Distributed Agile - A Case Study

 

Any customers working with a typical Software IT services Organization expect that their vendors understand and deliver their requirements on time. Reduced time to market with improved quality and productivity supported by an efficient process is "The" need of the hour for any customer.

About the project: This project is about developing printer software for a leading OEM. The end customer is one who uses high end printers for their professional needs. The challenges faced is high requirement volatility due to evolving requirements from marketing team, complex features and a  distributed team.

In this case study we would want to share how an IT services organization and customer partnered to succeed using Distributed Agile

 

The Agile practices that helped to manage requirement volatility was prioritized backlog management along with early demos. The estimations with insight into minute tasks led to short stories which made the sprints very realistic and successful to complete on time.

Complexities were discussed upfront and impediments were tracked to timely closure. Scrum of Scrum helped both the customer as well as vendor teams distributed across Geos to discuss and collaborate effectively leaving no surprises to the end.

Refactoring and structural code quality analysis helped to improve the stability of the code from the very beginning there by helping to build a high quality product

Continuous integration and automated build helped the development, testing and user acceptance testing team to work seamlessly without operational delays

At the end of the day what resulted for customer is the ability to meet late marketing team requirements effectively with a quality product, on time ready for the market release

 
7 favorite thumb_down thumb_up 2 comments visibility_off  Remove from Watchlist visibility  Add to Watchlist
 

Outline/structure of the Session

Overview, Challenges faced,About the project and the Agile practices, Tools Used, Benefits

 

 

Learning Outcome

Takeaways: Effective Estimations using Poker technique for arriving at agreed story points for a Sprint

Effective Communication and Collaboration across different teams working on same Sprint backlog using Scrum of scrums

Product Quality achieved early by employing refactoring technique factored in each sprints

“Done” criteria for Stories helped in backlog reduction effectively

Target Audience

Any one who is interested to implement Distributed Agile

schedule Submitted 4 years ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal
  • Raja Bavani
    By Raja Bavani  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply

    Dear Smitha,

    Please elaborate your proposal so that it has adequate details to help the reviewers and program committee members.  Try to articulate the differentiators, takeaways etc.,  

    Regards,

    Raja

  • Ravi Kumar
    By Ravi Kumar  ~  4 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Smitha,

     

    Thanks for submitting your proposal.

     

    I see potential in the topic but nothing makes me curious when I go through the process and the learning outcome sections. The link to the article shared talks about some of the lean practices while your talk is focused on distributed agile. Not sure how your topic and the article is connected.

    A few bullets outlining the steps you implemented to make Distributed Agile work well will help us in understanding the proposal better.

     

    P.S: Suggest you to move the topic the 'Beyond Agile' theme if your talk is focused on lean practices/principles. 

     

    Best regards,

     

    Ravi


  • Liked Balaji Ganesh N
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Balaji Ganesh N - Using Lean in Application Development to achieve competitive advantage and customer delight

    20 mins
    Experience Report
    Intermediate

    Executing add-on Application Development (AD) projects end to end is quite challenging. More so, if the same is executed under risk-reward model. According to an IBM study, only 40% of projects meet schedule, budget and quality goals. 20 to 25 percent don’t provide ROI and up to 50 percent require material rework. 

    With competitive pricing and cut throat competition eroding margins and denting market share, cost of delivery reduction with best in class quality has become an imperative for any service company in the IT outsourcing space.

    This case study shares the experience of an AD project (team size 40) in the Insurance domain completed over a period of 9 months (including warranty phase), with a geographic spread across 4 different locations. The team had end to end responsibility right from requirements gathering to System Integration Testing. The add-on functionality developed was rolled out to 5 states spanning 2 different releases. The team leveraged LEAN Six Sigma techniques (DSM, OA, Visual Controls, Mistake Proofing) for culture building, effective change management, early feedback, rework reduction through effective in-process defect reduction and doing things right the first time, resulting in increased customer goodwill, reward payments, enhanced business and high employee satisfaction. The project was flawlessly executed under the risk reward model with best in class quality, maintainability and scalability within the specified schedule.

  • Liked Zaheerabbas Contractor
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Zaheerabbas Contractor - Applying Agile Practices in the Refurbishment/Modernization of my housing society

    45 mins
    Case Study
    Intermediate

    In the rush to be a proud owner of a large independent penthouse apartment in a huge housing society I did not realize (or did not want to) the actual reason behind this good bargain!

