Orion Health and Scrum at Scale
A single resource pool, many project managers, many projects to complete – how can you improve the flow from sales to delivery?
ZXM was engaged by Orion Health to introduce Scrum to its project management framework to resolve a number of issues regarding transparency, governance, use of resources, planning and estimation across its program of work.
ZXM supported the Australian Services Director by introducing Scrum at Scale based on the LeSS framework with the lessons learned in one program in one state to be scaled across the entire Australia portfolio.
The old resource pool was divided up into feature teams. Each team was encouraged to nominate its own Scrum Master from within its ranks with the role rotated on a 3-monthly cycle. This enabled everyone in the team to take responsibility for supporting others and learning how to do so from within the Scrum process. This ultimately improved everyone's knowledge about Scrum and what it takes to support the team.
Project Managers were trained to become Product Owners with the transition supported by one of ZXM's Agile Coaches. Scrum enabled them to plan delivery outcomes with a single, dedicated team, and to focus on managing scope and stakeholder relations rather than the task-management of the team.
To scale effectively, a program layer was created comprising the Chief Architect, a Master Product Owner (program manager), and Chapter and Guild leads. This enabled standards to be agreed for consistency of quality across teams, and improve the flow of communication without sacrificing each team's autonomy.
While ZXM encountered significant cultural resistance to change, using Scrum provided the radical transparency needed to understand some of the root causes of the delivery problems Orion Health had been facing in the past, and provided an opportunity to address them with robust, disciplined, Scrum practices.
Within 6 months, the benefits Orion had received through adoption of Scrum at Scale were:
- One particularly high-performing team that stood as the benchmark for others.
- 20% improvement in team delivery efficiency.
- Improved communication between teams to share knowledge of good practice that created repeatable outcomes.
- Improved quality in reduction of defects.
- Improved transparency that reduced the overall risk profile of projects.
- Improved customer communication and collaboration.
- Improved estimation capability for project timelines.
- Improved use of resources across the program – 100% utilisation across the program.
- Improved morale through autonomous teams.
Overall, ZXM's use of LeSS across the program, supported by Spotify's Chapters and Guilds concepts, removed a number of the previous issues with resource management and transparency, and delivered the much needed capability to continuously plan to juggle the changing expectations and demands of its clients.