A new program at one of the largest Dutch banks focused on lowering ‘Total Cost of Ownership’ (TCO) and decreasing complexity in the CRM landscape. The program had been running for 9+ months without too much working results when the bank decided to move to Scrum. I was one of four Scrum coaches of Capgemini that was asked to work with the teams to make the move.
We were charged with understanding and applying the newly designed business processes and coaching the team members in four streams: Lead to sales, Activity Management, Service requests and ClientView.
The team members were very quick to pick up the Scrum way of working, and swiftly re-gained focus within the running program. Within a few Sprints the new Scrum Teams, that we were now part of, succeeded however not only ‘getting’ Scrum but we also quickly gained important benefits via demonstrable progress, more than had been achieved in the 9 preceding months. Perhaps not all the project team members were completely familiar with the Scrum framework as from day 1, but many were and overall all people helped each other out. At least everybody within the teams knew exactly what to do and what no to by figuring it out as a team. The development team gained self-control over their work. The Product Owners took up accountability over business objectives by Product Backlog and stakeholder management. The IT Project manager that we still have in the gigantic organization of the bank, handles risk management and some cross-team dependencies as well as budget, finance and staffing. As Scrum Coaches we are obviously proud and happy that we were able to help people grasp their new roles so quickly, and in that way were able to get working software out the door in such a short term.
We are currently facing the end of the release period, which is a good time to have a look at the overall picture. Two of the 4 teams are meeting their expectations quite easily while the two other teams are facing some trouble, but that is mainly due to external dependencies. This release-based ‘inspect’ allows us to better tackle the next release cycle (‘adapt’).
Management is very happy with our achievements and the way we introduced Scrum. Part of our mission was to educate four people of our client’s staff in Scrum to take up the role of Scrum Master. These four individuals have shown their ability on the workfloor, have demonstrated good knowledge of the Scrum framework via the Professional Scrum Master level I assessment of Scrum.org and handover is about to happen (mid July 2012).
It is very satisfying to see all team members, in all roles and with their skills, get a fun and energy boost in their work. But the Sprint results have also made the end users really happy! And the wider environment and the bank have now embraced Scrum as a valuable project approach, and is investing more into educating people, getting more teams up and running and do Scrum at a more performant level.
This article was written by Fina Piazza. Fina works as a Scrum Master and Scrum Coach for Capgemini Netherlands (Financial Services department). After many years in project and operational management, Fina is glad that Scrum allows here to focus more on her old time favorite, i.e. people.