Using Kanban for synchronization & governance in multi-team Agile programs

One of the fundamental reasons why management teams are eager to adopt Agile in large programs these days, is the discomfort that is caused by long gestation periods before anything tangible is delivered to the Business, and the risks associated with it. They hope that the practice of the principle of “Frequent Delivery of valuable working software” that Agile espouses will help them address these risks. However, in the Agile Transformation of such programs, a key challenge that emerges is in synchronising the output of the various teams in the program in order to deliver working software every sprint. This problem gets especially compounded with geographically dispersed teams.

The following experience report shares the experience in guiding an agile transformation engagement for a program involving geographically dispersed teams of a global BFSI player. The work products went through three stages – creation of the technical workflows required for the desired services by the product owner & SMEs, completion of proofs of concept / technical feasibility of core components of the services, and lastly the actual development work including user interfaces. The development teams were spread across two locations and SME’s were in two different locations. Due to pressures from business, the first priority for the program was to start delivering value by means of usable functionality available to the end users.

 

Kanban as well as Scrum was used in the transformed process to ensure that smooth and regular flow of functionality was delivered at the end of every sprint. The aspects of Kanban used were Pull based scheduling across the various stages, Making the work Visual and Limiting the number of services which were WIP. How these elements of Kanban drove the Synchronization efforts as well as overall governance betweeen teams, while the teams used Scrum for managing engineering activities within the team, will be detailed in the presentation. How this approach can be extended for better management of MMF’s/ Epics will also be explained.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

The context: Brief explanation about the background of the program and the need for agile transformation (5 min)

The problem: Understanding the synchronisation problem in detail (5 min)

The solution elaborated: How kanban helped to solve this problem as also help in Governance (10 min)

An extension of the solution: Explanation of how to manage Epics using the approach (5 min)

Summary: Summarising the experience and the take aways (5 min)

Q & A: Audience interaction (5 min)

 

Learning Outcome

The audience will be exposed to an alternate means of synchronizing and governing multi-team agile programs. It will also understand how the same framework can be used to manage epics.

Target Audience

Product Owners, Program Managers, Scrum masters, Product Managers

schedule Submitted 3 years ago

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  • Sachin goel
    By Sachin goel  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi

    Thanks for your submission. Multi location challenges are very true and need attention to resolve.

    How can I best more about your proposal? Are there additional details you can provide which makes this proposal unique and sought after?

    Thanks.

    Sachin

    • Suresh C R
      By Suresh C R  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Sachin,

       

      Thanks for the feedback.. Have provided some more details in the proposal.

       

      Regds, Suresh

  • Savita Pahuja
    By Savita Pahuja  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Please let us know what are all the kanban principles and practices you are going to talk in this session. Also how it is helpful in synchronization over to scrum. Also you have mentioned "key challenge that emerges is in synchronising the output of the various teams in the program in order to deliver working software every sprint. " that means are you using kanban with sprints ?? 

    Please put some light on the same.

    • Suresh C R
      By Suresh C R  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Savita,

       

      have updated the proposal to through some more light on the questions you have asked. Team is using elements of kanban for co-ordination and governance, but mainly works in sprints.  These were needed as the work to be done was multi-stage, but we still needed to get something out of the pipe every two weeks.

       

      Regds, Suresh

  • Joel Tosi
    By Joel Tosi  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Suresh,

      If I were in your session, I would definitely be thinking 'why couldn't the work / teams be restructured to avoid the syncrhonization challenge?'  Will that be covered / addressed?

     

    Thanks much,

    Joel

    • Suresh C R
      By Suresh C R  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Joel,

      Yes, that will definitely be covered in the session!

      Regards,

      Suresh

       

       


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