When you work in a large organization it is difficult to work in an agile way. When a product involves several projects the demands on the development team often exceed their capacity to get the work done. This creates a problem in the organization as the project leaders compete for the same developers, with the result that developers spend more time spreading themselves between project leaders than generating value. Combine was commissioned to help a heavy-truck manufacturer to organize its deliveries as efficiently as possible.
We introduced Scrum and took on the role of scrum master for the development team. Together with a product owner, we acted as mediator between the developers and the projects. The product owners sat down with the project leaders to create a priority list of everything the team needed to do, known as a backlog. The scrum master then arranged planning meetings that were attended by the product owner and developers. The developers drew up plans and the product owner answered questions on the various tasks in the team’s backlog. This was an iterative process that lasted three weeks. Once the plans were agreed and the work started, the developers were left alone so that they could focus and work without interruption, except in special cases.
This approach met some resistance at first, but soon won over support as the team delivered more results and their solutions were of better quality. Another benefit was that because the project leaders passed on all their needs and requirements to the product owner together, the team was not only able to deliver solutions for several projects but was also able to suggest new features for other projects. This resulted in a product with more consistent behavior and a higher guaranteed level of performance.