Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

Seeing The Big Picture With Scrum

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
WhatsApp

A common phenomenon happening in organizations implementing scrum is that something is missing – the big picture. People are saying “We used to have High-Level Designs – where are they?”, “We used to have an architecture before developing – where is it?”. The answer will usually be that as we are working with small batches we need to focus on what’s immediately coming up and so other things are getting neglected.

But this is a confusion. Nothing should be neglected. For sure we cannot neglect long-term thinking and planning.

Why are we losing the big picture?

The reason for this confusion is that scrum focuses on the iteration, on the short term. As depicted below.

In the above illustration (taken from Wikipedia) you can see that most of the action is on the right-hand side of the picture. There’s a big circle denoting the iteration (originally it said 30 days, I took the liberty of changing it to 2 weeks) and above it the 24 hours cycle.

Most of the attention is on the cycle of iteration. The scrum events/ceremonies (depending on your school) are all around the iteration.

What doesn’t get attention in most implementations is the arrow on the left, connecting the backlog and the sprint backlog. A lot of stuff is happening on that arrow, depending on the organization, for example:

  •       High-level design
  •       User Experience Design
  •       Reviews

What should happen before the sprint?

The thing that escapes many organizations is that this arrow is not directly related to the iterations but rather is an ongoing process. Something like this:

In addition to the process of the scrum team, there is an ongoing process of high-level designs, architecture, and more – things that usually take more time.

This process – backlog grooming – is where we are cooking the scope on low heat, preparing it for the boil of the iteration. This is where you have time to think, process, to look at the big picture. We shouldn’t overdo this or the scope will get spoiled, of course. We need to do just enough so it will be ready for the teams.

The people involved in this process will be product managers, architects, team leads, experts, and others, some of them from the scrum teams. During planning, some capacity of the teams should be reserved for this.

How should we manage this?

We usually recommend using the Kanban method to manage this process, from end to end. This will help you understand what’s going on around you and control it.

Here is an example flow used by many:

On the left, you can see what’s happening before development. As you see, what’s happening in the iteration is just one column – DEV, one stage in the lifecycle of items.

The idea is that we manage two streams: the iteration stream and the end-to-end stream.

Once you set this board, there’s no going back. Until that moment management was all the time concerned with the various teams’ progress. Once they see the big picture two good things happen: first, management raises their heads, looking ahead, handling big obstacles, and making strategic decisions. The second thing is that teams can finally work quietly without being bothered all the time by questions from management 🙂

Subscribe for Email Updates:

Categories:

Tags:

Kaizen Workshop
Releases Using Lean
ScrumMaster Tales
agileisrael
QA
Kanban
Agile for Embedded Systems
Lean Risk Management
TDD
Professional Scrum with Kanban
Applying Agile Methodology
Operational Value Stream
lean agile change management
Lean Agile Management
Lean-Agile Budgeting
speed at scale
PI Planning
Achieve Business Agility
ALM Tools
Risk Management on Agile Projects
POPM
Effective Agile Retrospectives
Certified SAFe
Kanban Game
Agile
Atlassian
Jira
Lean Startup
Continuous Deployment
ROI
Agile Project Management
Accelerate Value Delivery At Scale
The Kanban Method
Agile Contracts Best Practices
Agile Risk Management
Lean Agile
Planning
Release Train Engineer
RTE Role
Continuous Delivery
Agile India
Kaizen
ARTs
SAFe
Scrum Master Role
Artificial Intelligence
Lean and Agile Techniques
Scrum and XP
Agile Program
Scrum Values
Lean Software Development
Risk-aware Product Development
Spotify
IT Operations
Agile Testing Practices
AI
Slides
Kanban Kickstart Example
Coaching Agile Teams
SA
Agile Mindset
Daily Scrum
Value Streams
Software Development Estimation
RSA
Agile Exercises
Professional Scrum Master
Advanced Roadmaps
LAB
Program Increment
Hybrid Work
Change Management
A Kanban System for Software Engineering
Agile Marketing
Legacy Enterprise
Presentation
LPM
Product Management
Agile Basics
Agile Games and Exercises
Scrum Master
Large Scale Scrum
Nexus and SAFe
System Integration Environments
EOS®
ART Success
Entrepreneurial Operating System®
Agile Release Planning
Tips
Scrum.org
Process Improvement
Lean and Agile Principles and Practices
Tools
Continuous Integration
Atlaassian
Limiting Work in Progress
DevOps
Managing Projects
Sprint Planning
Agile Outsourcing
Implementing SAFe
An Appreciative Retrospective
Managing Risk on Agile Projects
Kanban Basics
Agility
Continuous Improvement
Agile Assembly Architecture
SAFe DevOps
Scrum With Kanban
Jira Cloud
Code
Sprint Iteration
BDD
Perfection Game
PI Objectives
Development Value Streams
Quality Assurance
Story Slicing
Scrum Primer
Portfolio for Jira
Iterative Incremental Development
Amdocs
Software Development
Nexus Integration Team
predictability
Product Ownership
Agile Israel Events
Agile and DevOps Journey
Nexus
AgileSparks
What Is Kanban
Nexus and Kanban
Self-organization
Scrum Guide
Jira Plans
Introduction to ATDD
Kanban 101
Agile Product Development
Webinar
Lean Agile Basics
ATDD
Lean Budgeting
Agile Israel
Continuous Planning
Acceptance Test-Driven Development
Video
Sprint Retrospectives
Agile Delivery
Covid19
Agile Development
Introduction to Test Driven Development
Enterprise DevOps
Engineering Practices
Business Agility
Manage Budget Creation
Scrum
Principles of Lean-Agile Leadership
Scaled Agile Framework
Implementation of Lean and Agile
Jira admin
Rapid RTC
Agile Release Management
AI Artificial Intelligence
WIP
NIT
Agile Community
Systems Thinking
Legacy Code
LeSS
Pomodoro Technique
speed @ scale
Agile Project
Elastic Leadership
Lean Agile Leadership
Certification
Built-In Quality
The Agile Coach
Games and Exercises
Risk Management in Kanban
SAFe Release Planning
System Team
Agile Techniques
Test Driven Development
SPC
Agile Games
Agile Product Ownership
Nexus vs SAFe
Frameworks
Lean-Agile Software Development
Agile in the Enterprise
ATDD vs. BDD
Professional Scrum Product Owner
GanttBan
RTE
Reading List
System Archetypes
AgileSparks
Logo
Enable registration in settings - general

Contact Us

Request for additional information and prices

AgileSparks Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter, and stay updated on the latest Agile news and events

This website uses Cookies to provide a better experience
Shopping cart