Case Studies

Case Study 1

As an Agile Coach, Kevin Burns helped the organization transition from a project-centric team structure to a product or domain team structure of 12 cross-functional software capability teams, some of which were internationally distributed. Kevin helped the teams with estimating, work decomposition, and prioritization practices. Writing tests over requirements was adopted. The teams learned from their estimates with fast feedback loops so planning became easier. The teams decomposed work into smaller deliverables and become more predictable as they learned faster. An emphasis was placed on building in quality from the start. Code reviews were an important component of the quality assurance process.

Below results were validated through team surveys:

  • Less confusion regarding conflicting priorities reduced context shifting cost.
  • Code quality increased as team members took more ownership of the code quality in their domain.
  • Ramp-up time was reduced and productivity increased as team members became less transient across domains.
  • Planning became easier as teams took ownership of their throughput potential (velocity).
  • Team members increased their understanding of their user-base and thus delivered more value to their users.
  • Team performance increased as teams matured through forming, storming, norming and performing phases of Satir model.
  • Estimating becomes easier as team members became more comfortable with each other and became experts in their domain.

 

Case Study 2

As an Agile Coach, Kevin Burns coached a program of around 150 business and IT team members which equated to 12 scrum and Kanban teams all working together to deliver a single product. Average team size was 10. Teams were cross-functional with representation from Business, Software Engineering, and Quality Assurance Engineering.
Below results were validated through team surveys:

  • Quarterly program plans provided clear milestone priorities and objectives.
  • Once teams realized the level of interdependency we had to build a single product, they become much more plan-full and interested in fast learning feedback loops using CI/CD practices.
  • Planning became easier, quarter over quarter, as teams took ownership of their throughput potential (velocity).
  • Team performance increased as teams matured through forming, storming, norming and performing phases of Satir model.
  • Team members increased their understanding of their user-base and thus delivered more value to their users.
  • Estimating becomes easier as team members become experts in their domain.

 

Case Study 3

As an Agile Coach, Kevin Burns helped the IT Agile Enterprise Adoption (IT AEA) group develop agile training materials and deliver training. He also helped develop a team assessment and maturity model to evaluate the likelihood of a team’s successful adoption of Agile practices as well as the maturity model used as teams adopted the practices. IT AEA wanted to build from success and therefore wanted to start with teams positioned for success before moving into more challenging areas. This also prevented the AEA coaches from become spread too thin across teams. The goal was to have a coach support 3-4 teams at a time but Kevin effectively coach 12 teams at a time based on the structure he put in place. The program was so successful the AEA group stopped looking for work since groups were clamoring at the AEA door to get coaches as they saw the benefits other teams were realizing in their workflow. On average, teams would achieve a maturity level that would reduce the dependency on a coach in 6 months. This freed up coaches to start new teams. Kevin supported 20 teams over a 2-year period. Average team size was 9. Teams were cross-functional with representation from Business, Software Engineering, and Quality Assurance Engineering.

Below results were validated through team surveys:

  • Teams increased their productivity by focusing on smaller work deliverables and faster feedback loops.
  • Team member moral increased as they become more familiar with each other.
  • Planning became easier as teams took ownership of their throughput potential (velocity).
  • Team performance increased as teams matured through forming, storming, norming and performing phases of Satir model.