SEM SIG: Scrum, Horseshoes and hand grenades: An insider’s view on large-scale software projects



  • Title:
    Scrum, Horseshoes and hand grenades: An insider’s view on how large-scale software projects can fail quietly.

    What’s in it for me to attend? –  You thought Scrum was going to do the trick, didn’t you?  You could throw those heavyweight project plans out the window, break-up a humongous project into byte-sized pieces with concrete deliverables and place the control in the hands of those who know best.  Well, there’s a reason why there’s a new process that claims to be the last-silver-bullet-you’ll-ever-need every year or so.  You’ll get a look inside on what did and didn’t work when a large scale project adopted Scrum.

    In 2006, SirsiDynix was featured in an Agile Journal article entitled “Hyperproductivity In Large Projects Though Distributed Scrum.”  The article described the exceptional productivity and cohesiveness the SirsiDynix team experienced creating a next-generation ILS system using the Scrum project management methodology.  Comprised of over 1.3 million lines of code, phase I deliverables were completed in February of 2007, more than a year past the original release target.  In addition to being behind schedule, major components of functionality had to be jettisoned and the defect rate left a lot to be desired.  Ultimately, the team had to face the distressing reality that though we had created a terrific product, we had not done enough.  This session is for anyone who would like a play-by-play analysis of how a large-scale project can spiral out of control even when you do almost everything right.

    Yonn Samuels is a VP of software development at SirsiDynix, the global leader in strategic technology solutions for libraries.  He manages the company’s next generation, web-based offerings.  As a developer and manager he has focused the majority of his career on web applications using ASP, ASP.NET and Java. 

    In his spare time he plays guitar, enjoys golf lessons with his 9 year-old daughter and reads fantasy (when no one else is watching).




    Building D

    Southern Cross Room

    3410 Hillview Avenue

    Palo Alto, CA 94304