Microsoft Developer Division

Microsoft’s Developer Division needed to adjust their business to respond to change. The old way was no longer working. Agile methods and practices offered some hope, but they struggled with how to bring agile to their entire division. Even though they were doing Scrum at the team level, Microsoft had hundreds of teams across thousands of engineers. You see, Microsoft had agile “pockets” for years throughout Microsoft, but nobody really knew whether agile could be rolled out successfully at this scale.

Key Takeaways:

  • Take it slow. We didn’t decide one day to flip a switch and have everyone start doing things differently. We literally took three years and went team by team, on-boarding them when it made sense to do so.
  • Business needs. In a large organization, whether it’s Developer Division at Microsoft or any Fortune 500 company, software development exists to aid the business. That’s its purpose. Don’t try to be agile just to be agile. If it’s not aligned with a business need, it’s not going to work.
  • Persevere. We’ve found that agile practices are the best way to achieve maximum ROI. Don’t give up after your first failure. Let that failure inform your next steps, and then get back to it. Even if your first few sprints are disasters, hang in there, because it is a big shift.

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