Travelogue - To LeanVille
The webMethods R&D division of Software AG (wM) produces industry-leading enterprise products focused on application integration, business process integration and B2B partner integration. This division with more than 450 engineers across 7 locations in the world embarked on the journey of adopting Agile and Lean Software Development practices in 2010.
The wM business line consists of about 40 Scrum teams delivering more than 30 enterprise products that constitute the webMethods suite across 7 locations in the world. Circa 2007, the suite was a loose collection of multiple products individually developed by teams, many of which were brought together by M&As. It was a hard, painful challenge to integrate and test these products as a single suite and synchronizing major releases. The teams embraced Scrum as the development model - a useful first step but still far from guaranteeing predictability, high standards of quality and productivity at the suite level.
Align multiple, small scrum teams distributed over many locations to one Suite Backlog. Focus them on delivering an integrated Suite by modeling an assembly line from a Lean Manufacturing system. The teams develop and contribute to a single value stream with continuous flow and deliver potentially shippable Suite Build Sets in predictable intervals (4-6weeks).
- Retain the simplicity of the ‘Agile model’. Allow teams to grow at their pace. The teams work off their individual team backlogs, the suite complexities and priority conflicts largely hidden from them. They experiment with their processes, drive their own local changes and share the learning with the other teams.
Since embracing Lean and Agile practices, we have delivered three successful major Suite releases on time with measured quality. The customer situation has dramatically improved with steadily decreasing customer incidents, response times and hot escalations. More than a 100,000 automated regression tests verify the suite and we have a potentially shippable Suite build set every 4-6 weeks guaranteeing the highest standards of quality. For faster value delivery, we are now transitioning to 6-monthly releases – the first of which is due to roll out in Q4 2013.
In this Experience report, I focus on how we aligned scrum teams operating from Germany, U.S, Bulgaria and India to a single backlog, a continuously integrated Suite and a potentially shippable single build set delivered every 4-6 weeks. We will look at the challenges we faced, custom solutions and processes that we designed to realize the Single Suite Vision.
Outline/Structure of the Experience Report
- Single Suite Backlog – managing multiple product owners, technical debt and getting the priority and investments right.
- Single Suite Value Stream - Continuous Flow, eliminating bottlenecks and limit WIP.
- Pulling the Andon chord - Protect yesterday's investment while delivering today's value increment.
- Sustaining Vs Development – balance new feature development flow against high-response customer support.
- A culture of Experiments and Continuous Improvement
A reference model to implement Lean development process in a multi-team, multi-product environment and achieve predictability, quality and productivity.
- Continuous Suite-wide Integration – modeling a Lean Production Assembly line.
- Visualizing the Flow, backlog, debt - metrics at multiple scales for different audience.
- Some recipes to handle cross-product and multiple stakeholder conflicts
- Ways to evolve custom processes to meet your unique challenges
Leaders, Managers, Coaches, Scrum Masters, Team members from a Product Development (R&D) environment.
schedule Submitted 6 years ago
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Last project executed across different teams (onsite & offshore) and different departments was not a great success. How to learn from the past failures and apply it to future projects?
In this discussion, I will be talking about some the points which can be easily followed in such scenarios.
Why did we did this?
Normally in a scrum environment we have a single team with Product Owner; they do the retrospectives within team. Team identifies the issues and work on them. Many team falls into this category. It is pretty simple
Let’s complicate this further.
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- Each Team has different PO
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- UI design team
- Architecture and performance team
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- A team's retro action item against the process followed by another team can be discussed at a higher level to find an optimal solution
- Sometimes two team's retrospective action items may be contradictory. This gathering may point a third solution
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- All team gets to know about the key concerns at the program level and with other teams.
- Ultimately it gave a feeling of one big family.
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- 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
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- 4.Seepage and septic tank upgrade
- 5.Pavements, speed breakers
- 6. And the list goes on….
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