• Naresh Jain
    Naresh Jain
    schedule 1 year ago
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    45 mins
    Keynote
    Advanced

    On Agile teams, collaboration is the way of life. Our leaders want their team members to work closely with each other, have shared goals and even think as one entity. Why? Because we believe that collaboration leads to happier, more productive teams that can build innovative products/services.

    It's strange that companies use the word collaboration very tightly with innovation. Collaboration is based on consensus building, which rarely leads to visionary or revolutionary products/services. Innovative/disruptive concepts require people to independently test out divergent ideas without getting caught up in collaborative boardroom meetings.

    In this presentation, Naresh Jain explores the scary, unspoken side of collaboration and explains in what context, collaboration can be extremely important; and when it can get in the way or be a total waste of time.

  • Liked Dipesh Pala
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    7 Things Agile Executives Should Do Differently

    Dipesh Pala
    Dipesh Pala
    schedule 1 year ago
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    45 mins
    Talk
    Executive

    One of the keys to a successful enterprise agile transformation is the support of Executive Leadership, which is more than simply providing approval. The Agile Executive enables, empowers and engages rather than controls.

    According to one recent survey, more than one in three organisations claim that the lack of Executive Leadership engagement within their businesses is plaguing current journey towards sustainable organisational Agility.

    With a special focus on Executive teams, Dipesh will be drawing upon more than a decade of Agile transformation experiences across multiple organisations, and share real-life case studies and insights to illustrate the following key things that Agile Executives need to do differently:

    1. Stop Starting, Start Finishing
    2. Slow Down to Go Faster
    3. One Team, One Dream
    4. Foster Fully Capable Teams
    5. Fail Early & Fail Small
    6. Deliver Business Value, not just Projects
    7. Servant Leadership

    Awareness of the above principles is important and may sound simple; however turning the awareness of these elements into the inner workings of our daily routine takes discipline. With that in mind, all attendees will also be given ‘The Agile Leaders Checklist' that will assist them in making such behaviours habitual.

    If you are an Executive or a Leader of an Agile team, this session will provide clear implications for where to focus your efforts in order to unleash the full potential of Agile methods to gain a competitive edge. You will be inspired by knowing what serves to catalyze and nourish progress – and what does the opposite.

  • Doc Norton
    Doc Norton
    schedule 1 year ago
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    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    Among the traits that distinguish a good team from a great team is their ability to innovate. Despite the rhetoric in favor of innovation, most organizations are stuck in an implementation mindset, stifling creativity, excellence, and the resultant innovation. The experimentation mindset frees us from self-imposed constraints, allowing us to continually learn and improve. In this session, we'll talk about how we learn as individuals and how we learn as organizations. We'll take a look at some examples of the experimentation mindset happening in the agile community today and we'll talk about how you can foster such a mindset in your own organization.

  • Liked Balaji Ganesh N
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    Doing Agile vs Being Agile - Sins and epiphanies from my agile journey

    Balaji Ganesh N
    Balaji Ganesh N
    schedule 1 year ago
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    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    There are so many organizations and product teams that are embracing agile implementation methodologies as a means to accelerate product development for competitive advantage and customer delight. Agile is now more than a fad or a buzzword.

    Despite all this pervasiveness and penetration, there are only some teams for whom agile works well, whereas it doesn't work so well for some of the other teams and it fails for the rest. 

    But, is the problem really with adopting agile or is it something else? After all, agile is a mirror.

    As Leo Tolstoy once said, "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” There is a lesson to learn from every failed implementation.

    From the 9th "State of Agile" survey done by VersionOne in 2014, in cases where agile projects were unsuccessful, 44% of the respondents pointed to lack of experience with agile methods.

    Drawing from my experiences through my journey as a lean agile coach, this is an attempt to collate the anti-patterns (sins) associated with "lack of experience with agile methods" within the teams implementing agile and possible solutions (epiphanies) to overcome them. I believe that addressing these anti-patterns and preventing them from happening in your teams would significantly enhance the probability of succeeding with your agile implementations. Establishing the purpose and aligning the teams with the organization strategy is one of the key determinant of success. Due to time constraints, I would be focusing on 3-4 anti-patterns (points 1,7,8,9)  that are commonly seen while touching on the rest of them briefly.

