Over the past weeks, I have went through various different feature’s of the agile model (SCRUM, XP, prototyping). I am going to take the opportunity now to mention a company who have witnessed the benefit’s of implementing agile methods of software. This should give you a taste of how agile methods are essential to companies today.
Primavera Software, a 21-year old company, turned their entire development organization around in a most amazing way by adopting Agile strategies. Primavera Systems is a vendor of project portfolio management solutions, it turned around its development organization in 2003 via agile methods of software.
Developers were struggling to meet deadlines in 2002 as they didn’t have the sufficient software and had to work long hours, this lead to an exhausted team with low morale. Growth was leading to increasingly complex client needs; this put a strain on its ability to release a product that pleased its entire customer base.
Primavera looked for a solution so they turned to agile methods, they adopted Scrum first to improve the way it managed product development, then adopted XP practices to upgrade its product quality.
Primavera had used a waterfall development process (traditional method) for years where employee’s were only concerned with the area of the business which concerned them. eg analysts analyzed, coders coded, designers design. However, under the guidance of Scrum they now employ cross-functional teams. Each member of a team is responsible for doing whatever they can to build the best increment possible .By using cross-functional teams, various aspects of the increment are inspected from all different angles as it is developed, increasing the overall quality.
Jennifer Coyle, Primavera Project Manager and Certified Scrum Master, emphasized,
“Because they are working together, towards a common goal, and communicating
constantly, our teams get their work done during normal business hours, go home
happy and come back the next day, refreshed and eager to see each other and jump
into the challenges and decisions they will get to make that day.”
In conclusion the implementation of agile method’s proved a huge success. After just nine months after agile methods were introduced in Primavera, they had a major release. It contained the functionality of two releases in one release, with no employee’s having to work overtime. Furthermore it was the result of a team environment in which all the departments worked in collaboration: marketing, product managers, developers, quality assurance, and executives worked together.
I believe the key message to take from this is that When the experiment started, Primavera was a very quiet, subdued place to work. Due to the implementation of agile methods, It now sounds like a vibrant community where all staff members are now less stressed and reap the benefit’s from working together as a unit.