NOTE: This is a work in progress and the site is still undergoing content updates.
Have you ever…..
Worked in a team where you are the only person or maybe, if you are lucky, have 1 other person working with you? Have you ever been instructed or encouraged to spin up a Scrum team for a short project? Has your customer ever asked you to run this project in a Scrum way, despite you being a really small team? Have you ever ran a solo project and tried to apply some of your normal team size practices in an attempt to generate more value?
I know a growing number of people and indeed industry areas get asked this question almost daily. Consultants tend to work as solo practitioners or in very small teams as the customer does not have the budget to afford a full fledged team. Students completing final year projects or undergoing a research thesis are playing a solo game. Open source developers who are contributing to projects in their spare time are doing so largely on their own.
Scrum has become one of the most popular frameworks for bringing Agility to a team. To the point that many people now interchanged Agile with Scrum, and vice versa. That ubiquity is driving a lot of the requests to follow the Scrum framework. Customers and indeed lone users want that focus on value that Scrum brings. The Scrum Guide however recommends that a Scrum Team is of the size of 3-9. While it ultimately leaves the team size up to the team to decide themselves, it has very firm definitions for the 3 main roles that are required to enable the framework to succeed. How does that work with 1-2 people? How can scrum operate without the main roles? How can 1 person hold a Daily Scrum?
What is Small Scale Scrum
The result of several years of research is Small Scale Scrum, a long-awaited and novel concept in Agile “supporting planning, developing, and delivering production-quality software solutions.” Small, in this case, is a team size of 1-2, which is below the recommended team size that the Scrum Guide recommends.
What it means to us
Communication and Collaboration Tightly defining expectations and defining collaboration boundaries with customers or external entities (e.g. college lecturers)
Engagement and Motivation
2007-2012: Leigh Griffin completed his PhD and tried to follow a modified version of Scrum to try and maximise his value and organise his work.
2013-2016: Leigh worked with a number of students through his role as a mentor in companies. He supervised as an industry expert their final year capstone project of around 8 months. Each student tried to follow an Agile approach
2017: We started to formalise an idea that Scrum could work for smaller teams and worked with Agnieszka Gancarczyk on an idea for her thesis to research how Scrum could work for small teams. At Agile Cambridge 2017, Leigh presented a talk with a colleague who has similar thoughts on Quality, Performance and Success in 1-2 Person Teams: A Story of Small Scale Scrum. Here we crowd sourced the idea of Small Scale Scrum and we connected with a lot of like minded individuals
2018: Agnieszka completed her work and this became an Academic Thesis in 2018, which gave a lot of deep thought and background on why Scrum could work for Small teams We authored a distillation of that thesis into a series of blogs on opensource.com which were published as a downloadable booklet which we shared for free with the world
2019 Agile 2019 we published an Experience Report on our journey towards discovering, researching and implemting Small Scale Scrum. At the conference itself Arjay Hinek a fellow Agile Coach working with us on the topic of Small Scale Scrum, presented our work
Building a Community
We believe in Open Source and we believe in sharing and working together to build out Small Scale Scrum. To that end we have created a Google Groups and a Twitter Account will try and connect and build our community. Watch out for us at some conferences in 2020!