     Details are given below:

    1. Square pegs in round holes- These are role anti-patterns and arise by looking at Scrum Master / Product Owner as positions to fill rather than identifying and assigning the right person for the job and abrupt transitions from PM / architect to SM / PO creates this anti pattern. It is important to ascertain the fitment and identify the right person with the attributes of a servant leader who can influence the team without authority, empathize, ask the team the right questions which would empower and enable them to become more self-organizing and step back when required. In cases where a transition is involved adequate training / coaching needs to be provided to smoothen the transition.

    2. Ineffective retrospectives - Retrospectives are treated more as a ritual with no feedback loop to the planning process. Ineffective retrospectives are good at addressing the person and not the problem, creating actionable without owner(s) and timelines, have no focused outcomes and create a "blame game" culture.

    3. Sub-optimal local execution - This is reflected in product teams / modules / component not aligned at the global / program level and is primarily due to misalignment of the teams during planning, no vertical slicing, poor dependency management,  inability to create cross functional teams, no single product backlog, infrequent touch points across the teams with no day to day interaction. This typically results in teams following the sprint cadence but not creating any working deliverable at the end of the sprint.

    End to end optimized execution is possible only through creation of flow across the entire product line. As a first step, it helps to visualize the workflow and understand the work in progress across the various sub-systems to surface the bottlenecks. Cumulative Flow Diagram (CFD) is one of the powerful tools that help identify bottlenecks across the system.

    Some general techniques that help address bottlenecks are identifying the right features (Kano model and user satisfaction matrix) and then vertical slicing to create a working deliverable every sprint, having a single Chief Product Owner (Scaled Scrum) who owns the overall product backlog and ensures priority and value alignment with each team's backlog, synchronizing the iteration time-boxes to ensure that dependent user stories are delivered in the same sprint as much as possible, investing in building relationships and trust among teams (investing in kick-off meetings and face to face engagement), creating a scheduled daily cadence for points of alignment like daily scrum of scrums (weekly inter-team sync-ups would be a killer for teams working on 2 week sprints), usage of tools like Design Structure Matrix (http://dsmweb.org/) for the right development sequence during planning / accurate impact analysis and complexity assessment alleviates this anti-pattern to a large extent.

    Other aspects to address include the team structure and alignment. Executing cross skilling plans levels out workload and integrating business + dev + QA ensures that the right product is built right and reduces failure load significantly.

    4. Dysfunctional team  - This typically happens due to trust deficit. There is typically no daily engagement with the team and team is comfortable with conflict avoidance. Understanding the team (Use tools like Pat Lencioni's 5 dysfunctions of a team), managing conflicts effectively, creating conditions for constructive confrontation, rewarding team collaborative behaviors goes a long way in creating trust, confidence and collective responsibility.

    5. Dis-engaging Daily Standups - Typical anti-patterns here include scrum meetings that overrun significantly beyond stipulated time, team members reporting status to the Scrum Master and not the team, impediments not raised in the meeting, dis-engaged team members. Visualizing the work, raising and tracking impediments, being sensitive to the time zone differences and accommodating them, investing in technology that helps enhance the engagement / involvement levels of the complete team helps make the daily scrums more effective.

    6. Unaligned Process model - Team members frequently pulled into firefighting and production support activities with no regard to the commitments made. There is a need to introspect if time boxed sprint is the right way to go for teams in this case or would a different approach like Scrum+ Kanban (ScrumBan) work better ? There are also cases where heavy weight ALM tools are used for short duration engagements or small teams just because of the availability, without any training or regard to the ROI.

    7. Product Owner - Team misalignment: This is typically manifested in busy product owners (Example -: product owner spending time in too many  discussions with the client, Product Owner for multiple teams) for whom this is an additional responsibility apart from their day jobs, mismatch between the product owner's expectations and the team's expectation, disruptive product owners who do not appreciate or understand the team's challenges, team's velocity not factored in release planning by the product owner. Ensuring that a product owner is not assigned for more than 2 teams, business analysts in the team interfacing with clients to see what the market needs leaving the responsibility of the technical product to the actual product owner, proxy product owner who is empowered to take decisions in the product owner's absence are some of the strategies that ensure enough bandwidth is available for the POs to collaborate effectively with the product team and focus on effective product delivery.Appropriate budgeting for PO during the pre-planning phase, sensitizing the product owners through more face time with the team, identifying  chief product owners for alignment across multiple teams (scaled scrum), proxy product owners are also additional strategies that can address this situation.

