Re: Motivations for adopting Scrum
- Rowan, I can share observations of six North American firms that
adopted agile with Scrum or something very like Scrum that uses
Four of the six were motivated to try something new because their IT
departments were not delivering. They seemed to be stuck in a rut,
burning time and money but not completing projects or adding value.
Their rationale was that whatever this new "thing" was, it couldn't be
any worse than the status quo. The main business driver in these cases
is to reduce time-to-market.
Of these four, one has been successful with agile methods and the
other three are floundering, but haven't given up on the idea. The one
successful example has delivered many solutions over the past four
years using agile methods. The three that are floundering have not
delivered anything to production yet, after 1.5 to 2 years of effort.
The other two firms were motivated by a desire to improve the
effectiveness of IT departments that were already successful. Both
these firms have done well with the new approach. The main business
drivers in these cases are to control the growth of TCO of technical
assets and to improve the general quality of solutions.
In all three of the successful cases, agile methods have been
institutionalized in the IT department as a "secondary" or
"alternative" approach to software development that is used on
selected projects only. In no case has agile or Scrum become the
primary or dominant approach to the majority of projects.
That's the pattern I've seen, in a nutshell.