GoToConnect is a communications platform for enterprises that combines the power of Jive's cloud VoIP telephony systems with the web, audio and video conferencing power of GoToMeeting. Creating one simple, reliable solution. It allows members to meet, chat and collaborate through a single application.
LogMeIn's GoToConnect team had been using Scrum for about 2 and a half years in a team of 25 people. They realized that they could no longer keep up with the pace of the company's growth with this system. It was difficult for them to concentrate. Also, meetings often turned into 2-3 dominant people talking and not everyone could communicate effectively. Collaboration slowed down and was further complicated by the fact that the teams were working in four locations in three time zones. They needed to find a solution quickly to meet the four-month deadline for the new product launch. The Scrum Master and Agile coach with the CTO considered switching to one-week sprints. After the Scrum.org representative introduced them to the Nexus framework for scaling Scrum, they decided to go ahead. The main argument for the framework was that they were already familiar with Scrum and it offered a very simple way to scale. Nexus is - very simply put - the same as Scrum, but on a larger scale.
The transition was not a problem, and the teams were enthusiastic about the change. "Nexus is simple, there are not many meetings and unnecessary processes," said the team's Scrum Master. "People were bored of long meetings and were looking forward to breaking into smaller groups." They were divided into four Scrum teams, with 4-7 team members. Only one Scrum Master and one Product Manager were assigned to the Nexus system. The Nexus Integration Team (NIT) was made up of the Scrum team members, the Scrum Master and the Product Owner and worked with 2-week sprints, with a 2-3 times a week delivery model. They also honed their testing practices so that they always had a clear definition of "Done" for each product release batch. When they first started, two team members were the "gatekeepers" to hold their team accountable for minimum standards of testing. The teams themselves organised the execution. They also introduced regular retrospective meetings, which helped the teams to be transparent. Over time, much more emphasis was placed on refinement to streamline sprint planning.
Furthermore, one of the challenges in the early days of Nexus implementation was that teams did not feel ownership of the work. One of the main advantages of Nexus is that if a team has a smaller capacity, other teams can easily help them. This sometimes caused friction when they didn't have a sense of 'ownership'. They are now working on helping teams feel that they own part of the product and recognise their identity. When problems and friction arise, members of the Nexus Integration Team (NIT) get involved. They help you work together. These types of problems are often solved using Nexus Daily Scrum.
Since its launch, collaboration has become easier. Teams are keeping pace and delivering on time. Work gets done faster with this framework. Because it helps identify and mitigate interdependencies. And the Nexus Sprint Retrospective helps refine the process.
It has provided a solid foundation for a multi-team product. It also helped them organise the delivery of their launch plans. They were able to launch the product on schedule. Last but not least, supplying customers who signed up for GoToConnect shortly after launch. "Nexus has helped us maintain a team culture," they said. "We were worried about losing the closeness of our teams as we scaled, but Nexus helped us keep it." The next challenges include experimenting with refinements. They are also reviewing their processes to see how they can work with their UX teams. They continue to work on reducing interdependencies between teams inside and outside Nexus and integrating some teams into Nexus.
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This article was written by Zsuzsa Danka