    8. Not building the right thing - As Drucker said "There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all". . Appropriate widely used techniques / frameworks (Value Stream Mapping, Value-Risk mapping, Risk Based Testing, Design Structure Matrix, Product-Market fit decision frameworks, Kano model) for identifying the right thing to implement, prioritize and eliminate waste would help tackle this antipattern.

    9. Cultural anti-patterns - Typical issues observed here includes -Teams not aligned to the organizational goal / purpose of the program,  non-collaboration across teams, offshore team treated as a "B" team,lack of T shaped skills, inappropriate performance / R&R systems that reward individual success over team success, irregular or inconsistent sprint cadence, student syndrome, using velocity as a tool to compare performance across teams, abrupt transition from project manager to scrum master role, management looking at agile as a tool to overwork the teams, poor ALM tooling strategy and non-alignment across the teams.

    Why is alignment important ? Because one of the important components of ownership is knowing "What to own ?". In surveys with the top management misalignment of the team's goals with the organizational goals comes out as a top response.

    Some symptoms of a poorly aligned team include: poor or failed execution, lack of clarity about priorities, low morale, absence of healthy debate, lack of ownership or follow through, underground communications (gossip, “us versus them” thinking)

    Usage of surveys like the team alignment questionnaires, Scrum Butt questionnaire, team assessment versus the 12 agile principles surfaces points of mis-alignment and dysfunction across the teams

    Some solutions to address cultural dysfunctions include usage of purpose alignment matrix and four questions (who do we serve ?, What do they need and want most ?, What do we do better than anyone else to meet those needs and wants ?, What is the best way to deliver these products / services ? ) to establish the team's purpose, creating cross-functional teams that can get to “done” in each location, recognizing and rewarding adaptive collaborative change behaviors (cross skilling, taking initiatives in supporting team to overcome impediments, helping others cross skill, breaking boundaries for effective problem solving) to reinforce these behaviors,  assessing current project managers and ensuring an effective transition into agile roles through 1:1 coaching (for transforming  smoothly from command and control to servant leadership), effective management of time zone differences in distributed teams to ensure appropriate rotation of meetings / discussions so that one of the teams does not burn out, top down approach to sensitize management and make necessary changes to the organizational structure and career roadmap  for accommodating agile roles like Product Owner, Scrum Master, agile program manager etc.. , adopting objective metrics like Time to Market (TTM) and business value accrued to measure effectiveness.

    As Eliyahu Goldratt once mentioned "Tell me how you will measure me and I will tell you how I will behave". Therefore, look into your performance systems first if you come across any dysfunctional behaviors. One cannot expect a person to display collaborative behavior, if the performance system encourages and rewards individual success over team success.

    10. Surfeit of Metrics  - Team tracks too many metrics that are not relevant and are inherited from waterfall mindset. There is also an obsession for effort tracking at the individual level and % complete’s. Burn-up charts, velocity, committed vs achieved ratio, defects per sprint are just enough metrics for effective tracking.

    11. User story anti-patterns - Teams do not put in efforts to refine the product backlog as it is seen more as a cost than an investment. There are multiple product backlogs and definition of ready is not agreed between the PO and the team. This results in large user stories that cannot be completed in a sprint, wait times for clarifications and things getting put on hold a few days after implementation due to lack of adequate inputs. Agreeing on a Definition of Ready (DoR) and coaching the team / PO on patterns for splitting user stories helps overcome these barriers

    12. Agile Manifesto Delusion - This typically manifests as no documentation, no Definition of Done, multiple disruptions during the sprint to accommodate changes etc... Helping teams understand and interpret the agile manifesto and principles in the manner in which they were intended creates clarity and helps obliterate this anti pattern. 

