First experiences on doing the SAP Scrum

In my blog on doing the SAP Scrum I described that we wanted to follow the Scrum approach for the second phase of the project. In the first phase we lived according to the traditional waterfall method and experienced the traditional issues.

Now we are three weeks on route and this week we started our first realization iteration, our first sprint. The past three weeks we focused on delivering the product backlog, the scope in deliverables so to say. Scope that is to be realized with SAP BPM, SAP XI, SAP CRM, ABAP and some minor (*) web development. Now I would like to share some experiences that we gathered over the past three weeks.

(*) Main focus is to realize backend components for an administrative process.

The traditional process of writing all relevant documentation first is taking too much time. Writing business requirements – evaluate. Writing functional specifications – evaluate. Writing technical specifications – evaluate. Realize / Build. Test, if there is still time left ;-)

So we decided to go for a Scrum, an agile approach that does not foresee in documentation templates. We had a scenario document that described the desired processes. On base of that we created sequence diagrams and with our agile coach Sander Hoogendoorn we decided to use Smart use cases to model our deliverables. With a training for the team we got up to speed and on the same knowledge level.

And then … modeling our first SAP Smart use cases:

After modeling it was time for estimating the use cases. Not in a traditional way of thinking how much time was required to realize, but with points. These points identify the complexity. As a team we decided per use case how many points were to be assigned: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 or 10 points. Ten points for either very complex stuff or for use cases with still some unclearness in it that has to be resolved before assigning the real points.

As a result:

284 points in total. With six iterations of 2 weeks and an estimation of 50 (best guess) points per sprint, it looks that we are able to manage. At least theoretically. In two weeks (after the first iteration) we get a better picture how realistic this is. We then know how many points we have realized in the first iteration. Keep you posted in two weeks ;-)

Recap up till now:

  • Whole team (IA, CRM, BPM, XI, ABAP, Test, Web) working collaboratively on the use cases and everyone is on the same knowledge level
  • Flaws in specifications early identified
  • Flaws in solution early identified
  • Involvement of all parties (business representatives) concerned in daily scrum meetings
Points of attention
  • Availability of key players
  • Involve all content specialists (business and IT) while designing the product backlog
  • Implement team availability rules: Plan individual meetings after 15:00; After the daily scrum max 15 minutes extension have discussions outside of the team; Make sure that you do not hold the rest of the team; Focus on project activities only
And interesting to see that team enthusiasm goes up and down, it is new to every member of the team. Within the SAP world agile is not wide spread (yet). So it is understandable to hang on to processes and approaches that someone is used to. However with the time we have left to our final delivery mid June, I still believe this agile approach is our only option.


Paulo said…
very nice blog! i would like very much to know how this project ended!
tbroek said…
Hi Paulo, not ended yet, but approaching the end.
Some more experiences on SDN: Agile SAP: Mission Impossible? (
Anonymous said…
I really like when people are expressing their opinion and thought. So I like the way you are writing
We are also doing traditional project development, currently in the testing phase, and our Business Users are realy under a lot of preasure.
Having just taken my Certified Scrum Master exam, I would really try out Scrum on SAP.

One thing that I have implemented on our project is Forced ranking on all Development items.
Looking forward to reading about your experiences.
Scrum Process said…
I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.

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