Paved with Good Intentions: The Slippery Slope from Agile to Scrum-Fall

After having scaled Agile development using Scrum and successfully delivered an award winning 10,000 Mark II FP product in 2 years, how can the client consider the same program as failing a year later?

This cautionary tale presents a 3 year journey from Waterfall to successful scaled Scrum development, and the incremental changes that led to the gradual dilution of Agile into Scrum-Fall. In this session, we present the order of magnitude improvement that Scrum delivered over Waterfall, and then present the changes (and the rationale behind the changes) made to the model and quantify the impact of changes made to the Scrum model.

We use delivered functionality and cost as the basis of comparison between each model used. The effects we compare are in terms of Rework, defects injected, and team morale. We will show (just as Lean principles predict) that increasing the time before getting feedback increases defects; we also see that increasing the length of the iteration has an outsize effect on team behaviour – the longer the duration, the easier it is for the team to fall back into deeply engrained Waterfall behaviour. 


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Outline/structure of the Session

There will be 3 parts to the presentation:

1. Need for Agile, problems with the original Waterfall approach.

2. Success with Agile, metrics, awards won.

3. Changes and accumulation of debt; slide to Scrum-Fall.


Learning Outcome

The significant take away will be specific improvements that Agile delivered over Waterfall, and also the pressures in a Enterprise environment that force projects to make decisions that (put together) remove some of the key benefits of Agile.

As Lean predicts, we will show that an increase in Iteration time results in a larger number of defects; also the need to show predictable progress prevents Agile teams from making Scope variable.

Also, Agile teams also fall back into deeply engrained Waterfall behavior that Coaches must watch out for.

Target Audience

Developers, Testers, Managers, Coaches!

schedule Submitted 4 years ago

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