Scrum in the Product Development of Pumps

The company

Our client is a leading provider of pumps, valves and related services. In the business unit pumps, approximately 200 product managers and engineers develop standard products and customized solutions at three locations.

The challenge

By introducing Scrum in an initial product development project in hardware, electronics and firmware development, the client intended to prove improved quality, efficiency and adherence to schedules due to the use of agile methods.

The approach

The project was supported by a very experienced consultant acting as an agile coach for nine months and 50 consultant days. Together with our client, we first selected a suitable pilot project. The criteria for this ideal pilot project were:

  • Strong support of all stakeholders
  • Voluntary participation of the project team
  • Early project phase
  • Medium level of complexity
  • Sufficiently long duration
  • Cross-functional team with a development team of up to 9 employees
  • Product Owner with decision-making authority and ability
  • High share of work for the individual project team members
  • Single location

An agile project always starts top down: preparing the management all the way to the CTO for the impending culture change. Before launching the first project, it is essential to obtain commitment from all stakeholders to ensure the behavioral change necessary for introducing agile methods.
Together with our client, we set up the pilot project and supported it. In the initial phase, an internal Scrum Master was trained and enabled in the following aspects:

  • Top management and stakeholder training
  • Scrum pilot team training
  • Defining of the product vision
  • Setting up the product backlog
  • Planning the first sprint
  • Facilitating of the daily scrums
  • Refining the product backlog
  • Preparing and facilitating the first sprint review
  • Facilitating the first retrospective
  • Support of other sprints

Early successes became visible very quickly, so the company decided to launch a second, bigger development project for a new pump family based on Scrum. Now, six months later, a third project is being launched: a cross-location, international cooperation.

Bottom line – the benefits

  • Shorter cycles and smaller information batches support faster decision making, greater overlap and parallelization of cross-functional cooperation enable earlier error correction.
  • Autonomous, undisturbed teamwork, combined with a focus on results, leads to a significant increase in efficiency.
  • Real-time transparency strengthens the confidence in the teams and enables an immediate response to incidents.