Case studies

Windfarm
The Lego Scrum Game
Kanbans across the teams

Zen Ex Machina's introduces Agile methods to Origin's data management team.

Lean and Scrumban for three non-software development teams using a LeSS scaled approach.

ZXM helps Origin adopt Scrumban

Our challenge

What do you do when you want to leverage Scrum's powerful inspect/adapt processes but you can't wait until the next Sprint to create reports on changes to the energy market?

Our solution

ZXM trained Origin's three data management teams in Sydney on the essentials of Lean, Kanban and Scrum. This training included teaching communiucate complex agile concepts through the game-based play:

  • Agile ball game
  • Lego Scrum game
  • Multi-tasking game
  • Paper airplane estimation game
  • Theory of contraints game (with Lego and dice)

Lego Scrum game in action Lego Scrum game in action

Once training was completed, ZXM helped Origin create a Scrumban approach to their business-as-usual and project work and then assisted the program manager embed these new agile behaviours in his team leads.

ZXM's approach to Scrumban for Origin was:

  • Use Scrum's key meetings – Sprint Planning, Daily Standups, Sprint Review & Retrospectives
  • Do away with separate Scrum Master & Product Owner roles – imbue the team leads with the responsibility to both manage the flow of User Stories as well as manage the process
  • Use Kanban to visualise work in-flow in the teams
  • Use Kanban to create a planning horizon at an Epic level for upcoming months and then quarters
  • Manage the flow of planned and un-planned work – permitting the team to set and achieve goals helped boost productivity and morale, while similtaneously managing flow enabled the team to swarm on sudden work requests and then move back to planned work
  • Use a two-week Sprint cycle – promoting transparent reporting to the program manager that enabled improved understanding of the impact of ad-hoc and urgent requests on project-based work

People standing at a whiteboard Data management team engages in a Lean-focussed retrospective

The results

Within a few short months, the benefits Origin had received through adoption of Scrumban were:

  • Radical transparency across the entire program regarding resource issues, impediments, and the flow (lead time and cycle time) for their work
  • Significant improvements in the team's efficiency measured in velocity, lead time and cycle time
  • Improved communication between teams to share knowledge of good practice that created repeatable outcomes
  • Improved customer satisfaction through better expectation settings regarding when work could commence (lead time) and how long it would typically take (cycle time)
  • Improved use of resources across the program

Case studies