My story, Part III. Agile or Waterfall? Quality First.

Inspired by the success of software management, I decided to move to the quality department. My goal at this time was to tailor the conservative processes linked to industry standard so to match product development phases. I experienced already how hard it is to follow processes built for design & development while prototyping. I observed also how they are over-defined for product maintenance.

Taking the lead of software process improvement, I learned the why of the processes and how the political organization influences them. Together with my small cross-functional team we managed to introduce a lot of optimizations in the project management and support processes.

We did automation, data restricting and small process redesigns. An important step toward optimization was the separation between must have and nice to have in the company standards.

The main skills built during this period were in the area of Change management and Business transformation. I also got my second MSc. in Organizational Psychology that extended my management and leadership horizon.

In 2009 we started to practice Agile. At first we introduced Scrum in an international team where we strived to unify European and US processes, and then we experimented with this team auto-management approach in a software development team.

The Scrum introduction in the software development was really tough on two reasons:

  1. The higher management levels were really sceptic. They did not believe this is an applicable approach in the conservative automotive area.
  2. The pilot team was already formed and mature. I realize now that the team of those professionals was too mature for Scrum.

It was slow and painful as a process. For now I will skip the long story on how we dealt with the constraints.

Still Scrum worked pretty well when new comers joined the team.

In process improvement we switched to Scrumban when I realized that Scrum is not the only Agile approach and there are better alternatives for support teams.

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