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The Nexus Integration Team

The NIT ensures that an Integrated Increment is produced at least every Sprint for the Nexus. The Scrum Teams do the work. Ultimately, the NIT is accountable for maximizing the value of the integrated Product (see Figure 2-2). Their activities may include developing tools and practices that will help with integration or serving as coaches and consultants to help with coordination.

Figure 2-2

Figure 2-2 The NIT is accountable for maximizing the value of the integrated Product

NIT members need to have a teaching mind-set to help Scrum Teams resolve their issues whenever possible. Their role is to help to highlight issues that need to be solved and to help the Scrum Teams solve the issues. Only in emergencies does the NIT jump in and solve problems directly.

The NIT consists of:

  • The Product Owner, the owner of the Product, and ultimately accountable for its success. In the context of the NIT, the Product Owner is accountable for ensuring that maximum value is delivered by the Nexus during each Sprint. The Product Owner’s role does not change from Scrum; the scope of the work is simply more complex.

  • A Scrum Master, who has overall responsibility for ensuring the Nexus framework is enacted and understood. This Scrum Master is often a Scrum Master in one or more of the other Scrum Teams in the Nexus.

  • A Development Team, whose members are usually members of Scrum Teams in the Nexus.

Contrary to what its name may suggest, the NIT doesn’t integrate the work of all Scrum Teams as it is delivered. Instead, it is accountable for ensuring that the teams are able to achieve integration themselves.

Members coach Scrum Teams and help remove dependencies. If something is preventing the Scrum Teams in the Nexus from producing an integrated Product, the NIT is accountable for making sure that those issues get resolved.

Members of the NIT may also work on Scrum Teams in the Nexus, but when they do they must put their work on the NIT first for the greater benefit the whole Nexus (see Figure 2-3).

Figure 2-3

Figure 2-3 Members of the NIT are usually drawn from Scrum Teams

NIT members may come from outside the Scrum Teams; that is, from other parts of the organization. When they do, it is to provide unique expertise that the Scrum Teams lack, in areas such as Enterprise Architecture or Continuous Delivery, or in some area of specialized domain knowledge. NIT members may simply obtain their help without them actually becoming full-fledged members of the Nexus, but in some cases, when extensive support is needed, it may make sense for them to actually join the Nexus. When they do, they become accountable for Product delivery, just as are other members of the NIT.

The membership of the NIT can change over time as its needs evolve. Early in the life cycle of a Nexus, it may focus on coaching the Scrum Teams in the Nexus on scaling practices, or it may be more involved in stabilizing the shared build and test automation framework. Later in the life cycle, when the Nexus is running smoothly, the NIT may shift to raising awareness of issues from cross-team dependencies. Chapter 3, “Forming a Nexus,” describes the formation, composition, and evolution of the NIT in more detail.

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