With almost every Scrum class I offer, one or two students always seem to ask for Scrum case studies examples. I have resisted their calls for case studies since to me a case study is mostly irrelevant to an individual’s learning more about Scrum. IMO, the best way to learn about Scrum is to do it yourself and then inspect-and-adapt, rather than read about how someone else did Scrum in their environment.
However, today I have decided to succumb to this student request and offer up these seventeen examples for your reading pleasure.
- Distributed Scrum Project for Dutch Railways: summary of how a distributed team (Netherlands and India) successfully executed Scrum after a traditionally managed project failed to deliver after three years. This case study discusses topics such as architecture, requirements, documentation and more.
- Agile Project Management at Intel – A Scrum Odyssey: detailed case study describing how Intel used distributed Scrum within a traditional management culture to reduce cycle time by 66% and eliminate schedule slip within a year.
- Agile Case Study – H&R Block: short summary of how one company helped a very traditional, time-sensitive, consumer tax preparation service transform their business using Scrum. The real value in this case study are the links to the high-quality, short video testimonials from the participants to explain the benefits of Scrum.
- How to Implement Scrum in an Interrupt Environment: if this sounds like your organization, then you have got to read how Intronis, a leading provider of online backup services, was able to double productivity of their call center in six months. Scrum Inc. has shared the five steps they followed to help this organization tame the interruption beast.
- Scrum Boosts Effectiveness at the BBC: in this thirty-eight minute video presentation, the Head of Development of the BBC’s New Media Division discusses their multi-year journey to effectively use Scrum.
- Owning the Sky with Agile: this case study describes the results of Jeff Sutherland’s effort of helping Saab Defense adopt Agile practices to develop an advanced fighter jet. While the title says “Agile”, this is definitely a case study of Scrum’s effectiveness to build mission critical software.
- Effects of Scrum Nine Months Later: case study author, Richard Bank, identifies the lasting benefits of Scrum after a disastrous, piecemeal introduction of Scrum. Be sure to read his candid assessment of how he failed.
- Effective Practices and Federal Challenges in Applying Agile Methods: the Government Accountability Office (GAO) provides a review of the challenges and success factors for Agile projects within the federal government based on their investigation of four successful programs.
- Adobe Premiere Pro Scrum Adoption: Adobe explains how they used Scrum to successfully coordinate the actions of a distributed Scrum Team within an environment composed of non-Scrum Teams.
- Mayden’s Transformation from Waterfall to Scrum: the Scrum Alliance offers this short case study of how a young, UK provider of cloud-based software used Scrum to break away from old habits to improve code quality and customer service.
- Rolling Out Agile in a Large Enterprise: this case study from 2006 discusses how Yahoo! used Scrum to support over 100 software teams. Provides interesting metrics on how to evaluate and monitor Scrum Teams in a large enterprise.
- Borland’s Agile Journey – A Case Study in Enterprise Transformation: in this 2009 case study, the Senior Vice President of R&D at Borland talks about benefits they received and the key lessons learned in their three-year journey to apply Scrum to their business.
- Business Analysts and Scrum Projects: short description of how a business analyst’s role changes when they are embedded full time on a cross-functional Scrum Team.
- My Experience as QA in Scrum: detailed experience report of the day-to-day activities of a tester on a Scrum Team.
- Moving Back to Scrum and Scaling to Scrum of Scrum in Less Than a Year: this fifteen-minute video presentation explains how one Brazilian company struggled with Scrum, failed and then eventually succeeded.
- Introducing Scrum in Companies in Norway: Nordic researchers provide this case study of the factors which point to a successful adoption of Scrum and which factors lead to failure and frustration.
- A CIO’s Playbook for Adopting the Scrum Method of Achieving Software Agility: this 28-page whitepaper from 2005 describes step-by-step how Ken Schwaber envisioned a Scrum business transformation might unfold.
In order to qualify for my list, the case study authors had to 1) do “out-of-the-box” Scrum with very few modifications; 2) they had to write a document or blog entry describing their experiences; a powerpoint presentation without a narration did not qualify; and, 3) they had to make freely available on the Internet their case study, i.e., you don’t have to give them your email address to read the content.
Editors Note: This blog was originally published in 2012 and has been revised repeatedly since then, most recently in January 2022. If you have suggested additions or updates to any of these case studies, please drop us a note!
Sad but useful succumbing I guess. Would you consider “Scrum & XP from the trenches” a case study?
I have found when the students consistently ask for the same thing over a long period of time (more than 4 months), the request reflects something missing in my class.
As for “Scrum and XP from the trenches, I consider that a book. The goal of this list are short articles that are quick to read. I highlight Henrick’s book in my course.