The Microsoft Agile Transformation Story

Scrum Alliance


Session Type:

  • Case Study (45 minutes) & Keynote.


  • December 1, 2:00 p.m.

Session Track:

  • Agile Transformation.

Session Language:

  • English.

Session Level:

  • Conscious (Ha) Practitioners.

Session Summary:

Microsoft has embarked on their own DevOps journey reducing a three year release cycle down to three weeks.  Hear how Microsoft made this incredible transformation and learn how we changed our process using our own products to empower our people.

Session Abstract:

Microsoft used to release products on two to three year cycles. It wasn’t unheard of to spend six months to a year planning, a year or more coding, and then months packaging everything up for delivery. It worked in the software generation in which it was born, but today’s environment requires a different approach. Today we buy software daily—often with just the touch of a finger on the device we’re carrying with us. Market opportunities come and go more quickly, and customers demand increasingly faster turnaround to meet their needs.

Here in the Developer Division at Microsoft, we needed to adjust our business to respond to these changes. The old way was no longer working. Agile methods and practices offered some hope, but how could we bring Agile to our entire division? We had hundreds of teams across thousands of engineers.

We knew we needed to transform our business. The time had come to change… or be left behind. For many years, we have been implementing Agile practices across our teams.

What we had discovered later is that our developers and testers became very efficient at producing, but we had not yet changed our operations processes to be able to ship more quickly as well. We had created a bottleneck into the operations team. We needed to apply the lessons we learned with becoming Agile and move into the world of DevOps.

This story is about how the Developer Division at Microsoft made an Agile Transformation that scaled to support business needs.