Nexus Framework for Scaling Scrum, The: Continuously Delivering an Integrated Product with Multiple Scrum Teams

Kurt Bittner / Patricia Kong / Dave West  
Total pages
December 2017
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Nexus Framework for Scaling Scrum, The: Continuously Delivering an Integrated Product with Multiple Scrum Teams
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Today, organisations want to scale Scrum to ever larger and more complex projects, driving the benefits of agility throughout the enterprise. But most conventional solutions to scaling agility have added complexity and deviated from the principles that make Scrum so attractive.

Scaling Scrum with Nexus introduces a better approach, reflecting the authors’ many years of applying and scaling Scrum in multiple industries. Four leading experts introduce the Nexus Framework, showing how it enables smooth integration among multiple Scrum teams, as well as highly-effective collaboration with non-Scrum teams working on the same project. Drawing on their immense experience, they explain what Nexus is, how it works, and how it solves agile scalability problems that have bedeviled organisations for years. Next, they offer start-to-finish guidance for applying Nexus Framework principles throughout your own organisation. Readers will walk through forming a Nexus, organising work in a Nexus environment, managing and enabling a Nexus, and much more -- all that is needed to succeed with Scrum in even the most challenging global projects.


  • Provides practical techniques and practices for adopting Scrum consistently across your organization
  • Helps you build on your agile knowledge to apply Scrum in larger and more complex situations
  • Shows how to form a Nexus across multiple Scrum teams and make it work effectively with shared services and non-Agile teams
  • Helps you reap the full benefits of fast product feedback cycles
  • Offers significant advantages over SAFe, LeSS, and other large-scale agile approaches
  • By four co-creators of, with a foreword by Scrum co-developer Ken Schwaber

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

About the Authors xix


Chapter 1: Introduction to Scaling Agile 1

Why Agile? 2

Why Scrum? 2

Why Nexus? 5

Simplicity Is the Key to Scaling 6


Chapter 2: Introducing Nexus 7

What Is Nexus? 7

Nexus Extends Scrum 8

The Nexus Integration Team 10

Nexus Events 12

Nexus Artifacts 17

What Do You Need to Get Started with Nexus? 19

Closing 20


Chapter 3: Forming a Nexus 21

Evolving a Cross-functional Team 24

Growing a Nexus 29

Forming the Nexus Integration Team 32

How Does a Nexus Work? 34


Chapter 4: Planning in Nexus 35

Consolidating and Validating the Product Backlog 35

Planning a Sprint in a Nexus 47

Closing 55


Chapter 5: Running a Sprint in Nexus 57

The Nexus Daily Scrum 58

Providing Transparency Inside and Outside the Nexus 61

Nexus Sprint Retrospective 68

Closing 73


Chapter 6: Evolving the Nexus 75

Optional Practice: Organizing Scrum Teams around Features 77

Optional Practice: Managing Code Like an Open-Source Project 78

Optional Practice: Organizing Teams around Personas 81

Expanding the Nexus Integration Team 83

Updating and Refining the Product Backlog 83

Nexus Sprint Planning, Revisited 85

The Nexus Daily Scrum, Take Two 86

The Nexus Sprint Review, Take Two 88

The Nexus Sprint Retrospective, Take Two 89

Closing 96


Chapter 7: The Nexus in Emergency Mode 97

Product Backlog Refinement, Take Three 99

Nexus Sprint Planning, Take Three 102

The Nexus Daily Scrum, Take Three 108

What to Do When the Nexus Starts to Struggle 110

The Nexus (Pseudo) Sprint Review and Retrospective 118

Closing 119


Chapter 8: Retrospective on the Nexus Journey 121

What Worked Well 122

Areas for Improvement 126

What’s Next? 132

Closing 133


Glossary 135

Index 143


Kurt Bittner has more than 35 years of experience helping teams to deliver software in short feedback-driven cycles, as a developer, as a product manager, and product owner; as an industry analyst; and as an organizational change agent. He is the author of three other books on software engineering, many blogs and articles, and is a frequent speaker at conferences.

Patricia Kong is a key contributor to the Nexus framework and the Evidence-Based Management framework. She led product development, product management, and marketing for several early-stage companies in the US and Europe, and worked in business development and engagement management for Forrester Research. She is fluent in four languages.

Dave West is the CEO and Product Owner at He is a frequent keynote at major industry conferences and is a widely read author of books, blogs, articles, and research reports. He has led both product development and consulting organizations for multi-national organizations.