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Scrum in business functions like sales, human resources managemenet and customer care operations

Last post 04:52 am October 30, 2013 by Ebru Yalçınkaya
3 replies
09:00 am October 25, 2013

Hi everyone,
I am working in a telecommunications company which has been experiencing Scrum and Agile for demand management for 3 years. Now we are trying to set up a Agile studio and tryind the expand Agile and Scrum practices to the other business domains like customer care operations , corporate direct sales teams and some HR related areas like HR recruitment department.
can any of you share your experience about these areas of Agile and Scrum adoption?

09:43 am October 25, 2013

> we are trying to set up a Agile studio and tryind the expand Agile and
> Scrum practices to the other business domains

In a Scrum "studio" agile practices will be constrained to a particular area of the organization. If those practices are rolled out to other domains you will have engaged in an enterprise agile transition. That's more than the studio model provides for...although having a good studio can be a useful intermediate step in achieving such a transformation.

Anyhow, even the studio model requires at least *some* change in other parts of the enterprise. At the very least, all of the studio's clients must agree to use Scrum. If that is unacceptable then those clients must look elsewhere for work to be done. By "clients" we are of course normally talking about Business and its allied functions within the organization.

Now, the "other" business functions you have referred to are Customer Care, Sales, and HR. These are not normally clients of a studio. Furthermore, your use of the word "other" implies that the rest of Business has already accepted agile practice. If that is the case then it *sounds* as though you already have a studio in place, or something very like one.

To extend the transformation, what you need to do at this stage is to incorporate those "other" business functions into Release Planning. For example, Customer Care have to know what releases are coming up because they will need to have personnel resourced and trained in order to support those changes. Similarly, Sales will need to know when releases are likely to be made so they can time their marketing initiatives around that. HR will need to be notified because new releases often mean changes in how people are resourced, trained, and used.

I'd therefore recommend using Release Planning as the root from which a wider agile transformation can grow. Be aware that Release Planning might have to be quite predictive to begin with, because other organizational functions will not be used to handling emergent change. Even so, it is a starting point and it a good platform for further improvement.

03:39 am October 27, 2013

I think a logical first step would be to check what the level of Scrum knowledge is in the other business units. Try to roll out an awareness campaign if the knowledge level is low and then depending on support from the C level you can try to organize a training program where people from the various business units can get trained on the basics of Scrum if this hasn't happened already.

Take a look at some of the case studies Ken Schwaber has outlined in "Software in 30 days". That too might give you a fair idea about how to rollout Scrum across Sales, Marketing and other functional areas of the business.

04:52 am October 30, 2013

thank you for your informative answers, ı already read the book Software in 30 days and we are woring with an Engagement Manager , supported bu expanding Agile and scrum practices ı mean that we want to change the way of working for a sales team or a hr recrruitment team .
for example with Hr recruitment team we decided to use Scrumban model, mixture of Scrum and Kanban. we formulated a Kanban board , we planned daily meetings, we adreesed a Prodduct owner, team and s Scrum master. By experiencing this new model of working we will thame implement this new model for the other suitable areas.
For customer care operations and sales teams we are trying to build up models using principles of Agile and Scrum.we are preparing a Training session and content for the audience of these groups internally in the company so ıf you have these kind of cases and experiences ı will be greatfull to hear and to share the practices with my colleagues.

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