ase Study Link: Going with the Flow: Agile Development at

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Going with the Flow: Agile Development at Dell | Harvard Business Publishing Education

Access Link: https://hbsp.harvard.edu/import/895796

Case Study Overview: 

In February 2017 the Team Project Manager and Flow Project Coordinator for Dell Technologies-Limerick (Ireland), is preparing for a review with Dell’s Systems and Processes Improvement board, early in a transition from the use of one agile software development method (Scrum) to another (Flow, which applies lean manufacturing techniques to software engineering). The new manager has been on board for less than six months. With ten years’ prior software development experience in Brazil, he moved to Ireland when hired by Dell. Dell is midway through its attempts to transform from a manufacturing-heavy strategy to an IT-supported service-heavy strategy; its recent acquisition of EMC is an important step in that direction, and executives expect Flow will help globally-distributed software developers produce higher quality code, faster, in follow-the-sun mode. The Flow coordinator/champion recognizes Flow is a complex innovation; it will take time and focus for busy software developers (who only recently mastered Scrum techniques) to master new Flow techniques. The champion is also concerned that needed digital Kanban functionality (essential for supporting globally distributed teams using Flow) has not yet been approved or provided by the Dell IT organization in Texas; this and other obstacles are impeding the developers’ transition to Flow. Keen to demonstrate his commitment to help Dell achieve these aims, he worries that some executives expect performance improvements sooner than teams can realistically deliver. He seeks to persuade executives to be both patient and helpful. As he plans his 20-minute presentation for the next day’s meeting, he is told to keep his remarks to executives simple: highlight no more than three messages.

Questions:

1.  What should Ferreira do next to accelerate Flow Adoption? 

2.  What three points should Ferreira make at the 7 Feb 2017 SPI Board Review?

3. Review the seven lean manufacturing principles and demonstrate how Ferreira used them when implementing Flow. 

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