Continuous Release Planning in a Large-Scale Scrum Development Organization at Ericsson
Ville Heikkilä, Maria Paasivaara, Casper Lassenius, and Christian Engblom
Scrum development at large-scale requires a release planning process that supports the agile way of working and planning. Most of the existing release-planning processes are plan-driven and ill suited for a large Scrum organization. This case study describes how release planning was conducted in a 350-person Scrum development organization with over 20 teams at Ericsson in 2011, and the related challenges and benefits. Data was collected with 39 interviews, which were transcribed, coded and analysed. The release planning process was continuous and characterized by regular scoping and prioritization decisions, and by incremental elaboration of features. The challenges were the overcommitment caused by external pressure, managing non-feature specific work, and balancing be- tween development efficiency and building generalist teams. The benefits were the increased flexibility and decreased development lead time, waste eliminated in the planning process, and increased developer motivation.
Ville T. Heikkilä is a researcher and PhD student in Aalto University School of Science, Department of Computer Science and Engineering. His professional interests are focused on the advances in software development methodologies and specifically in agile and lean methods. Currently, he is studying models for scaling agile software development methods to distributed and multi-team development environments. He has a master’s degree from the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland.
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland, firstname.lastname@example.org
Maria Paasivaara is a post doc researcher at Aalto University School of Science, Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Her research interests include global software development, agile software development and scaling lean and agile to globally distributed multi-team projects. She has a PhD in Computer Science from the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland.
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland, email@example.com
Casper Lassenius is an associate professor at Aalto University School of Science, Department of Computer Science and Engineering. His research interests include software product development, agile methodologies, and global software development. He has a PhD in Computer Science from the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland.
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland, firstname.lastname@example.org
Christian Engblom is a member of the Ericsson Finland R&D management team. After joining Ericsson in 1979 he has held the roles of project manager, product manager and line manager within the R&D, as well as the market unit areas. Currently, he holds a position as driver for the Lean and Agile transformation within the R&D organization in Finland and is actively involved in Lean & Agile change wave going through the entire Ericsson R&D world. His professional interests include agile and lean software development. He has a master’s degree from Tekniska Läroverket i Helsingfors, Finland.
Oy LM Ericsson Ab, Kirkkonummi, Finland, email@example.com