    At the end of the day, it is all about delivering valuable working software in an incremental manner. Hence principles should always take precedence over practices and tools. We, from the agile community have a big part to play in helping to realize the above and breaking the above barriers for successful agile adoption. 

  • Liked Leena S N
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    Deliver with Impact

    Leena S N
    Leena S N
    schedule 1 year ago
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    45 mins
    Case Study
    Intermediate

    One common problem any delivery team struggles is to have a common understanding of "why" a product or feature is being built. The documents such as Project Charter, vision document etc. tries to solve this problem, but it’s common to see such documents exist in the repository, hardly known or read by anyone in the team. And this document rarely gets updated too. Ask your team members what is the goal of the project? You may be surprised to know how many actually know about it.

    The so called "vision" or "goal" usually rests within Product Manager/Owner or any other stakeholder. There is no forum to converse about these goals or ideas as a team. The planning meetings [iteration or release planning] are supposed to take care of this, but there is no standard guidelines defined which would help to brainstorm these in a typical release/iteration planning meetings.

    This is where Impact Mapping comes into the picture. It is a "Strategic planning technique", defined by Gojko Azdic, explained in the book Impact Mapping. It is a very simple technique based on the idea of "asking the right questions" which are:

    • Why are we building what we are building? i.e., Goal(s) of the product
    • Who we think are the actors who’ll get impacted?
    • How do we expect to change the actors’ behavior?
    • What are we going to do to create the impacts? i.e. the feature list / deliverables

    Finally, by connecting the deliverables to impacts and goals, a map shows a chain of reasons that leads to feature suggestion. 

    Fundamental of Impact Mapping is that Impact means a change in behavior of an actor which usually results in a positive impact either by Reduction in the Cost or Improvement in ROI for the business.

    If you closely watch the sections in Impact Mapping, what to build i.e. the features or the so called backlog comes only at the end, whereas in the typical planning meeting we usually start with a backlog.

    The above questions need to be answered by the entire team [the IT team, the business people and any other stakeholders, if any], and avoids the common anti-patterns during planning meetings:

    • Ad-hoc planning
    • Wrong Assumptions
    • Pet features

    The hands on workshop will cover the above mentioned concepts of Impact Mapping in detail along with exercising the same.

    Below are a few comments that we received from our customers after being part of the Impact Mapping session:

    • “It made me think about the real goals my product has to achieve during the initial launch.”
    • “Wow, this is a great way of visualizing”
  • Kalpesh Shah
    Kalpesh Shah
    schedule 1 year ago
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    45 mins
    Case Study
    Intermediate

    Great teams make great products, but what fuels this greatness? It's the common understanding and passion for the product but more importantly the singularity of purpose and the feedback loop and how the users are responding to the teams work. 

    The new world of product development is no longer about scope management and delivering the project on time and within budget but it's now more about hypothesis validation and learning from the users and their behaviors.

    The dynamics of product development is changing.  As more and more organizations are moving towards maturing their agile software development approach the traditional barriers of roles are being broken creating new opportunities and fostering a shift in the mindset. Instead of being tied down to scope management and delivering the project on time, Agile teams are focused and inspired by hypothesis validation and learning from the users and their behaviors.

    In this case study we will go over how a portfolio of 12 SCRUM Teams adopted a more outcome approach and how they shifted their mindset from project delivery in Agile way to adopting the Experiment-Measure-Learn-Repeat loop which plays a crucial role in teams overall motivation, performance and moved from being SCRUM Teams to "Product Teams".

    We will also see how we experimented with different team formats and how exposing the team members to different events and user research changed the way they perceived the information of the problem they were solving via features and user stories.

     

     

  • Simon Cohen
    Simon Cohen
    schedule 1 year ago
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    45 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    If you've never worked at or seen a high performing team, it is difficult to know what to do to get yours started. This talk will give you a basic recipe for forming the working agreements that can lead to a high performing and self managed team. By weaving together both theory and the practical experience from Spotify's way of doing things, we will go on a journey that will give you both the ingredients and the techniques to get cooking. 

