Agile Software Development Ecosystems, Ch 2, IDX Systems Corporations, pg 19-26

Author(s): Jim Highsmith
Venue: Agile Development Ecosystems
Date: 2002

Class/Experience Level: Professional


Scrum Size: 10-12
Sprints: 30 days
Scrum Meetings: daily, 15 minutes
First Time: Yes
Overall Transition: We were almost too successfull

IDX Systems Corporations was a successful company supplying the health-care industry with financial,
administrative, and clinical software. However, there was one problem, they had an aging technology
platform that was prohibiting them from making new deals. The company decided to embark on a five
year transition from vision to reality using Scrum development methodology.

They started off by getting educated in Scrum methodology by Ken Schawber for a few months and
then jumped in head first in September 1997. The teams were having trouble turning vision into
requirements and then into priorities, so the company sent the teams out to visit with a number of
customers to get a feel for what they wanted. After a month they had finished the requirements and
everyone understood them well. The teams loved the new process because they felt like they were
never changing directions because once the sprint was put in place, the requirements and tasks for the
30 days stayed static. The teams also enjoyed the small size and communication level that allowed
them to focus on specific priorities.

By early 2000, the Scrum process had been so successful that new sales began taking off through the
roof. Their average salesperson was at 180% of quota while some were even at 400%.