    I ended up being party to the following list (product backlog) of pain areas (or business needs) of the society members:

    • 1.Need of Generator backup to cater to the frequent power cuts at least for the common areas and lifts (I had bought my condominium on the top floor and could realize the pain!) – Must have and High Cost
    • 2.Modernization of the ageing lifts across 18 buildings (thanks to the substandard quality lifts which I realized when I started staying there L ) – Must have due to high risk however huge Cost
    • 3.Need for the CCTV Camera – Must have considering the frequent untoward incidents
    • 4.Seepage and septic tank upgrade
    • 5.Pavements, speed breakers
    • 6. And the list goes on….

    This resulted into the society being least valued in that area and no ROI for the members who had invested in the society.

    The society committee members were clueless on where to start (prioritizing with business value) with the given evolving budget and how to manage the timeline.

     Through this report, I intend to share how I utilized following Agile practices to overcome the challenges faced by the society members for its refurbishment and converted the society into one of the most sought out society over the period of few milestones (releases)!

    • 1.Prioritization(MoSCoW) of the backlog by agreeing up urgent need of the society in the given budget
    • 2.Continuous planning and re-prioritization of product backlog
    • 3.Outcome(Value) based agreement with various vendors
    • 4.Managing discipline in the acceptance criteria and retrospection (i.e. PWD lift inspection and approval for lifts functioning with the given municipality specifications and taking learning to replicate the same for future enhancements)
    • 5.Delivering end to end(INVEST) in the production in short releases ( i.e. one lift modernization end to end and commissioning of Diesel Genset end to end through incremental approach)
  • Liked Suresh C R
    keyboard_arrow_down

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

    Suresh C R
    Suresh C R
    Senior Consultant
    Wipro
    schedule 4 years ago
    Sold Out!
    45 mins
    Experience Report
    Intermediate

    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.

  • Liked Zaheerabbas Contractor
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Zaheerabbas Contractor - Qualification of Emerging Roles for the Success of Agile Transformation

    45 mins
    Experience Report
    Advanced

    In the era of highly competitive environment it has become critical for business to monitor the emerging trends and closely collaborate with IT through continuous feedback mechanism.

    While pursuing to adopt modern execution approach like Agile which brings in the best of industry lightweight processes and engineering practices, IT companies have stepped up their efforts towards achieving Agility and this has resulted into new and evolving roles in the teams.

    Through this paper we touch upon: As the organization gears up towards Agility to achieve the desired business objective, it becomes important to align with the evolving roles and the related responsibilities. The success also depends on how effectively we can seamlessly transform the existing roles (most of the time very hierarchical) with the new roles. 

     

  • Liked Rituparna Ghosh
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Rituparna Ghosh - Driving Continuous Improvement for Excellence through Lean Agile

    45 mins
    Experience Report
    Advanced

    Despite being a CMMI Level 5 company, in the early 2000 business exigencies prompted Wipro to look towards a sustainable continuous improvement drive.  Wipro started it Lean-Agile transformation initiative way back in 2004-05. In the initial days, the euphoria of a new subject helped in the adoption. The evangelists came from the ranks and their success stories helped us in broadbasing the initiative. In the past decade or so the organization has grown 5 fold – not to mention the increase in the complexity of operations. The early adopters and evangelists too were not in a position to take ahead the journey. They often took up different roles either within the organization or externally. Knowledge became tribal in nature without there being a continuous cycle for continuous improvement. 

    This is a live case study of how the organization took ahead the transformation initiative and breathed fresh life into it, in an environment which was much more challenging. We built a cadence of Continuous Improvement by

    1. Adopting a SuHaRi model of Inform-Perform-Transform  
    2. Aligning the roles and responsibilities to aid Continuous Improvement
    3. Building a rewards and recognition programme for increased participation
    4. Involving Senior leadership to drive the cultural change by aligning policies and principles
    5. Measuring engagement and effectiveness – not only in terms of measurable metrics, but also in terms of intangible benefits
  • Liked Sanjeev Prasad
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Sanjeev Prasad - Scrum Adoption in Outsourced Multivendor Scenario

    45 mins
    Experience Report
    Intermediate

     

    In the last couple of years Agile methodologies have gone from strength to strength and gained tremendous popularity as well as following within the software industry. From amongst all the Agile methods Scrum is by far the most popular and has become the de facto industry standard today. However, during the course of this journey Scrum had to contend with another stalwart of the software industry, namely “Outsourcing”. And to survive and prosper Scrum has had to evolve and adapt to the biggest challenge that Outsourcing posed – “Multi-Vendor, multi-location teams”. However an outsourced multivendor distributed landscape is still viewed widely as a potent recipe for Scrum failure; and acts as the primary deterrent to Scrum adoption across many organizations.

