Nov. 27, 2009

Interesting Scrumtisch in November - Some content

Scrum @ SAP - Thanks to Markus for the speech and thanks to Isa for the notes...

This evening Marion organised another successful Scrumtisch: Usually we either meet for timeboxed discussions on Scrum and agile development questions or a speaker is invited to present his favourite Scrum or Lean or Agile topic.

Today Markus Frick gave a presentation of how Scrum was introduced at SAP, a German software company. They started implementing Scrum in a “small” team of about 60 people, organised in about six to seven teams. The idea was to get people together who are already sort of familiar with agile technologies and let them evaluate what works in the companies context at what doesn’t. The conversion started with trainings, teams were organised by features as opposed to components. The main goal was to get people to learn Scrum and then spread the idea across the whole company.

Soon upper management were fascinated by the methodology - not shortly after that the goal was reset to converting 2500 employees working at four different locations (Bangalore, Berlin, Waldorf and Sofia/France) on diverse topics ranging from developers to managers to agile methods. The question thus turned from scaling Scrum to quickly scaling the conversion process: Where do we get enough trainers? Where does Scrum expertise come from? How should communication be organised? How do we adapt our sales and governance processes?

The way to do this chosen back than was to use Scrum itself for the conversion process. That is to introduce teams for training and conversion and let them work according to a backlog. Also managers were set up to participate by organising work according to a backlog containing management tasks. This first let to quite some confusion: Conversion does take time and working according to sprint backlogs makes it pretty much obvious how much time it actually takes and how much time people really spent on these tasks. On the other hand, the whole process was made very transparent for everyone - and open for participation.

The process started about two years ago - it has not finished to date and processes continue to evolve, get improved and refined as people go along. A very rough estimation was that it might take another three years to get to a stable, clean state. However most - if not all - problems were not caused by Scrum. They were made visible and trackable by Scrum.

The main take home messages were that Scrum does bring improvement:

  • It makes goals transparent and communicates clearly the current state.
  • You get a short feedback cycle so people actually see where problems are.
  • It inherently allows for reflection and analysis of problems.
  • As introduced here it also made the work of management people transparent by making backlog and velocity of managers accessible by everyone.
  • Internal trainings helped to get feedback from teams who are already practicing what is introduced.

Among the people who were very skeptical there usually were quite a few people from middle management. Uncertain about how future development should work they usually feared a loss in influence. Most positive feedback came from developers themselves: After explaining what Scrum is all about, that is includes shore release cycles and fast feedback, most developers that were in the teams already for quite some time reacted by stating that this basically resembled development “in the good old days” with a bit of development process added on top.

If you are interested in hearing more stories on how Scrum is or was introduced in companies of various sizes, I would like to recommend visiting the German Scrum Day in Düsseldorf. The talk by Thilo Fromm gives a nice overview of how a transition from traditional Waterfall to Scrum can look like. And agile42 Andrea Tomasini will talk about the Scrum implementation in distributed teams at be2 ltd.

Image of marion

Marion Eickmann

I am one of the founders and the executive director at agile42. I have supported strategic product development and leadership development for longer than 15 years. Since 2007 I have been realizing local and global agile projects with agile42's international team successfully. You like to talk about: ORGANIC agility, complexity, resilience, organizational culture & Agile? Just send an email :-)
blog comments powered by Disqus
Image of marion

Marion Eickmann

I am one of the founders and the executive director at agile42. I have supported strategic product development and leadership development for longer than 15 years. Since 2007 I have been realizing local and global agile projects with agile42's international team successfully. You like to talk about: ORGANIC agility, complexity, resilience, organizational culture & Agile? Just send an email :-)

Latest Posts

Scrumtisch July 2019

The Berlin Scrum User Group meets on July 4th at agile42, Gruenberger Str. 54, 10245 Berlin.

Image of aballer

Alexandra Baller

agile42 Team Assistant

Leading a Logistics Provider Company Agile Transformation

agile42 Turkey helped implement an agile way of working in the IT department of an international Leading logistics provider company

Image of figen.yalcinkaya

Figen Yalçınkaya

Nowadays companies need to know agile principle for their sustainable development. As an agile trainer & coach; I support new agile teams, for developing agile mindset in order to achieve high performance. This includes challenging their working practices and embarking on continuous improvement, Which is main principle of agility.

ORGANIC agility at Fast Growth Icons Berlin 2019

Video of the Fast Growth Icons Berlin 2019 keynote by Andrea Tomasini

Image of marion

Marion Eickmann

I am one of the founders and the executive director at agile42. I have supported strategic product development and leadership development for longer than 15 years. Since 2007 I have been realizing local and global agile projects with agile42's international team successfully. You like to talk about: ORGANIC agility, complexity, resilience, organizational culture & Agile? Just send an email :-)

Empiricism and Psychology: The harmony of being at odds

In this post, the contrast between empiricism and psychology is briefly discussed

Image of elrich.faul

Elrich Faul

I’m passionate about helping the current and next generations to develop the skills they need to be successful in a rapidly changing world. I believe that by leveraging my expertise in engineering, psychology and management I can empower individuals and teams to reach their maximum potential. I’m inspired when given the opportunity to coach teams as well as individuals toward growth and happiness.

Why you should look out for the ORGANIC agility Conference?

ORGANIC agility is an evolutionary approach that offers organizations the opportunity to become adaptable, resilient and profoundly more effective ...

Image of hwong

Hazel Wong

Marketing Assistant at agile42. Passionate about gaining insights from data in order to create content that resonates with the audience. Eager to help teams and companies open their mindset about the application of agile methods to address their challenges.