Review: Nexus Guide; Scaled Scrum development

The basics

NexusGuide_Mockup_nfv3-400This guide contains the basics of Nexus. Nexus is a framework to develop scaled product and software development initiatives by using 3 to 9 Scrum teams. This guide is Ken Schwaber’s answer for the ‘Scrum of Scrums’.

You can position this framework at the same level as the Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) and Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe).


The Nexus Guide is written in the same style as the Scrum Guide from Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber. It’s a brief document of 10 pages giving an overview of Nexus and the corresponding roles, events, and artefacts.

It starts, see figure 1, with one Product Owner managing the Product Backlog. The Product Owner sets up the Nexus Integration Team. In this team we see Integration Team members as well as a Scrum Master.

Dia1To download: Nexus (QRC, 151223) v1.0

The first official event will be the Nexus Sprint Planning. The Nexus Integration Team together with representatives of the Scrum teams develop the Nexus Sprint Backlog. This backlog will contain all User Stories for the to be delivered Integrated Increment. During this Nexus Sprint Planning the work will be allocated to the different Scrum Teams. Each Scrum Team will have it’s own expertise area and have it’s own Development Team members and a Scrum Master.

Based on the assigned work each Scrum team will have it’s own Sprint Planning to build their own Sprint Backlog.

Every day the Nexus Integration Team and representatives from the Scrum Teams will have their Nexus Daily Scrum to discuss integration issues, dependencies and sharing information across the teams. Joined to this Nexus Daily Scrum the individual Scrum Teams will have their own Daily Scrums. The Scrum Teams will develop their parts and integrate and test their work with that of the other teams.

At the end of the sprint we have the Nexus Sprint Review demontrating, showing the Integrated Increment. This is a joined review with all team and replaces the individual Scrum Team Reviews.

An overall Nexus Sprint Retrospective focusses on inspection and addaption and consists of three parts:The first part is identification of issues impacting more than one Scrum Team. Part two are the individual Scrum Team Retrospectives and the last part focusses on actions to be taken.

Target audience

For those who wants to know how to scale up Scrum based development.

For everybody involved in developing products or software and the work to be done can’t be handled by one Scrum team only.


This Nexus framework shows that to develop products or software you need more than only the will and behaviour to work together as Scrum Teams. The role and responsibilities of the Nexus Integration Team brings a form of governance / facilitation to make sure every Scrum team is doing the right things, integration and dependencies are being managed and the Nexus delivers what the Product Owner wants. Still I want to challenge Ken and his team to expand this framework to include the embedding (Change Management, transition) of the Integrated Increment within the organization.

Recommended reading

Nexus Guide. The definitive guide to Nexus: The exoskeleton of scaled Scrum development. By Ken Schwaber, August 2015. To download: The Nexus Guide.

5 responses to “Review: Nexus Guide; Scaled Scrum development

  1. Very interesting. Thank you for sharing.

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