Client Success Story - Moving from Waterfall to the Scrum Framework

Anthony Mersino
February 26, 2016

Several years ago I had the opportunity to support a growing consulting firm to move from waterfall development to the Scrum Framework. It's been exciting to watch Highland Solutions learn, adapt, and grow as a team in their ability to organize and deliver great client solutions. ​The attached Case Study on Transition to Scrum describes the approach that Highland used to move from Waterfall to Scrum, and some of the things that they learned along the way. It also highlights the significant benefits they've seen as a result of their Agile Transformation. When it comes to Scrum vs. Waterfall, there is no comparison.

How Highland Solutions Moved to Scrum

Like many organizations, Highland started with Agile and Scrum Training. They chose to train the entire organization on the Agile Principles and the Scrum Framework which helped create a common language and approach. They followed up the Scrum Training with coaching for those fledgling Scrum Teams. Scrum coaching helped to reinforce what the teams had learned in their Agile and Scrum Training and for them to develop new habits and ways of thinking.

Challenges before implementing the Scrum Framework

There were multiple challenges being faced by the organization in 2012 when they were contemplating a move to Agile and Scrum.​

  • The organization was technically savvy, but lacked consistent processes for developing and delivering client solutions.
  • There was also a growing disconnect between the leadership team and the millennials who made up the workforce.
  • Leadership was concerned about how to best engage the young and highly mobile workforce.
  • Finally, as a small and privately held firm, there was little sharing of financial or performance information outside the leadership team.

Results of the Scrum Transition

Since moving from Waterfall to Scrum in 2013, the company performance has been nothing short of remarkable.

  • In 2015, Highland was named to the list of Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies
  • The company has grown from 25 employees in 2012 to nearly 50 in 2015
  • Sales have doubled
  • Profitability has increased three-fold

Benefits of Using the Scrum Framework

The Scrum transition showed benefits in several areas across the organization. Some specific things that Scrum impacted include:

  • Increasing the accuracy of delivery dates by using each team’s velocity and the client’s project backlog
  • Improving overall organization capacity and resource planning
  • Creating high-performing teams

You can download a free detailed whitepaper describing the Highland Solutions transition from Waterfall to the Scrum Framework here:
​Download the Highland Solutions Case Study on Transitioning to Scrum

If you enjoyed this article on Highland Solution's success with the Scrum Framework, you would probably enjoy the Agile Transformation Journey of Bank of America described in this Client Success story. You can learn more about using Agile and the Scrum Framework here. You can also get a checklist of things to consider when for planning Agile or Scrum here, or get a very detailed overview on how to move from Waterfall to the Scrum Framework here.

About Anthony Mersino

Anthony is passionate about helping technology teams THRIVE and organizations TRANSFORM.  He loves partnering with organizations to help teams with Agile thinking and the Scrum Framework.  He teaches Agile and Scrum as well as the cultural elements that are necessary for an organization to gain true business agility. Anthony has  authored numerous articles and two books: Agile Project Management, and Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers.

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