Agile Methodology – Case Studies

1.)Major Airlines Case Study

The management team of a major airline was frustrated by long-running projects that failed to deliver results in the expected timeframe.  In fact, many projects in the IT portfolio spanned multiple years in length and still failed to satisfy important functional requirements.  Management also felt the airline needed to be more responsive to the marketplace in general.

  • What do you think went wrong with their process?
  • How do you think should you improve it? Specify processes that will improve their system. Note that this is a general process. It doesn’t need to be very specific
  • What other points can you tell about this experience?

2.) Universo Online Sa (UOL) Brazil

Rafael Maranzato was the first Scrum Master in the company. He helped other teams to use Scrum and gave introductory training in the company and eventually became Product Owner after one year.

Phoenix team: Rewrite an online payment system under a new architecture (and programming language) version 2.0. Main drivers and challenges were to keep essentially the same features, improve scalability and robustness, deal with a predefined deadline and old system would evolve during project. They tried to use Scrum for more than one year, and failed due to focus on rules instead of values, personal conflicts, inadequate management intervention, and misunderstanding of Scrum. They returned to the Unified Process-based approach to meet the deadline. The Consequences of the failure were there was no concept of team, business Unit/Customers were disappointed; team members wanted to leave the company and team believed that Scrum was one of the reasons of the delay.

Moving back to Scrum, management changed after version 2.0 released. The team was split into two, different feature team where the team was constantly reminded that everybody worked in the same product and planning and other Scrum meetings happened on the same day. After 6 months, Scrum was implemented and two teams were not enough to the ‘big backlog’. The Challenge was scale Scrum to more than two teams. New people were added to existent teams before creating new ones. After eight months two new feature teams were created and introduced the changes and inspected the results. The Sprint length was changed from 3 to 4 weeks, worked with merges instead of single build and two teams per release.

New meetings were scheduled as following:

–Weekly: Product Owners and Scrum Masters

–Mega Planning: after planning

–Mega Daily: once a week

–Knowledge Sharing

To improve and tune after each sprint, check the results with internal customers and evaluate teams’ productivity. Nowadays seven feature teams are adapting mega meetings and planning to add three or more teams in 2012.

  • Why do you think they failed in the first place? 
  • Why do you think they changed into unified process then returned back to SCRUM?
  • If you were the SCRUM master, how would your create your own process/policy?
  • Do you think that their latest process will prevent failures from happening? Why?
  • What other points can you tell about this experience? 



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