Tag Archives: Nexus

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.

Lost in standards

Dia1In the last “projectie, edition 04-2014”, the bi-monthly magazine of ipma-nl, I published a Dutch article about the many methods and frameworks that are available in the field of portfolio, programme and project management. To download: Verdwaald in het standaardenbos IPMA Projectie magazine 04-2014 I created a sort of quick reference card with available standards and frameworks (It’s limited, there are many more). To download: standards-qrc-170129-v1-9

In the middle of the quick reference card you find a generic model with portfolio, programme and project management as horizontal boxes. Behind these boxes you will find vertical boxes with PMO, IT, benefits management, value management and risk management to support project, programme and portfolio management. And as the background I used two triangles representing the people and maturity of project, programme and portfolio management. From this model I made connections with several well-known organizations that develop and own standards. E.g. Axelos as the owner of PRINCE2, MSP, MoP, MoV, MoR, P3M3 and ITIL or PMI as the owner of PMBoK, The standard for Portfolio Management, The standard for Programme Management, OPM3, etc. You will also find AMPG, APM, IPMA and several suppliers of Agile/Scrum as well as some ISO models. dia1 In the Dutch article, I focus on the usage of these standards. It’s not that simple that you only have to select a project management method. Je must be aware that it will not be possible to implement all your ideas and ambitions. You have to select the right initiatives. This will ask for a portfolio management method. To realize your strategic objectives, you need more than only projects. You will run programmes too, asking for a programme management method. Besides temporary project and programme offices you probably need a permanent portfolio office as well as a centre of excellence to communicate, support and train staff to use these standards and best practices.

At a certain moment you want to know were you are from a maturity view, in comparison with others, and based on your own ambition you would like to know the gap you have to bridge. It will be beneficial for an organization if all these models or frameworks are connected to each other. As a rule of thumb, I would advice an organization to choose for either Axelos or PMI as the starting point and combine your choice with the competence baseline from IPMA. If you choose e.g. for PRINCE2, it makes sense to choose for MSP and MoP for your programme and portfolio management. For maturity scans you look at P3M3 because that’s in line with these standards. Your temporary and permanent PMO will be supported by P3O, etc. For supplementary techniques you could make use of the PMBoK from PMI.

Or, when you started with the PMI family, it makes sense to combine this with the project or programme board approaches from PRINCE2 and MSP and the usage of business cases as described in PRINCE2 9789401800068_CoverLR-541x850I am one of the authors of the book Global standards and publications, edition 2014/2015, Van Haren Publishing. You can download a free copy of this book. http://www.vanharen.net/file/PDF/9789401800068.pdf Please let me know if you are aware of new standards that are worthwhile to mention in this QRC.

for a comparison between PRINCE2 and PMBoK see the overview from KnowledgeTrain: Comparison PRINCE2/PMBoK


  • 17/01/29: Added PM2 Project Management Methodology from The European Commission
  • 17/01/29: Added Scrum @ Scale from Srcuminc.com
  • 16/01/23: Added Nexus (Scaled Professional Scrum) from Scrum.org
  • 15/10/04: IPMA ICB3 replaced with ICB4
  • 15/07/07: Added new Axelos framework PRINCE2 Agile
  • 15/05/27: Added Change mgt vertical + CMBoK (Change Management body of Knowledge) + CHAMPS2
  • 15/04/24: Added ISO 21500 project, 21503 programme, 21504 portfolio, 21505 Governance, 21506 Vocabulary
  • 15/02/24: Added CCPM (Goldratt), CMMi, Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards (GAPPS)
  • 14/10/21: Added Exin Agile Scrum from EXIN
  • 14/09/29: Added Agile Programme Management (Agile PgM) from APMG
  • 14/09/29: Added PRiSM™ (Projects integrating Sustainable Methods) from GPM
  • 14/09/29: Added Portfolio, Program & Project Sustainability Model (PSM3) from GPM