What were some of the problems with DST Systems’ old software development environment? Some of the problems with the DST Systems’ old software development environment were: often manual and time-consuming (AS used a mixture of tools, processes, and source code control system without any repository for code or a standardized developer tool set; different groups within the org. used very different tools for soft ware development) hard to locate where resources were allocated the DST struggled to update its most important product, AWD
B. How did Scrum development help solve some of those problems? Scrum development helped solve some of these problems by accelerating its software development cycle from 24 months to 6 months and developer productivity increased 20%. What the scrum development pretty much acted like was the coach for the team. This is how the scrum development helped solve some of these problems.
Agile development approaches like Scrum is designed to reveal problems, not solve them. The solutions are situational — they take different forms depending on the organizational context. Let’s say we have a software development team that is often late in delivering the final product. They’ve been together for a while and delivered multiple releases but they are almost always late. Management and the team decide to try Scrum hoping that a fresh approach will enable the team to deliver on time. The team dives in defining stories, planning sprints and delivering working software iteratively. Will they deliver the final build on time?
If the late deliveries stem from poorly defined business requirements and lack of business participation, Scrum will not solve the problem. What Scrum will do is highlight the lack of business involvement earlier in the project thus providing an opportunity to fix the problem.
If the late deliveries result from optimistic work estimates by the development team, Scrum will not solve that problem either. Sprints will deliver less than planned and alert the team that they need to adjust their estimates for future sprints. They may still deliver the final build later than expected but at least the problem will be well publicized in advance.
If the late deliveries are caused by lack of teamwork and in-fighting amongst the team members, those behaviours will likely continue. The frequent deliveries mandated by Scrum may draw attention to these issues but won’t solve them.
The critical concept behind Scrum, the agile development approaches is continuous improvement — identifying problems and solving them — continuously. The effort will never be perfect — technology changes too fast for that — but the team will continuously adjust and improve.
C. What other adjustments did DST make to be able to use Scrum more effectively in its software projects? What management, organization, and technology issues had to be addressed? The other adjustments DST was able to make to use Scrum more effectively in its software projects were by setting up a project evaluation team to identify the right development environment. Another key adjustment was DST’s adoption of CollabNet’s products. This adjustment allowed DST to complete all of their work within the ALM platform.
The management issue being addressed was production being slowed down. The organization issue was the lack of organization so processes were breaking down. Finally, the technology issue being addressed was the problem occurring with the software so production was taking a major hit.