Establishing the Agile PMO: Managing variability across Projects and Portfolios

Author(s): Ash Tengshe & Scott Noble
Venue: AGILE 2007
Date: 04/07

Class/Experience Level: Professional


Scrum Size: N/A
Sprints: N/A
Scrum Meetings: N/A
First Time: Yes
Overall Transition: N/A

Implementing a top-down switch from a waterfall to agile process can be difficult at times, but it can
also have its fair share of rewards. Capital One Auto Finance's IT division had an increasing problem of
delivering business value on time along with growing customer dissatisfaction, so the time was right to
have some positive changes. These positive changes included the exploration and implementation of an
agile development process using Scrum. In order to start the ball rolling, the CIO gave a green light to
hire an Agile Coach from the outside who could help pilot the first Agile project. At that time the entire
division was stuck in a waterfall only atmosphere and needed some persuading to accept the change.

This article goes in depth how the top-down switch to Agile was successfully completed. A lot of time
went into training and assuring project managers that there were some benefits to an Agile development
process using Scrum. After holding some company wide meetings, there was finally some interest in
agility and people were eager to jump on and become part of Scrum development.

One of the main goals of becoming Agile was to improve two of their below par metrics of time-to-market
and customer satisfaction. As the Agile processes continued to gather steam they started to
address those metrics. After 40+ Agile Projects were completed they found that the Time-to-Market
was 50% faster and the customer satisfaction on all of the 40+ projects was 100%. These outstanding
results validated their initial belief that customer collaboration was key and agility with Scrum creates
positive results.