agile™ for joint releases at the multi-team level, repeat the “Gain Buy-In” step sets, modifying the steps and proposal deck to focus on the release slides.

Details: “Evangelize Scale.”

Begin Release Implementation

Program Sponsor (or designee):

  • If this is a new program or group of workers, do not continue until you:
    1. Perform the steps to “Initiate Agile Programs.”
    2. For new teams, perform the team-level training steps.
      Exception: You can continue below for existing FuSca™ teams while training any new ones, once the program has been initiated.
  • If you will serve as the initial Agile Release Manager (ARM), skip the steps related to finding an ARM in the next two sets.

Prepare to Fill Cross-Team Roles

Note: If your organization does not yet have a digital tracker, start “Set Up Tracker for Releases” in parallel with this set of steps.

Project Sponsor or designee:

  1. Form a “hiring team” of line workers interested in the FuSca conversion, and perform the following steps as a self-organizing team.
    Note: Warn people not to join if they want to apply for the roles.
  2. Create job descriptions (JDs) and interview questions relating to the behavior changes required for someone moving from similar waterfall roles to these.
    Note: See the guidance under “Create New Teams.”
  3. Advertise these roles inside the company using your organization’s usual means:
    • Agile Release Manager.
    • One architect per:
      • Functional discipline or major skill set needed.
      • Top-level system architecture needed.

Details: “Add Cross-Team Roles.”

Tip: To determine the number of architects, ask yourself which functional managers (possibly part-time) and full-time system architects and analysts you would want for a waterfall project. One person can serve as both types.

Fill ARM and Architect Roles

  1. As a team, narrow applicant lists to three or fewer candidates per role.
  2. When setting interviews, ask candidates to review this site in detail and bring questions.
  3. Focus a round of interviews on their:
    1. Interest in implementing the system.
    2. Willingness to change their behaviors to match.
    3. Support for the “Desired Agreements.”
  4. Once selections are made, have the:
    • Architects:
      1. Read at least the “Agile Architecture” section.
      2. Begin creating or updating the Architectural Runway for their project(s).
    • Agile Release Manager—Read any of this site they haven’t already, and then perform the next step set.

Details: “Add Cross-Team Roles.”

Identify Agile Liaisons

Agile Release Manager:

  1. With the project sponsor and architects, create a list of the organizations with whom your program must exchange information or share work, such as:
    • Non-Agile units (or Agile ones not using FuSca) within your enterprise.
    • Vendors.
      Tip: Review “Stakeholders.”
  2. Set a meeting with the manager responsible for each function, inviting them to bring function members as desired.
  3. Print a copy of the “Agile Liaison” section for each meeting.
  4. At each meeting:
    1. Describe the role and requirements.
    2. Provide the copy of the role description.
    3. Ask potential volunteers to review the FuSca site for more information.
    4. Ask the manager/group to identify one Agile Liaison and one backup.
    5. Have them identify a date by which they will do so.
    6. Create an action item and follow up as needed.

Details: “Add Cross-Team Roles.”

Set Up Tracker for Releases

Project Sponsor or designee:

  1. If the organization has not already done so, select a digital tracker using the relevant steps under “Tracker.”
  2. If a digital tracker is in place, but some teams in the program are not using it:
    1. Request a backlog (section of the tool) for each team from the tool administrator.
    2. Arrange:
      1. Editing rights to their backlogs for team members.
      2. Viewer rights for stakeholders.
    3. Schedule user training for team members with the admin.

Train Cross-Team Roles

Agile Release Manager:

  1. Provide the Customer(s), architects and Agile Liaisons access to your tracker.
  2. Prepare training on:
    1. The release planning process (using “Plan Continuously”).
    2. Correct epic writing (using “Create User Stories”).
      Note: The only significant difference is the sizing: an epic must be small enough to complete in one release (instead of one sprint).
  3. Schedule and deliver the training to the Guidance Roles (including Team Guides if needed).
  4. Ask them to begin converting known and new requirements into epics in the tracker.
    Tip: Emphasize that any work not in the tracker will not get done.
  5. Arrange training on the tracker for them with the tool admin.

Details: “Explain the Roles

Set Release Cycle

Agile Release Manager:

  1. Schedule a meeting with the Guidance Roles, Team Guides, and Project Sponsor.
  2. In the meeting, facilitate decisions on:
    1. The initial release length, in terms of the most common sprint length among the teams.
      Example: If most or all teams are using three-week sprints, and the group decides on five-sprint releases, the release length is 15 weeks.
    2. Whether to overlap releases, and if so, by how many sprints.
      Details: “Allow for System Testing.”
    3. The Release Start Date for the first release.
      Note: Allow time to complete release planning per the next section of step sets.
  3. Create a release process document accessible to all program members and stakeholders, and add these decisions.
    Note: Like the team-level documentation, this can be a wiki or shared network location, and should be minimal (mostly lists).
  4. E-mail a link to the process document to everyone in the program, including line workers.

Details: “Deliver Larger Chunks of Work.”

Prepare for Release Planning

Agile Release Manager:

  1. Create the release in your tracker.
  2. If not already available, create a list in the tracker that filters epics by the release (the “Epic Backlogs”).
  3. Schedule release planning meetings to recur each week of the release after Sprint 1, for two hours each, inviting as mandatory the program’s:
    • Customers
    • Architects
    • Agile Liaisons
      Note: You will add Team Guides when ready for Phase 2.
  4. Ask the planners to start assigning proposed epics into the release in their preferred rank order.

Details: “Plan Continuously.”

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