Universo Online SA (UOL) (Brazil)

Rafael Maranzato was the first Scrum Master in the company. He helped other teams to use Scrum and gave introductory training in the company and eventually became Product Owner after one year.

Phoenix team: Rewrite an online payment system under a new architecture (and programming language) version 2.0. Main drivers and challenges were to keep essentially the same features, improve scalability and robustness, deal with a predefined deadline and old system would evolve during project. They tried to use Scrum for more than one year, and failed due to focus on rules instead of values, personal conflicts, inadequate management intervention, and misunderstanding of Scrum. They returned to RUP-based approach to meet the deadline. The Consequences of the failure were there was no concept of team, business Unit/Customers were disappointed; team members wanted to leave the company and team believed that Scrum was one of the reasons of the delay.

Moving back to Scrum, management changed after version 2.0 released and focused on values like: commitment, transparency and teamwork and added three new people to the team who were easygoing and experienced with Scrum. The team was split into two, different feature team where the team was constantly reminded that everybody worked in the same product and planning and other Scrum meetings happened on the same day. After 6 months, Scrum was implemented and two teams were not enough to the ‘big backlog’. The Challenge was scale Scrum to more than two teams. New people were added to existent teams before creating new ones. After eight months two new feature teams were created and introduced the changes and inspected the results. The Sprint length was changed from 3 to 4 weeks, worked with merges instead of single build and two teams per release.

New meetings were scheduled as following:

–Weekly: Product Owners and Scrum Masters

–Mega Planning: after planning

–Mega Daily: once a week

–Knowledge Sharing

To improve and tune after each sprint, check the results with internal customers and evaluate teams’ productivity. Nowadays seven feature teams are adapting mega meetings and planning to add three or more teams in 2012.

Key Takeaways:

  • Focus on values instead of rules
  • Scale Scrum with feature teams
  • Take baby steps – and evaluate them

Full Case Study:


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