Interview with Ralph Jocham – Scaling Scrum, the Swiss Postal Services case

Interview with Ralph Jocham – Scaling Scrum, the Swiss Postal Services case

I met Ralph in one of our meetups, where he presented Scrum. He is one of the best trainers I know, with expert knowledge on anything Agile. This September at Agile Greece Summit we will have the chance to hear him speak about: “10 Months, 7 Teams, 18 Apps – Scaled Scrum at Swiss Postal Services“.

Here is his small interview.

Q: Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I started my career with ISO GmbH 1997 in Germany where I worked as a programming consultant for START in Frankurt and Siemens Medizintechnik in Erlangen.

In 1998 I joined Oracle Corp. in Reading, United Kingdom working on JDeveloper.
Two years later I moved to the USA and consulted in downtown Manhattan for Spherion Technologies.
I later relocated to Silicon Valley to help Applied Biosystems (now Thermo Fischer, before Life), a leading biotech life science company to transition to Agile.
Early in 2007 I joined ThoughtWorks in San Francicso, a worldwide leading agile consulting company as an agile coach. During my time at ThoughtWorks his clients included, The Gap, Inveneo, LinkedIn, Google and Roche Pharmaceuticals.
In late 2009, I moved to Bern, Switzerland and joined Zühlke Engineering to help kickstart their agile offerings.

In 2011 I founded Effective Agile[1] to walk my own talk – to see if my ideas will work.

I am a lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences in Bern, where I teach an agile living case in the medical technology department. This autumn I will start teaching introduction to software engineering at the University of Applied Sciences FHNW

Q: What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic?

I’ve worked with Scrum for over 13 years and been agile for over 15 years. This allowed my to see and experience the agile movement from small teams to large enterprises. My talk will be about, how I successfully scaled Scrum for a large programme at Swiss Postal Services.

Q: What do you think could be the main gain for participants in your session?

Understand that scaling Scrum is not that complicated and to get some ideas about how to approach it.

Q: Can you give some advice to teams/organizations that are transitioning to agile?

  • Embrace transparency
  • Have the courage to do the right thing
  • Minimize Dependencies
  • Be empirical
  • Sharpen your technical skills about state of the art engineering practices
  • Value, Value, Value

Q: How do you see the evolution of Agile in the future?

Continuous inspection and adaptation

Q: You have given many interviews/presentations about agile. Is there a question you wish to have been asked but no one ever asked you?

Every question has it’s right time and all the questions I’ve been asked, had been great considering the given context. I guess my answer is no.

Q: What you like to say something in advance to the Greek Agile community?

There are good movements like ‘The Cube’ in Athens were I had the chance to meet very bright and motivated people. Probably even more so than compared to other countries.

Useful Links:

[1] Effective Agile


If you want to join, get your tickets now!

Agile Greece Summit 2015

Agile Greece is a community for agile practitioners and for those interested in learning about the agile philosophy in software development. Our purpose is to educate our members about Agile, Lean and SCRUM as well as building our community to serve as a networking platform.

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