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Overhauling a Failing Project with Out of the Box Scrum

Fall 2007 Scrum Gathering: London

Wednesday, 14 November, 10.45-12.15
“Overhauling a Failing Project by Using Scrum”
Presenter: Matthew D. Edwards, Ajilus, USA
This presentation discusses the history, decisions and results of a failed outsourced/off-shored software project. Scrum makes intuitive sense to many people when trying to apply it to ground up software/systems solution work and delivery. However, trying to figure out how to convert an in-flight project from one approach to another in an organization that has historical predispositions, processes and procedures – and is already failing - is often strikingly difficult. My assertion is that the perceptions of many software stakeholders, leaders and managers inclusive, ordinarily suggest that ‘trying a new process’ should occur on a future, not yet started, relatively innocuous and ‘safe’ project rather than touching on an already complicated in-flight project with risks, necks and money on the line. Gain insight into how a new person, equipped with Scrum and previous software experience, can walk into a broken team and project, re-organize it using Scrum principles, and be delivering usable, tested software in two weeks with tangible value validated by business end-users/sponsors/project funders. And the secret to this project’s success can be articulated as having three primary elements:  a) out of the box Scrum, b) a conversion to user stories, and c) complete transparency frequently, often and all of the time.


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