837A Successful XBreed/Scrum Project
- Jan 14, 2003Dear all,
As many of you know I started another company,
Hipaa Acccelerator, http://www.hipaaccelerator.com,
about a year and a half ago, that is solely dedicated
to solve Hipaa Privacy problems.
Hipaa Privacy problems are intersting enterprise
problems because they almost always require
many projects to be managed and delivered
concurrently. For example, Hipaa Privacy mandates
reports of PHI (protected health information),
and Disclosure Accounting reports, that must access
data throughout the enterprise, and coordinate
business processes often involving dozens of people
for approval, escalation, investigation, delegation,
management, routing, retrieval, etc.; for even
a single request.
Each client implementation needs to be deployed while
many other things change like:
- changes in Hipaa Privacy and State laws
- changes in the systems to be integrated with
- changes in business processes (policies
and procedures), typically coming from legal
and/or business process owners
and couple with the normal changes and
uncertainties found in every project like:
- staff overturn and staff absorption
- staff mentoring/training in both the business
domain and the technology
- changes in technology i.e. development environment
and deployment tools and versions, etc.;
- changes in design
all of which were very significat in our case. To
make it ever more challenging, the government
mandated deadline is 4/14/2003, requiring every
project to be a "little miracle".
To cope with the above uncertainty and change, we
decided to use XBreed -- a combination of Scrum, XP,
Open Source and Alexanderian practices for every
client installation (More at: http://www.xbreed.net
Yes, I know, the XBreed site needs urgent updating...
but I am too busy in the trenches to keep it up to
date. Besides that I don't sell software methods
or "general software development consulting" -- I
only sell Hipaa Privacy solutions these days :-)
Btw, XBreed, means "cross breed" not "extreme breed",
and it was inspired by the similar concept in genetics
which literally means a thing with the natural
selected genes of XP, Scrum, Alexanderian and
Today, I am glad to report that once again, Scrum,
with the extensions that we call XBreed, has helped
us deliver to production one of the most challenging
projects I had ever dealt with in my 20+ years of
The project involved about 20 people, 5 which were
developers, 3 testers, 5 system people, 3 full time
users, 1 scrum master, 1 product owner, 2 sponsors,
etc. It will be deployed to ~3000 thousand
users throughout the State of Idaho.
The application fulfills just about every requirement
for Hipaa Privacy compliance, as well as all the
state law preemptions for the State of Idaho.
The application is a 130-screen j2ee web-based
application, using servlets, EJBs, JSPs, etc.; and
works with a DB2 and SQL server. And it includes
rule-based workflow, document management, an LDAP
role-based security among other things.
There is no doubt that without the power of Scrum,
that gave us constant feedback and with that a
fresh new "context" where to apply patterns on a
daily basis, a constant oppportunity for
self-organization and re-prioritization of tasks,
and the fabric of a cooperative culture that allowed
us to freely and constantly exchange knowledge, we
would have never got to where we are here today.
I am as always proud to be a Scrum practitioner; yet,
I am still intrigued and mystified about the
simple but powerful powers of this Scrum thing.
How can something so simple be so powerful?
As fascinating as the why might be, in the end
who cares!! ... it surely works,
Michael A. Beedle Ph. D.
CEO, Hipaa Accelerator, Inc.
2275 Half Day Rd. Suite 350
Bannockburn, IL. 60015
Office: 847-821-2631 Cell: 847-840-9890
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