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First Line Software, a premier provider of software development and technology enablement services, has become the first company in the world to be awarded a Scrum Capability Medallion by Scrum Inc., the company founded and led by Scrum’s co-inventor Dr. Jeff Sutherland.
First Line received a Bronze rating after a detailed Scrum Capability Assessment last month. According to Scrum Inc., the Bronze rating recognizes companies that consistently execute essential elements of Scrum well in core segments of their business. All Scrum roles, artifacts and ceremonies are carried out effectively. Teams know their velocity, deliver product in working increments at the end of each Sprint, are aware of and consistently remove impediments, and demonstrate and sustain improvements in velocity over time. Any variations from core Scrum are deliberate, are done only in response to specific business needs, and are grounded in Agile principles.
“I personally have been waiting for this kind of service to emerge for a long time,” indicated Nick Puntikov, President, First Line Software. “By now, Agile methodologies have clearly demonstrated their comparative advantage over alternative approaches and virtually every company competing in the software services arena today is claiming Agile expertise. However, how does one judge a company’s real Scrum capability? Is it enough just to cite the numbers of Certified Scrum Masters and Product Owners, or the number of completed projects that have been presumably delivered with Scrum? Top management, present and future clients and partners, and perhaps primarily software development professionals themselves sorely need the answer to this question. Are we doing things right? Can we make real improvements to our process to further increase the quality and accelerate the velocity of our engineering efforts?”
Puntikov continued, “The new service from Scrum Inc. can finally provide the answers. A clear and straightforward assessment process gauges your Scrum maturity and culminates in an honest appraisal of the present situation and clear recommendations to improve the delivery process. My hat is off to Jeff and the team. I have no doubt that First Line will continue to pursue this assessment annually, and that this investment will give us an important competitive advantage in the market.”
Jeff Sutherland, founder and CEO of Scrum Inc. and co-inventor of Scrum, explained, “Scrum and other Agile methodologies are becoming ever more prevalent, and it has become fashionable to say that a company ‘is Agile’. The Scrum Inc. Capability Rating was developed based on my experience to recognize those companies that back this assertion up with action, and demonstrate that they are actually executing Scrum well at the team level. All three Medallion tiers require companies to have a high-performing Scrum, and represent a significant accomplishment. I am not surprised that Nick and the team at First Line have been awarded a Medallion, given that our past work together has consistently shown them to be deeply committed to the principles of Scrum.”
The Scrum Capability Assessment was designed by Scrum Inc. to measurably improve productivity and quality of software development processes and products. It is a tailored and minimally disruptive process that rigorously and exhaustively examines a company’s Scrum practices from top to bottom and assesses the Agile capabilities of the teams actually performing the work. The result is a ScrumScore™ that is analyzed to produce a prioritized list of opportunities for improvement, including suggestions on how to address them and estimates of the incremental business value they offer.
“We are delighted to award our first Scrum Capability Medallion to First Line Software. First Line is exactly the sort of company that the Capability Rating was established to recognize; from the teams we observed, they have put in the extra effort to set up a thoughtful and well-executed Scrum that supports their team process and product,” added Alex Brown, COO, Scrum Inc. “As an outsourcing/services firm, they face the challenge of adapting their Scrum to a changing portfolio of customers, yet they used this challenge to their advantage by integrating the customer into the Scrum team in a way that was appreciated by all customers we spoke with.”
First Line Software has practiced Agile development in an outsourced model since 2002 and has accumulated thousands of man-years of experience in delivering offshore projects. In addition, in the mid-2000s, the company won industry-wide recognition for pioneering the use of distributed Scrum on large-scale outsourcing projects.