Scrum on the inside, Waterfall on the outside!

Scrum on the inside, waterfall on the outside:

I am currently working as a “Scrum Guru” or Scrum Mentor to a very large national HMO.

They have embarked on a “Mega Program” to deploy new Pharmacy applications throughout the country and are attempting to retire a legacy set of applications that have been in use for over a decade. Additionally this project has been in the planning stages for many years, and is now a “must have” for the organization.

Due to past challenges with their in house waterfall software development processes, this group is now the second major program within the organization to attempt to work in an Agile & Scrum manner.

There are many, many things that could be blogged about this project, but one item that has grabbed my attention is that the program seems like Scrum on the inside and waterfall on the outside. Even with the adoption of Scrum within the program, there still are innumerable parts of the client organization that operate with waterfall processes, timeframes, expectations, etc.

As if the transition for this program to Agile and Scrum is not challenging enough, there are many external IT and non IT organizations that are “died in the wool” waterfall folks. Can this project be successful with this model? Yes, as it is still better than the alternative! (All waterfall, all the time) Will it be challenging and sometimes painful? Yes and of course yes. Is this enterprise unique in encountering this reality when it is courageous and smart enough to adopt the Scrum process? No, this is probably the rule rather than the exception for large enterprises that attempt to adopt Scrum.

Anyway, if you have any comments or suggestions for us, please don’t keep it to yourself!

Cheer, Paul