    This paper shares the experience based on the practical challenges faced by IT Services Organizations on the adoption of Scrum in multivendor distributed scenarios as well as the benefits perceived and realized; by presenting various scenarios faced by them in their daily business cycle.

  • Liked Musarrath Jabeen
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Musarrath Jabeen - Advanced Engineering Practices to achieve higher Agility Quotient

    45 mins
    Experience Report
    Intermediate

     

    We intend to share our experience through this report on the typical challenges experienced in adopting Agile in a complex telecom product with existing huge code base and our recommendation to overcome the challenge. We also will bring out the advantage and cost of quality reduction achieved through disciplined XP engineering practices and thereby improving the customer satisfaction to a great extent and thereby improving our Net Promoter Score.

    Through this experience report we plan to share how the Agile practices helped in achieving the higher business value and quality product with the given engineering rigor. In a typical complex telecom domain product development, the success criteria in terms of team capability in the domain, quality of product and end use satisfaction can be achieved through applying the strategy upfront with disciplined engineering practices through scrum approach.

    Also we plan to uncover the pitfalls which would result into diluting of scrum model after initial few sprints resulting into issues of sustaining the best practices.

  • Liked Anand Ananthpadmanaban
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Anand Ananthpadmanaban - Agile Economics and Project Delivery

    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    The world is expecting faster roll out of software delivery and expecting better outcomes.Agile has been getting adopted as an answer to address the expectations. The economic conditions influence any development, increasing pressure to balance CAPEX and OPEX expenditures.So the question that comes is whether software development can be governed by engineering discipline alone or we need to move to economic driven system. Establish a more real time governance, project delivery and agile economics.

    This paper shares the experience and point of view on moving to continuous software delivery from software development. It also talks about conventional governance versus economics driven at various levels i.e. organization – business –IT –customer/stakeholders.

  • Liked Jayesh Kadam
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Jayesh Kadam - Overcoming Devils of Agile Testing

    45 mins
    Experience Report
    Intermediate

     

    Across all industries, organizations are looking for ways to achieve highest business value through faster time-to-market for their products with short development cycles.   In an era of highly competitive environment, it has become critical for business to monitor emerging trends and closely collaborate with IT through continuous feedback mechanisms. Gone are the days of Quality Assurance (QA) teams getting involved towards later stages of a project with primary focus being finding defects.

    This has resulted in a paradigm shift in testing function’s objectives with the group being an equal stakeholder in achieving one-common goal of delivering value to end-customers by achieving early-to-market release of products with best quality.

    Through this paper, we intend to share typical challenges faced by testers as they embark on Agile journey, and the change in mindset required to overcome those challenges, especially from IT service organization perspective.

  • Liked Chakravarthi Rajan V
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Chakravarthi Rajan V - Collaborate towards customer success through Lean in IT Service Delivery

    Chakravarthi Rajan V
    Chakravarthi Rajan V
    Manager
    Wipro Limited
    schedule 4 years ago
    Sold Out!
    20 mins
    Case Study
    Intermediate

    Supporting applications in IT Service delivery is modeled around providing service to the customer within acceptable resolution time and in a consistent way. However in this process oriented approach there is a limited touch point with the end user and business value creation is not always prioritized.

    I had an opportunity to work closely with this distributed delivery team in implementing the improvement charter using Lean techniques wherein the team serviced customer deliverables faster and in a predictable manner. Faster turn around time of service requests and resolution of P3 incidents helped in addressing business user needs as well as channelize effort saving towards creating value / business benefit to the customer.

    Focus of the team was to use some of Lean tenets like VSM, Go See Yourself, Automation and Visual control to bring in 50% improvement in cycle time of service requests and P3 incidents as well as reduce variation