Exponential Case Study: 3 Benefits from Agility

Senex Rex case studies help clients better understand the benefits and challenges of agility. Here is a perspective from Pablo Martin Rodriguez-Bertorello, Chief Innovation Officer of Exponential. Senex Rex trained Exponential’s executives, managers, engineers and product management staff to deeply understand agile theory and practice, so Exponential could stand alone with no further external training or coaching. Our mission is to effect permanent change, not maintain change. We are proudest when we leave the building and our clients advance rapidly on their own. —Dan Greening, Senex Rex Managing Director

Exponential adopted Scrum in July 2014, and rapidly achieved three great outcomes. We dramatically increased the rate we completed features, reduced our bug density and reduced our release duration. These outcomes followed a mass company training by Senex Rex, and deep executive commitment. No external coaching following Senex Rex training was required.

We quintupled our software development speed: we now finish features in 4 days that previously took 20 days.  Scrum—and agile methods in general—can be counter-intuitive at first glance.  In essence, Scrum is iterative retrospection, and consequent removal of impediments.  We achieved exponential improvement with ease (blue line, log scale):

Exponential: Days per Story
Exponential: Days per Story

We chose to implement Scrum without quality assurance people and without managers. We assigned all our QA people to become ScrumMasters and all our managers to become Product Owners. Everyone is accountable for quality, which we hold as non-negotiable.  The results are clear, to the right of this chart our bug density visibly decreases (green dots):

exponential-bug density-cropped
Exponential Bug Density (green area in graph)

In our case, we continue to go from idea to release to market, of Minimum Viable Product epics, in about 60 days.  Currently, we are considering whether this is as timely to market as it needs to be.  We are probably tackling too many MVPs at a time (blue line):

Exponential: MVP Duration
Exponential: MVP Duration

Our mastery of Scrum principles has truly paid off.  I am humbled by the opportunity Scrum provides for everyone in our organization to lead in the service of others—we are all fully empowered and enabled.  I am astonished by the pace of improvement we achieved in our 100-person engineering, product, operations team.

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