Introduction An average scrum team scores over a normal Waterfall team in productivity by at least 400%. The benefit is not only in terms of Productivity but also in terms of Quality, Customer Satisfaction and the Development Team's Satisfaction. In this Case Study we will discuss one of the offshore teams at iSense Prowareness and their journey to hyper productivity. This case study is divided into 2 parts and in this case study we discuss the first leg on the road of hyper productivity. Background Let's first get into the background of the practices for the team before they went into Scrum implementation. The team had a size of 3 experienced developers and was working with a Dutch Client from the offshore office of iSense Prowareness in Bangalore. The technology used in the projects was Microsoft.NET, iSense being a powerhouse in MS.NET delivers a large number of .NET projects to the Netherlands market. The team was motivated and committed to deliver the project in their best possible capability. The team had their own work room and it helped to ensure that the confidentially of the project information and also that the team found themselves bounded by physical proximity. The team was practicing an agile methodology with one week iterations but the deliverables were not in a "DONE" state. So this meant that the Clients could not give complete feedback of the deliveries as the most of the development/verification were still in progress, also the clients were not available to test the weekly iterations because of internal workload. As a result of this bugs were found at the last moment of the release and a lot of changes crept in after the release date of the project, hindsight most of them could have been seen earlier. To sum it up the team and the clients were working on a model which was agile with a waterfall mindset – Software delivery with small waterfall iterations. The clients were satisfied with the team efforts but not always with the results - quality and user interface (aesthetics) were usually questionable. At iSense Prowareness this team scored around 3 points on a scale of 5 in Customer Satisfaction for some months. The team members felt that the process was not helping them to deliver better software, but it looked to them that this was the best possible they could do. They reached a steady state with this process. What was the Change? Based a significant series of successful projects at iSense Prowareness and based on the learning from different projects, the executive committee at iSense Prowareness were looking into something which could WOW the customer experience and the developer's experience with high quality and productivity. After a series of internal and external discussions with Industry Experts and research the committee decided to give a shot at Scrum within iSense Prowareness. Introducing Scrum and the advantages included getting the details implemented very well. We detailed out the definition of “Done”, Constant and short delivery sprints, means to record teams velocity(productivity), KPI’s to measure the changes which will happen, Scrum
Meeting Plans â€“ Daily Standups Meeting, Spring Planning and Review Meeting, Retrospectives and the Tools setup to implement the Scrum Process. How was the Change Implemented? Training The biggest challenge an Organization faces while implementing a process like Scrum is the change in mindset of the Development teams and the Management. At iSense Prowareness this change started from the Top - Executive Committee...the executive committee went to one of the Certified Scrum Master training and it was followed by a Scrum Master training of all the Teams at the Bangalore office. This helped enormously as the top management had complete buy-in in implementing the Scrum Process and they could assist the development teams in removing the impediments they face in their paths of implementation. The Certified Scrum Master training is the best starting step for any organization or team heading into Scrum. Fun Filled and Exciting Process Once the teams were back from the CSM training, we scheduled internal meetings among teams to discuss various thoughts and experiences and plan the implementation ahead. The first task given to every team was to select a Scrum Master for their teams based on the characteristics identified by the teams. This was followed by defining the meaning of Done Story Complete, Code quality metrics and Code analysis, functionally tested - Automation, no known defects and production ready code. The next step was to measure what would it mean to the stakeholders of the projects - In association with the Quality specialists we defined the balanced scorecard for Scrum Development at Prowareness - Reliability ( If a team commits to certain units of work can they deliver as promised), Quality ( A weighted mean was calculated based on the severity of the bugs delivered) and the Productivity in terms of velocity ( the number of successful user story points delivered within a sprint to the Product Owner), these become the basic KPI which was used in the first leg of the journey to Hyper productivity. The offshore teams had a set biweekly sprint where they would use one of the Fridays for Sprint Planning, Review and Retrospective with the Product Owner and could start delivering from the next Monday. The teams would deliver on alternate Thursdays. We also setup some tools to assist us on implementing Scrum. We choose for Scrum for Team System which is a free Agile Software Development Methodology add-in for Visual Studio Team System, developed by Conchango, in collaboration with Ken Schwaber and the Microsoft Technology Centre UK. With this template teams could create releases, sprints, backlogs, user stories, impediments, retrospectives and Daily burndowns. We also used the other features available out of the box from Visual Studio Team System to manage code quality standards, Functional tests and Sprint Management. The Scrum Teams also did training for the Clients to educate them on the Scrum process and the role and duties of the Product Owner. The Product Owners would play an important role to make the project a success and their buy in was a must for this to succeed. The teams adhered to the Scrum process completely for duration of 4 sprints and saw some major improvements in all facets of software development.
The beginning of the sprint started with a thorough spring planning and then the team selforganized themselves during the sprint. Every day the team would start up with their morning standups and end their day with updating the burn downs together. At the end of the sprint they delivered user stories in a “Done” state every sprint with a demo session during the sprint review and did a thorough retrospective within the team and sometimes even with the product owner. The whole process led to some amazing results in a very short time. Results Here we have data on one of the teams at iSense Prowareness at our Bangalore offshore location once they implemented the Scrum Framework. These teams at iSense were implementing a set of internal and external web applications for a European market leader Professional Services firm based in Central Netherlands. The team managed to double their velocity in the first 4 sprints of execution and there was a big rise in the Client Satisfaction (a rise by 33.3%). The team felt a stronger focus with the Scrum model and scored high very high on team reliability and quality. All of a sudden the bug count in the sprint was almost close to zero and the release finished much before the expected time. This also raised the morale and confidence of the team to a higher level. Let’s go through the results in detail. Reliability The Reliability of the team increased, they managed to deliver much more than they promised before they started the sprints. This was because they were able to deliver more every time than they could do in their previous sprints. Productivity (Velocity) The productivity of the team doubled in 4 sprints. The team started with a baseline productivity of 10 story points and managed to achieve 20 story points by the time they reached the 4rth Sprint. This also meant that all delivered story points were accepted by the Product Owner at the end of every sprint. This proved the point that increased quality increases the speed of software delivery.
Quality The quality of the delivery rose considerably. In all the 4 sprints the team delivered only 1 Minor defect each. For measurement as a KP we had multiplied the number of defects with a scale as Critical: 100, Major: 10, Minor: 1 Point. The lower the score was the better the quality. The team scored 1 point in every sprint which was close to the goal of 0 points which almost was close to zero Defects. This quality jump made a big impact also on the Customer Satisfaction and the Scrum team morale.
Customer Satisfaction The Customer Satisfaction increased from a rating of 3 to 3.9 within two monthly measurements. The clients were very positive with the delivery quality and the speed at which software was getting delivered. Since the release went before schedule it also made a positive impact to the Business Managers. The business managers gave a feedback that all of a sudden the communication between the Requirement Manager and the end business was much smoother and they business had a good control and clarity over the development process.
Conclusion Scrum worked significantly well in raising the Productivity of the teams at iSense Prowareness to a much higher level (doubling) in the first four sprints. The user stories were delivered at a very high quality and the speedy delivery of the production ready software every sprint led to an increased client satisfaction and cost savings in developing software at iSense Prowareness. We went through the introduction of Scrum at iSense Prowareness and the execution of the first 4 sprints in one of the teams at iSense Prowareness. Part 2 of this case study will speak about the next 8 sprints and how the team managed to achieve hyper productivity (400% increase in productivity), what did they do different from here to achieve that? What are the development practices they changed to reach hyper productivity? What are the KPI's they measured that helped them to reach there? The Part 2 of this case study will be available soon. For enquires please contact email@example.com.