Core Agile practices establish visibility, remove impediments, and promote collaboration at the team level. Standup meetings, physical task boards, and focus on clearing impediments are well known practices to keep a team focused on the work, and establish a sense of flow towards frequent, tangible, and sustainable results.

What about an entire program, when a large number of teams are involved? How can a large organization exploit the same core practices when there is highly interdependent work, and when there may be hundreds of people involved? How can Scrum be used to improve delivery times, increase quality, and promote sustainable development at a program level? How the can practices provide executive leadership the visibility they need into program progress?

This workshop will introduce valuable, proven Scrum practices for large programs. Among the topics that will be discussed are:

  • What program management challenges are ripe for improvement through Agile practices?

  • The Program Impediment Board: Visible impediments, dependencies and milestones at a program level

  • The Program Stand-up: Lightweight activities to promote visibility, clear impediments and collaboration across the program

  • What does it look like when it’s working?: Improve delivery time, increase quality, and establish collaboration across the organization.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

The workshop will include both lecture and exercise sections:

  • Introduction (5 minutes) – What are the program management challenges ripe for improvement through Scrum practices?  What have been the traditional approaches to scaling scrum practices to a large number of teams? 

  • Core Scrum practices for large agile programs (10 minutes): Significant Scrum practices that can be exploited at the program level, with real world examples from a number of client organizations:
    • The Program Impediment Board
    • The Program Standup

  • Program Scrum Exercise (35 minutes): A simulation involving up to 20 workshop attendees, who will utilize Program Scrum practices in an exercise to clear impediments and promote collaboration right at the Gathering in New Orleans! (Note: if this is a large enough session, we'll split into two groups and run two simulations, and compare results as an entire group afterwards)

  • Summary and Q & A (5 minutes): What will it look like when Scrum program practices are working well? How can you start using these practices in your own organization?

Learning Outcome

  1. Why Agile practices are valuable at the program level, when many teams and hundreds of people are working together.

  2. The background and history of traditional approaches to program level work, such as Scrum of Scrums and program dashboards.

  3. Introduce two core Agile practices for program-level work:
    a. Program Impediment Board
    b. Program Stand-up

  4. Engage in some elementary experience of these practices through a simulation exercise

  5. Methods for evaluating whether program-level practices are being effective.

Target Audience

Team Members, Scrum Masters, Program Managers, Project Managers, Architects, Executives

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

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comment Comment on this Proposal
  • Prasad
    By Prasad  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Jeff,

    Looking forward to hear from you..  One of the critical dimensions  of  this part of the world is how to make it happen in a distributed teams in different time zones.. It will be great if you can bring the distribution prespectives also..

    ~

    Prasad

    • Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC
      By Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      Prasad - this session (which is probably only 45 minutes now), isn't going to talk about distributed teams.  This particular practice is intensely visual/physical, and counts on co-location.

      There have been/will be a lot of presentations about distributed teams.  My first response to questions about how to do this in a distributed fashion is: "have you asked the people working on the teams whether a distributed organization is the best way to deliver?"

      • Prasad
        By Prasad  ~  2 years ago
        reply Reply

        Jeff,

        Thanks for the response.. Two things that are very critical to service industries in India are scale and distribution. We may expect larger numbers from this industry :-)

        ~Prasad

        • Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC
          By Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC  ~  2 years ago
          reply Reply

          Longer discussion for a different presentation:  I think that developers in India know more about how to deal with complex, chaotic, asynchronous work than Western managers who tell them they are supposed "scale" and be "distributed".  That's a conversation that's for another day. :-)

  • Naresh Jain
    By Naresh Jain  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    Jeff, can you focus just on the Program Scrum Exercises and reduce the workshop duration to 45 mins?

    • Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC
      By Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      Yes, I can.  I'll edit the propsal to make it as such.  Stay tuned....

      • Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC
        By Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC  ~  2 years ago
        reply Reply

        Naresh - I've update the proposal to a presentation that be 45 mins.

  • Tathagat Varma
    By Tathagat Varma  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    Jeff - do you have data points from a real-life implementation that could be shared with the atendees?

    -TV

    • Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC
      By Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      Thathagat - I should add that the Prezi that's linked to from the submission contains come exampes of real-life implementations, that I'd be discussing during the presentation.

    • Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC
      By Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      Thathagat - absolutley.  The presentation contains results of how this has been put into practice World Vision USA, General Motors, Devon Oil, and other clients.  I'll have data that showed how the practice grew at these places, as well as pictures of program-standups at work with 20 or more teams.

  • Ravi Kumar
    By Ravi Kumar  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Jeff,

    I find the last point in the learning outcome "Methods for evaluating whether program-level practices are being effective" looks very interesting. Can you please elaborate on this and also consider positionin the proposal just on this in a 45 min talk/presentation/workshop.

     

    Best,

     

    Ravi

     

    • Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC
      By Jeff Lopez-Stuit, CEC  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      Ravi - this presentation is focused on practices, and the small section on methods for evaluation are focused on improving practice.  Something focused on evaluation would be a whole new presentation, which isn't something i can sustain now.

      The methods for evaluation whether the practices are working mainly focus on:

      • Requests by more teams to join in the practices
      • Effectiveness of visual feedback for both team members and leadership
      • Reduction in emergencies and delays due to effective clearing of impediments
      • Reduced cycle times for large programs

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