Before making the decision to scale your development efforts by adding more people and teams to develop a product in a shorter time frame, it is important to ask yourself if this is the right thing to do.
If you have 1 to 3 Scrum Teams currently, how effective and efficient are they right now? If the answer is not very, then think twice before starting to scale immediately.
As with building a house with poor foundations, if you start to scale an ineffective development effort, your ability to deliver may end up collapsing under the weight of its own dysfunction.
Where dysfunction exists already, you will end up scaling that dysfunction as you add new teams. Where something was a minor problem with 1-3 teams, it can and likely will become a major problem when scaled out to 3+ teams.
For example, if your single Scrum Team currently struggles to produce an increment of potentially releasable software at the end of each Sprint, perhaps because of a high regression testing overhead and lack of testing automation, your efforts to scale the number of teams will result in scaling this problem with it.
Where a single Scrum Team they may be able to get by with this issue, with 3+ Scrum Teams all sharing a code base and seeking to integrate their work frequently, this may result in them rarely/never being able to deliver a potentially releasable increment by the end of a Sprint.
It is vital to start with 1-3 Scrum Teams who adhere to the principles of Professional Scrum. Only with firm foundations can you hope to scale successfully.
The Scrum Master is Simon Kneafsey. Simon is a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org, the home of Scrum run by Scrum co-creator, Ken Schwaber. Simon offers Professional Scrum Certification training courses globally and works with clients to introduce Scrum to their organisations.
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