Re: [scrumdevelopment] Scrum's impact
On Nokia (as nobody in Nokia seems to be listening to the list at the
I'd like to answer that, from the perspective that I used to work in
Nokia (before it split of to NSN) and from large organization
First, I read the financial times (I think) a couple days ago and it
had a wonderful article about Nokia. The industry analyst who wrote
the article said that Nokia did lose market share in the smart-phone
market. Still its the leader in that segment. Also, he said, Nokia at
the moment has the strongest portfolio he had seen from them in years.
I'm not saying that they are perfect or good, I'm just saying that
there are different perspectives.
Michael James already answered related to "Nokia Test" which
(unfortunately) is one of the things that made Nokia 'famous' in the
Next, when a company as large as Nokia said "we do Scrum" that that
can mean a whole spectrum of things. I usually ask 'horizontal' and
'vertical' organizational questions. Horizontal would be "what % of
the products use Scrum?" or "What % of the developers use Scrum". The
vertical questions would be "Did the management of the products change
using Scrum or is Scrum just happening on "programming level"?" In
addition, a lot of teams do "ScrumBut," which means they do Scrum...
but not the things you are supposed to be doing. One of my personal
favorites recently was a team which I visited who said they did Scrum.
I asked them when their daily Scrum happened (so I could join and
observe) and the answer was "it happens when it happens".
So, within Nokia, as with any large company, there is a huge variety
in hortizal, vertical, ScrumBut usage which makes it hard to say
anything about the Scrum usage and the impact on the companies success.
Also, most large companies cycle is slow and they have lots of legacy
code they need to deal with. The slow cycle in combination with legacy
code results in that the effect (result) of using Scrum can be delayed
for years, sometimes over five years. One product I worked with was
one of the best Scrum implementations I know. They got killed. Why?
They couldn't recover from the legacy code and missed market share
they had after years of unskilled development.
Last... the success of a company does not only depend on how well you
do in actually developing products... there is much more to it. I bet
Scrum, in most companies, have not reached the technology selection
process. For apple, to select touch screen technology for the iPhone
while Nokia didn't... was a huge boost.
Just to be clear, I'm not saying Nokia is good or Nokia is bad. I'm
saying this is more complex than a simple cause-effect relationship.
I hope this helps?
On Oct 26, 2009, at 4:03 PM, matt.evon wrote:
> I basically love Scrum because it makes sense and its practices just
> work. However, lately I have started have doubts of its impact.
> Scrum is claimed
> - to deliver software faster
> - to meet the schedule always (by prioritizing stories)
> - to deliver few, if any bugs
> - to deliver user friendly software
> - to deliver innovative software
> - and the most important: deliver business value.
> Let's see how these match e.g. to Nokia which uses Scrum and other
> agile practices (Nokia is used here just as an example because many
> people know it). Nokia is very successful in low-end phones but they
> have little to do with software whereas smart phones are all about
> software. And Nokia is not doing very well in smart phones:
> - it is actually quite slow in delivering software solutions (touch
> phones, successful music services, successful content portal,
> successful apps store, etc.)
> - it still seems to be late with its own schedules (e.g. the recent
> launch delay of N900 touch phone)
> - it doesn't at least stand out with high quality (I guess that N900
> is delayed due to too high bug count - the typical reason for last
> minute delays)
> - it is not famous for delivering exceptional user experience (it
> used to be in the 90's)
> - it is not the innovation leader any more (it used to be in the 90's)
> - and its market share in smart phones is decreasing rapidly (not
> good for business value)
> I wonder why Scrum has not helped Nokia, especially taken into
> account that Nokia is no novice in mobile business or software (it
> has actually done serious software product development longer than
> e.g. Microsoft). Any thoughts?
> Note: this post is not about Nokia, this is about Scrum's impact.