Does incremental delivery eliminate waste?

Presenters: Patrick Steyaert, Wim Bollen

Objective(s) of the session

Software development teams are typically part of a larger project organisation. The project organisation that encompasses the software development team deals with issues (project failure, rework, etc.) that may (or may not) go beyond incremental delivery and Scrum. Moreover, project organisations will have implemented other responses (i.e., project and portfolio management, process and quality management) to these issues. The presentation explains these issues by looking at waste in project organisations. It explains the main responses and how they relate to incremental delivery.

Attendees will learn about the most important issues that project organisations have to deal with; what the main responses are; and how this relates to Scrum and incremental delivery. They will get an idea of what the limitations are when Scrum is not properly integrated in the project organisation and pointers and ideas on how to better integrate Scrum and incremental delivery into a project organisation to the mutual benefit of the software development team and the larger project organisation.

  1. Attendees will learn about the issues and responses of project organisations that go beyond the software development team and incremental delivery
  2. Attendees will learn how to better integrate Scrum and incremental delivery into the larger project organisation
  3. Attendees will learn what the limitations are when Scrum and incremental delivery are not properly integrated into the project organisation's infrastructure (e.g., project portfolio management)
  4. Attendees will learn how project and portfolio management, innovation and agile delivery, process and quality management relate; why it is important to make a clear distinction between them; but also why it is important - and how - to integrate them

Intended audience and prerequisites

Everyone that is working in a mixed agile - plan-driven environment.


What is waste in project organisations?

  1. Projects that are started and not successfully completed (up to 50% of projects)
  2. Rework due to quality problems (up to 50% of effort)
  3. Useless products or product features (up to 50% of product features)
This is major waste.

To eliminate waste, project organisations today implement one or more of the following "key processes":

  1. Project and portfolio management - executing the right projects in the right way
  2. Innovation and agile delivery - exploring unknown and changing requirements
  3. Process and quality management - embedding quality into the process

To be successful project organisations need to work on all three processes at the same time. The presentation explains the three key processes, the reason why it is important to make a distinction between them but also why it is important to integrate them. We will explain why - in the context of integrating the key processes and eliminating waste - it is critical to distinguish between incremental delivery of projects (i.e., progressive elaboration) and incremental exploration of ideas (i.e., speculate-explore-adapt).

Format and length: 60 min interactive presentation