Review: On Journey To Becoming Agile, Experiences with Agile Transformation In
Samsung Electronics

Note: This
article mainly focusses on how Samsung electronics overcame the problems of traditional

For traditional consumer electronic
companies, the requirements should be clearly defined in the first phases of
project so that all necessary tasks are identified and assigned to appropriate
teams to have the maximum productivity. Widely used traditional methodology is waterfall
model. But changing or adding features are not permitted since all tasks are described
plan-driven and organized. Initially Samsung electronics used the traditional methodology
so they tried to overcome these problems and to match the ongoing changes in
the industry using agile transformation. Samsung established a step-by-step
plan and applied the agile transformation for this purpose.

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Transformation Overview:

Process Transformation

In this phase,
Samsung used agile software development instead of waterfall model. They
defined roles of the members such as team, scrum master and product-owner and
some process related practices such as sprint planning, sprint review,
retrospective and daily meeting. To overcome the lack of experience using agile
methods Agile Office implemented training sessions for project members.

Engineering Transformation

In this phase,
the development team improved the capability to achieve “definition of done” of
each sprint. The main feature of agile development in each iteration the
process releases working software which implements higher priority requirements.
However, there are some cases called “technical debts” in which members might
not actually meet the requirements. To overcome this undone work they performed
some engineering practices such as Pair-Programming, test-driven development and
continuous deployment.

Organizational Transformation

In this
phase, the agile transformation is done at enterprise level. Samsung faced many
limitations since the work is not manageable since it is an organization. Hence,
Samsung did necessary modifications to the HR department’s evaluation policy
and organization reconstruction. However, this is tough so Samsung modified the
system from a single big product to many small teams to single small product
for small teams.      

These teams
had UX, developer, QA and PO etc., So in each iteration the morale of the
product increased.

Phase-4: Cultural

The ultimate
goal of agile transformation is changing the culture of the organization as
well as institutional changes so Samsung implemented activities such as
training, community conference and newsletter.


More agile are needed to train the employees so that
they maintain the value of the product.

Experience on engineering practices are not

The evaluation of the team members should be improved.


The usage of agile transformation
helped Samsung to increase the value of the product much than using the traditional
engineering practices and they continue to increase the productivity by
enhancing the processes such as pair-programming and test-driven development.


Suhyun Kim, Hyungjong Lee, Yonghwi
Kwon, Myeongsang Yu, Hyeeun Jo Agile Office, Software R Center Samsung
Electronics Seoul, Republic of Korea. Published in Software engineering
conference(APSEC) 2016 23rd Asia-Pacific.

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