Agile Practices in JP Elektroprivreda BiH d.d. – Sarajevo
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Authors: Emina Kreštalica, Amir Zuka, Omer Gegić, Jasmin Heljić
Oct 7, 2014
JP Elektroprivreda BiH d.d. – Sarajevo is strategically important company for our country. Success of the company is confirmed by continuous growth of revenue and profit. JP EPBiH is the first company in FBiH with the revenue that exceeded a billion KM (business results in 2013). Thanks to significant material resources, power facilities and its people, Elektroprivreda BiH is the biggest electric power company in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is the leader of electricity production in Bosnia and Herzegovina and important participant on international market.
Yet Elektroprivreda BiH is not immune to bureaucratic culture which is typical for big companies meaning that all segments of the company are under the influence of longtime way of working. Information Technology (IT) departments are not exceptions. They work according to current rules and procedures as part of the company’s big picture. According to literature, this way of working in IT is called traditional which is typical for big corporations. In software development it is known as Waterfall. On the other hand environment and trends in the world impose more innovative approaches not just in IT but in other parts of life.
As a socially responsible company Elektroprivreda BiH regularly invested in education of its employees which opened the door for useful information about new trends in IT. It triggered rethinking about previous practices in software projects implementation.
A group of young engineers assigned to a particular project due to specific circumstances got support and freedom from the management to design their own methodology in order to implement project requirements more efficiently, better and faster. The idea was to introduce more dynamics and proactivity in project tasks which aligned with agile approach principles. It resulted in simple proactive methodology called Circle Model (in Bosnian „Model kružnice“). More information about Circle Model can be found in the paper called “Distributed Information System For Customer Connections“ by Heljić/Gegić/Kreštalica presented in the 18th HrOUG conference in Rovinj in 2013.
Soon a need for additional professional education in the field of agile development and broader use of agile approach in the company emerged. In the same period of time Bosnia Agile Kickoff was organized. The development team from EPBiH established communication with Bosnia Agile Association. Ideas about software development methods in companies whose business is not software development, but with in-house development as a support function were shared and discussed.
Bosnia Agile recognized enthusiasm which emerged in EPBiH. It started to invite engineers from EPBiH on its regular events. In June and September 2014, Bosnia Agile organized trainings and lectures about Scrum method which additionally encouraged development team from EPBiH to start using agile methods in software projects.
That's how Scrum practices were introduced in EPBiH. In the first following project approved by CEO, Scrum as a term for the first time appeares in official documents in EPBiH.
Excerpt from the project documentation with Scrum mentioned: