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Successful Scrum@Scale - Case Study

How to achieve success with Scrum@Scale in two months? How to get the most out of a very limited resource?

Case study background


Insure-tech is a mid-sized (~300 employees) insurance technology pioneer founded approximately 30 years ago. In recent years, a number of new venture-backed, capital-backed start-ups have emerged in the sector. This has also made the company's position uncertain. They had no choice, if they wanted to stay competitive, but to redefine their service on a value basis. 


Among other difficulties, the company had no Scrum experience. In addition, they had minimal resources for training and coaching. In addition, management did not take a role in the transformation process because they considered it only workable at the engineer level. 

From this seemingly impossible situation, impressive results were achieved in just two months. How?


First steps of Scrum@Scale implementation 


Scaling was boldly started from the VP level (Vice President of products - 2 steps below CEO). So the top level managers were left out.


Since the team leaders had only received one day of Scrum Master and Product Owner training and the others none, it was necessary to start the collaboration with a short introduction to the Scrum Guide. In order to establish a common language and thus clarify roles and definitions. In parallel to this, the introduction of Scrum of Scrums and MetaScrum started immediately. The selection and training of a Champion within the company.


Scrum@Scale results


In this new approach, teams have experienced the power of empowerment, and have found that they like to collaborate and find their own rhythm. 


The immediate introduction of Scrum of Scrums helped to ensure that the teams' collaboration delivered deliverable product growth by the end of each Sprint. 

With MetaScrum, it became possible to properly allocate resources between teams and communicate how tasks were stacked. 


The Champion's training was key in order to be able to take the approach forward once the external support was removed.  


Measurable results after two months:

  • 55% increase in overall satisfaction in Sales & Marketing areas 
  • 37% increase in customer satisfaction 
  • 34% increase in development team morale 
  • 15% reduction in errors in the work of developers



Key lessons learned 


1) It is not necessary to start with an Executive Action Team (EAT). VP level is enough to get things moving. 

2) A good start is to find a commonly agreed definition of the word "Scrum" with the whole team. Furthermore, it is essential for success that the Scrum Guide as the basis of Scrum is known by ALL participants.  

3) It is necessary to introduce Scrum of Scrums and MetaScrum at the very beginning of the process (or even earlier). Even if this makes it difficult to get started. 

4) Appointment and mentoring of a Champion within the company is key for long term results. 

5) Working with 3-4 teams in Scrum is already practically ScrumatScale (even if you don't know it). 

6) You can't force Scrum or it won't work. If one department or management layer is not open to it, you have to see if by leaving them out, the approach can work effectively in another department. 


Alternatively, it is worth bearing in mind the following factors, because it can be difficult if:


  • There is no possibility to introduce managers and shareholders to the Scrum methodology,
  • The executive top management does not respect the right of the PO to decide according to the Scrum Guide, 
  • Likely conflict between units due to the introduction of the new framework. 


The report is written by Daniel Mezick, based on his work at Insure-tech. The article and video material on which the above is based can be found here. Alternatively, if you want to learn more about Scrum at Scale, you can read about the methodology in our previous article.


This article was written by Zsuzsa Danka


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