With almost every scrum class I offer, one or two students always seem to ask for Scrum case studies examples. I have resisted their calls for case studies since to me a case study is mostly irrelevant to an individual’s learning more about Scrum. IMO, the best way to learn about Scrum is to do it yourself and then inspect-and-adapt, rather than read about how someone else did Scrum in their environment.
However, today I have decided to succumb to this student request and offer up these fourteen examples for your reading pleasure.
- Distributed Scrum Project for Dutch Railways: summary of how a distributed team (Netherlands and India) successfully executed Scrum after a traditionally manager project failed to deliver after three years. This case study discussing topics such as architecture, requirements, documentation and more.
- Agile Project Management at Intel – A Scrum Odyssey: detailed case study describing how Intel used distributed Scrum within a traditional management culture to reduce cycle time by 66% and eliminate schedule slip within a year.
- Agile Case Study – H&R Block: short summary of how one company helped a very traditional, time-sensitive, consumer tax preparation service transform their business using Scrum. The real value in this case study are the links to the high-quality, short video testimonials from the participants to explain the benefits of Scrum.
- Scrum Boosts Effectiveness at the BBC: this thirty-eight minute video presentation, the Head of Development of the BBC’s New Media Division discusses their multi-year journey to effectively use Scrum.
- Effects of Scrum Nine Months Later: case study author, Richard Bank, identifies the lasting benefits of Scrum after a disastrous, piecemeal introduction of Scrum. Be sure to read his candid assessment of how he failed.
- Effective Practices and Federal Challenges in Applying Agile Methods: the Government Accountability Office (GAO) provides a review of the challenges and success factors for Agile projects within the federal government based on their investigation of four successful programs.
- Adobe Premiere Pro Scrum Adoption: Adobe explains how they used Scrum to successfully coordinate the actions of a distributed Scrum Team within an environment composed of non-Scrum Teams.
- Rolling Out Agile in a Large Enterprise: this case study from 2006 discusses how Yahoo! used Scrum to support over 100 software teams. Provides interesting metrics on how to evaluate and monitor Scrum Teams in a large enterprise.
- Borland’s Agile Journey – A Case Study in Enterprise Transformation: in this 2009 case study, the Vice President of Product Development at Borland talks about benefits they received and the key lessons learned in their three-year journey to apply Scrum to their business.
- Business Analysts and Scrum Projects: short description of how a business analyst’s role changes when they are embedded full time on a cross-functional Scrum Team.
- My Experience as QA in Scrum: detailed experience report of the day-to-day activities of a tester on a Scrum Team.
- Moving Back to Scrum and Scaling to Scrum of Scrum in Less Than a Year: this fifteen-minute video presentation explains how one Brazilian company struggled with Scrum, failed and then eventually succeeded.
- A CIO’s Playbook for Adopting the Scrum Method of Achieving Software Agility: this 28-page whitepaper from 2005 describes step-by-step how Ken Schwaber envisioned a Scrum business transformation might unfold.
In order to qualify for my list, the case study authors had to 1) do “out-of-the-box” Scrum with very few modifications, 2) they had to write a document or blog entry describing their experiences; a powerpoint presentation without a narration did not qualify and 3) they had to make freely available on the Internet their case study, i.e. you don’t have to give them your email address to read the content.
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