Primavera Systems

Primavera Systems was one of the early agile success stories. I was the VP or Product Development from 2001-2005. The transition began in 2003 when we reached a point where our established methods were no longer able to serve our customers well, nor was it doing anything for us or our organization. With about 130 people seeking a better place to work, we set off on a journey that changed us all, and provided the software community with empirical evidence that agile practices could be used in a large organization with a legacy enterprise software product. It was an extremely difficult transformation due to our collective un-learning, facing an unknown future, and trying to remain respectful of our past. Ken Schwaber and Bob Martin were our guides through Scrum and XP practices and they both used the experience at Primavera in future books that were authored. We opened our doors to a number of other companies and well as our own customers to let people see what was possible. Our results were outstanding, often quoted by Jeff Sutherland and others. Productivity of nearly 20 Scrum Teams rose to more than double, overtime was reduced to near-zero, and quality rose to levels that nobody thought possible. Our customers, and teams became fully engaged in Sprint Reviews and we all began to work collaboratively as a community to build a better product. After years of success, and rising revenues, the company was acquired by Oracle. There are many of the core practices still being used today, making it possibly one of the longest-running, consistent agile practices in the agile community. The story of our transformation was captured in a number of articles. One captured in IEEE Software journal has been cited by many others and captures our success.

Bob Schatz

Key Takeaways:

  • After repeating the cycle of 18 hour workdays before software releases, the company began doing deep retrospection to find a better way of working.
  • Software was successfully released, but it was always missing key features and had some quality problems.
  • Ken Schwaber and Bob Martin guided the department on Scrum and XP practices.
  • Productivity of nearly 20 Scrum Teams rose to more than double, overtime was reduced to near-zero, and quality rose to levels that nobody thought possible.
  • customers, and teams became fully engaged in Sprint Reviews and we all began to work collaboratively as a community to build a better product.
  • many of the core practices still being used today, making it possibly one of the longest-running, consistent agile practices in the agile community
  • Concludes with “As a team, building software is a continuous learning process. We must have the discipline to honestly assess what we’re doing and not be afraid to make changes. By consistently refocusing, we’ve been able to change our process, step by step, and we continue to make improvements every day”

Full Case Study:

https://app.box.com/s/9tkfey91uzx98lwmuhgigdj06n76s1vf

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prove you are human *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>