Real Hospital Português & TheScrumMaster.co.uk

Case Study – Real Hospital Português

Real Hospital Português & TheScrumMaster.co.uk

In 2016, I travelled to the city of Recife in Brazil which was at the epicentre of the Zika virus outbreak. I had been invited by the COO of Real Hospital Português to train 60 of the staff at the hospital in Scrum.

The hospital was in crisis. Recife was at the centre of the Zika outbreak. The number of people visiting the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department had doubled in a short period of time and they were unable to cope with this rapidly increased demand.

Like many hospitals, there was a traditional and bureaucratic management structure that made decisions slowly. Even small low-risk changes would typically take over a year. This delay was no longer acceptable in the crisis situation they found themselves in due to the Zika virus.

The COO assembled a cross-functional team to attend the Scrum training. It included a diverse group including ranging from the Chief Surgeon, Cleaning Manager, the Finance Director and a Junior Nurse, as well as many others.

After the training, the COO assumed the Product Owner accountability and they assembled a Scrum Team including cross-functional people from across the hospital. The vision set by the Product Owner was to make changes 10x faster than normal to allow them to better cope with the Zika crisis.

In the first 2 week Sprint, they were able to increase the capacity of the A&E department by 50%. The changes made were simple in nature, but would have been impossible without an empirical approach, increased trust and a focus on the immediate delivery of value in the form of more patients treated successfully in less time.