My company has always used a sort-of-Agile process. We do scrums three times a week. The development manager is basically the Scrum Master(SM), while the Team Lead is the alternate/backup SM.

We used to be a small team of about 5 or 6, and the time spent on scrum was never an issue because we kept it to about 15 minutes.

We've recently hired a number of new people, and with about a dozen people, our scrum time bumped up to about a half hour.

The manager/SM now consider the time to be an issue and a couple changes were implemented.

The team has been split into two groups and each group is assigned to either the primary SM or alternate SM. Employees rotate teams each scrum, so everyone will eventually scrum together at least once.

This just seems wrong. It makes scrum less effective, since I don't know what half my team is doing.

Has anyone else had a problem managing a large scrum? Was there anything you did that seemed to help reduce the amount of time it took?

I'm not trying to usurp management, this is just something I've been thinking more about lately.

  • 1
    I wonder if this might fit better on pm.stackexchange.com Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 20:57
  • Close duplicate on Project Management SE: Daily stand-up with multiple Scrum teams Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 20:59
  • What sort of numbers are we talking about in the original "small team", and the new "small team + recently hired a number of new people" team? Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 23:45
  • @Carson63000 It used to be about 5 or 6, now there are about a dozen of us
    – Kevin
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 23:48
  • Thanks Kevin, I have edited your question to add that info. Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 23:52

3 Answers 3


If there are enough of you to need two scrums, there should be enough of you to need two teams working on separate parts of the product. Swapping staff between the two sometimes to keep skills current is good, but there are too many of you to be agile.

  • I suppose that's where my confusion come with our new style comes in, the 'teams' don't make any sense. I was always under the impression that you wanted the whole team in on the scrum. I've always been on smaller dev teams where this wasn't even a concern, multiple teams just feels awkward. It makes sense though, if done right.
    – Kevin
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 22:26

One quick and simple way is to adopt the "30 second standup" template.

  • 3
    This is good advice - particularly since, given the extra info added, the standup is currently taking two and a half to three minutes per person. But it's really not good to have a StackExchange answer which is purely a link to an external article. It is much better to summarize the info and then provide a link - what happens if that guy's blog goes offline, or moves? Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 23:51
  • @Hugo do not just dump a link here. The other site may go away. Quote the relevant parts please.
    – user8036
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 8:03

Scrums are very useful for getting a quick overview of the project landscape, and the dual-scrum approach defeats this purpose as you've pointed out. Scrums don't have to be used to solve, or even discuss, every issue in detail. If someone has a specific challenge that one person can help them with, those two people can chat afterwards. If there's a technical issue that half the team are spending a long time discussing, have them discuss it afterwards and move on. During scrum, 30s each is a good rule.

Also, as an employer, I'd be happy if a staff member spoke up and suggested that a discussion be had outside scrum so that the rest of the team can get to work. That's not usurping management to try and help the team be more productive.

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