  • Liked sripriya thinagar
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    Forget Agile, Welcome Swiftly

    sripriya thinagar
    sripriya thinagar
    schedule 1 year ago
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    45 mins
    Case Study
    Intermediate

    Picture this - You see a bunch of disgruntled developers, who haven't yet had their caffeine and stumble for what is the daily standups and provide a nice long winded update and never want to ask for help in front of their peers. They are then dragged once or twice a week to a grooming session and some details are given while they are still thinking about the work they are doing for the current iteration. If thats not sufficient, they are asked for estimates and they wonder what makes them go unnoticed. Then there is the planning day when they yawn and wonder why we do the retro every two weeks and do nothing about them or why they are asked to plan when they just finished the last piece of work yesterday.  All of this seems unnecessary if only someone told them what they are driving towards and how to leave them alone and get them to be productive.

    Come join me as i share some techniques that i have used with the teams i am part of, in helping build high performing culture while focusing on engaging customer experiences and delighting your customers.  

    Stop by, sit back, relax and enjoy the show

  • Liked Raj Karunakaran
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    Building a Agile Culture - Our experience at Philips

    Raj Karunakaran
    Raj Karunakaran
    schedule 1 year ago
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    45 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

     

    At Philips, we have been focusing on shifting organizational mindset and behavior and incorporating an Agile mindset.

    It is a normal practice for organizations to adapt Agile by first conducting Agile training for teams, adapting Scrum ceremonies and mechanically applying Agile practices. The biggest challenge that an organization faces is on how to shift the mindset of the team and the leaders towards Agile. Moreover how to shift the people practices, that have been strongly aligned to traditional set up.

    It is important for organizations to understand that Agile is a cultural shift and additional interventions should be introduced to make this cultural shift. 

    At Philips we looked at various aspects to bring in a holistic shift in the culture, mindset and behaviors :-

    • The first step was towards building a purpose driven organization with a strong vision that intrinsically motivates people towards creating customer value – rather than being too focused on financial results and internal metrics.
    • Secondly, for Agile teams to be successful, focus is on mowing the ownership to the teams. This includes teams to not just acclimatize Agile values and principles but also to start driving the change. This involved creating change practices and interventions that facilitated this process.
    • A culture change is a transformation in team behavior and competence. The team should be able to adapt and give feedback to each other on these competencies. Feedback souk is now getting embedded as a regular ceremony.
    • To shift the ownership to the team, the traditional organization structure needs to change. Traditional hierarchical structures represent flow of control and authority that is top down. Lateral Career paths are making way to Career Lattice. Managers have started playing the role of facilitators and performance coaches. 
    • The people practices like hiring, performance management, learning and development, recognition practices, decision making process are getting transformed to allow a bottoms up approach.

    We are seeing that the real shift in culture happens when organization become truly external and customer  focused and shifts its focus from internal controls to more flexibility.

  • Dave West
    Dave West
    schedule 1 year ago
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    45 mins
    Keynote
    Beginner

    Scrum is now 21 years old and has become the most popular Agile framework in our industry with +90% of Agile projects saying they are using Scrum. Scrum has become the de-facto team based development approach. Even the next generation of Agile methods such as DAD and SAFe still encourage teams to use Scrum. But has Scrum fulfilled it potential? What is next for Scrum?

    In this talk Dave West, former Forrester Analyst and now product owner at Scrum.org describes the challenges that Scrum has not addressed and what the future of Scrum looks like as it helps individuals, teams and teams of teams deliver software just a little bit better and improve the practice of software development. In this talk Dave will introduce 3 new initiatives for Scrum in the areas of assessment, scaling with Nexus and expanding what done means with DevOps and Evidence Based Measurement. 

  • Liked Timothy Fitz
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    Continuous Deployment: Moving Past Continuous Delivery

    Timothy Fitz
    Timothy Fitz
    schedule 1 year ago
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    45 mins
    Keynote
    Intermediate

    Continuous Delivery is a amazing practice when compared to slower release cycles. But it shouldn't be the end goal. Continuous Deployment, safe automatic deployment of frequent small commits, is the next step. To get to a fully automatic release process the way that your team writes and releases features will need to fundamentally change. The tools, learnings and techniques presented will be widely applicable regardless of how far along adopting continuous practices you are.

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