Agile Project Development at Intel: A Scrum Odyssey

Executive Summary:

Intel had a long history of waterfall and functional silos in its Product Development Engineering Group.  They had the extra challenge of implementing Scrum in a “proprietary language environment with no off-the-shelf unit test framework and no offline testing capabilities. Additionally… a long history of requirements thrash, over-committing, missed schedules, insane work weeks, poor morale, and high turnover rates.”

Key Takeaways:

  • The three most senior leaders were absent from the initial Scrum training, which led to gaps in their knowledge of the changes.
  • Changes ensured that the ScrumMaster role was valued in the performance appraisal system as “real engineering work,” rather than administrative overhead.
  • Cycle time reduced 66%
  • Virtually eliminated schedule slips and missed commitments
  • Two week Sprint cadence was used for over a year, and customers and upper management began to protect the Sprint focus in order to support the better results they were seeing
  • The lowest morale team turned into the best performing team
  • Scrum uncovered bugs, impediments, weak tools, and poor engineering habits.

Full Case Study:

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