Turning the Tide with LeSS: A Watershed Moment in Agile Transformation at a Water Management Company

This talk explores the implementation of Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) at a Barcelona Water Management company to triple software development speed with a team of 70. Despite initial setbacks and an unattainable timeline, the early project conclusion highlighted LeSS's value in early failure detection. Key insights include the importance of technical seniority, effective product ownership, transparency, adaptability, and strategic agility in scaling agile practices.

In this presentation, we delve into the application of Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) at a Barcelona Water Management company, where the challenge was to triple the development speed of a new software system involving a team of 70 individuals. The talk begins by detailing the innovative strategies employed, such as team self-selection and a comprehensive weeklong Inception workshop aimed at achieving business and technical alignment, estimation, and roadmap planning.

Despite our thorough preparation and agile methodologies, we faced the stark reality that the ambitious project timeline was unattainable. This led to the project's premature conclusion, which, rather than being a failure, underscored the value of LeSS in detecting potential failures early on. What could have been a multi-year misadventure transformed into a valuable learning phase within a few months.

The presentation will cover several key insights gained from this experience:

  1. The Role of Technical Seniority: How senior technical expertise can influence project outcomes.
  2. Product Ownership: The necessity of having a well-defined and capable product ownership structure.
  3. Transparency and Adaptability: The benefits of maintaining transparency and fostering an adaptable mindset within teams.
  4. Strategic Agility with LeSS: How LeSS can provide strategic agility and early failure detection, offering invaluable lessons for scaling agile practices effectively.

Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the practical challenges and benefits of implementing LeSS in large-scale projects and will leave with actionable insights for enhancing their own agile practices.

Adrian Perreau de PinninckGrowing Healthy Organizations
Ordino, Andorre