Success Story

Using agile methods to accelerate plant projects

A plant manufacturer identified significant delays and cost overruns in custom projects. Zuhlke showed the company how to use agile methods to achieve rapid improvement going forward.


The client was faced with the challenge of integrating specific modules from a new plant concept into ongoing projects. A financial audit identified significant problems in terms of costs, deadlines and technical details.

To get the plant project back on track and ensure that future projects would get it right first time, a consultant with extensive experience in the sector worked with the project team to rapidly clarify the status of the project and introduce specific improvements.


Services provided by Zuhlke’s team of consultants:

  • An initial workshop clarified the status of the project and defined immediate actions to be taken in key areas. An agile development team was set up and used weekly sprints and daily reviews – as per the Scrum framework – to plan and implement its work and to measure progress.


  • The plant concept was analysed over a series of workshops. The team identified strong potential and defined technical approaches for reducing manufacturing costs. These approaches were implemented over the course of the project. Project transparency was improved by using a range of appropriate visualisation techniques. Targeted interventions helped promote interdisciplinary collaboration and enhanced cost awareness.
  • To improve the quality of planning in future projects, a pragmatic, business-specific planning and evaluation methodology was defined and implemented.

Client benefits

  • By using agile methods to fulfil specific plant orders, the development team succeeded in getting two customer projects back on track.

  • The engineering and procurement Improvements identified led to a significant reduction in manufacturing costs.

  • The introduction of a uniform planning and evaluation methodology enabled better evaluation of pre-project statements on project profitability.